CLEMSON TIGERS DEFEAT NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS IN OVERTIME FOR HISTORIC WIN IN CHAPEL HILL
John Newman III(Greensboro Day School/Greensboro, N.C.) with career-high 17 points/6 rebounds/4 assists for the Clemson Tigers
Final Score:Clemson 79, North Carolina 76(Overtime)
from the Clemson Tigers athletics website:
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Making history at the Dean E. Smith Center, the Clemson University men’s basketball team put an end to a longstanding streak on Saturday, defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels on the road for the first time in program history. Taking part in their 60th all-time meeting with North Carolina in Chapel Hill, Clemson produced a fervent comeback late in the second half and won 79-76 in overtime. As a result, Clemson Head Coach Brad Brownell picked up his 177th win as the leader of the Tigers, tying Cliff Ellis for the most all-time wins by a Clemson head coach.
Both teams let it fly from beyond the arc on the day. Clemson (8-7, 2-3) knocked down 12-of-31 3-pointers on the day, and North Carolina (8-8, 1-4) went 6-of-26 from deep. The Tigers shot 43.3 percent from the floor while the Tar Heels went 42.4 percent from the field in the evenly matched affair. Each team pulled down 39 rebounds, and Clemson shot 69.2 from the free throw line as compared to North Carolina’s 70-percent shooting mark at the charity stripe. Turnovers proved to be critical down the stretch, and the Tigers notched 14 points off 11 Tar Heel turnovers.
Aamir Simms came up clutch for Clemson in the thriller, with the big man scoring a team-high 20 points to go along with his eight rebounds and six assists. Simms also showed out on defense, recording four blocks and three steals, and he sank three treys, as well. Tevin Mack, who scored 10 of his 17 points in the first half, also drained a trio of 3-balls. John Newman III(Greensboro Day School/Greensboro, N.C.) connected on two 3-point shots en route to collecting a career-best 17 points, six boards and a career-best four dimes. Brandon Robinson led the Tar Heels with a career-high 27 points, and North Carolina’s Armando Bacot tallied 21 points.
Clemson manufactured an epic late-game comeback to force overtime and, after never sporting a lead in regulation, outscored North Carolina 9-6 in the extra period. The Tar Heels and the Tigers both went 4-for-12 from behind the arc in the first half. Clemson’s Al-Amir Dawes sank a desperation 3-pointer to beat the buzzer at the end of the first half. North Carolina led 39-29 at the intermission and continued to control the pace of the game for the majority of the second half.
However, during crunch time, Clemson applied defensive pressure and pulled off a remarkable comeback in the final two minutes of the second half. The Tigers went on a 12-2 run after falling down 68-58 at the 2:08 mark, as Clemson forced three turnovers in the last two minutes of regulation. Nine of those 12 points were scored by Simms, who made a game-tying 3-pointer with 12 seconds left. Clemson proceeded to excel in the paint in overtime, with backdoor cuts and wide-open layups leading to the Tigers collecting the historic victory. Robinson missed a potential game-tying 3-ball as the final buzzer sounded in overtime, and Clemson secured its long-awaited triumph.
The Tigers will return home to Littlejohn Coliseum for their next outing. Clemson is slated to square off with another team from the Research Triangle on Tuesday, Jan. 14, with the No. 2 Duke Blue Devils (14-1, 4-0) coming to town for an ACC showdown. Set to tip off at 7 p.m., the game will air on ESPN. Tickets are available at ClemsonTigers.com.
CHAPEL HILL–Aamir Simms hit an overtime-forcing 3-pointer with 3.5 seconds left in regulation and Clemson went on to erase decades of futility at North Carolina by beating the Tar Heels 79-76 on Saturday, earning their first win in 60 tries in Chapel Hill.
Simms finished with 20 points for the Tigers (8-7, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), who trailed by 10 with a little more than two minutes left in regulation. But Clemson made a frantic comeback to force the extra period, then came up with enough key baskets to do what no other predecessor had done in school history: walk off the court in Chapel Hill in celebration of a win.
Simms added a critical driving basket with 18.1 seconds left in OT, then the Tigers got a final stop when Garrison Brooks and then Brandon Robinson both missed tying 3-pointers on the final possession.
When Robinson’s missed at the horn, Clemson players ran to midcourt to celebrate, while John Newman III ran to wrap coach Brad Brownell in a huge hug on the sideline.
Meanwhile, Robinson laid on the court after his miss, capping a day that saw him go for a career-high 27 points but come up a shot short.
UNC (8-8, 1-4) came into this one 59-0 against Clemson all-time in Chapel Hill for the longest home winning streak against one opponent in NCAA history. That included 28-0 in the Smith Center, UNC’s campus arena that opened in January 1986.
The win leaves coach Roy Williams tied with late mentor Dean Smith for fourth on the Division I men’s career coaching wins list with 879 victories since the Tar Heels beat Yale on Dec. 30.
Clemson: Beyond the long run of bad history here, the Tigers were trying to win consecutive games for the first time since starting 5-1. And they looked on their way to another frustrating loss in Chapel Hill when they trailed 68-58 with 2:08 left, only to complete an improbable turnaround and make some history.
UNC: The Tar Heels were struggling with their worst record through 15 games under Williams. And they were battered entering this one, from top player Cole Anthony missing his seventh straight game following knee surgery to the pregame announcement that freshman point guard Jeremiah Francis wouldn’t play due to left-knee soreness. Williams said Friday he doesn’t say much about the streak with his team beyond noting it has to end at some point and the goal should be to “try to put it off another year.” And now, that run is over.
Clemson: The Tigers host No. 2 Duke on Tuesday.
UNC: The Tar Heels visit Pittsburgh next Saturday.