Clemson got their first taste of action outside of Littlejohn tonight, taking on a good TCU squad in tournament play out in Las Vegas. After a competitive first half, most of the second half it looked like TCU would pull away for an easy win. That would not be the case however, as Clemson came back and got the 62-60 win in overtime.
Clemson spent most of the second half trailing by double digits but used a late 15-0 run to tie it at 52 with just under thirty seconds left. Desmond Bane missed two free throws for TCU with 4.5 seconds left, giving the Tigers a shot to win it. Aamir Simms drove the length of the floor but had his layup attempt blocked as regulation ended, sending the game to overtime.
Tevin Mack kept the Tigers in it early on but as the game wore on it was Aamir Simms that put the team on his back and keyed the second half comeback. He did not shoot the ball well at all, going just 3-15 (1-7 3pt) from the floor but he had 12 boards and 7 assists. Despite the poor shooting, he still finished with 13 points, giving him a double double.
Mack led the team with 22 points on 8-15 shooting. John Newman III had 9 and Al-Amir Dawes had 8. Clemson shot 35.8% from the floor and 35.7% from three. They held TCU to 37.9% shooting and 32.1% from three.
It was the defense that got it done in this one. It was a great effort on that side of the ball and it forced TCU to go ice cold late, and they never could recover in the OT period.
This is a great out of conference win. We’re all to aware of Brad Brownell’s abysmal record in games decided by three points or less. Tonight one went his way. Hopefully it’s a sign of things to come. This was a solid TCU squad that Kenpom ranked 51st coming into tonight. Now this team gets another shot at a quality win when they face off against Colorado in the championship game Tuesday night.