The Tigers found out this afternoon they would be without leading scorer Aamir Simms for tonight’s game due to the flu. They could have used him, as Clemson lost at home to Notre Dame 61-57.
The Tigers fell to 11-12 overall and 5-8 in conference, while Notre Dame improved to 15-8 overall and 6-6 in conference. Notre Dame also improved to 6-2 all-time against the Tigers.
The Tigers were led by Tevin Mack and Alex Hemenway, each scoring 16 points. Hemenway came off the bench to have his most productive night yet. Throughout the game he displayed the sweet stroke that the coaching staff loved while recruiting him, going 4-7 from three.
Mack also grabbed six rebounds, while Trey Jamison led the team with 7 boards. Making his first career start in place of Simms, Jemison had a solid game, particularly on the defensive end.
The Irish were led in scoring by Rex Pflueger with 18, while John Mooney had 16 points. Mooney led the Irish with 11 rebounds while he, Juwan Durham, and T.J. Gibbs ended the night with 3 assists each.
After a slow start by the Tigers they were able to claw their way back and even took a 29-27 lead to end the first half. It was then a tight, competitive game throughout the 2nd half.
With just under five minutes to play it was a 50-48 game. Then Hemenway hit 2 free throws to tie the score at 50-50. The Irish then scored the next 4 points to take a 54-50 lead with 3:14 to play. Jamison then got free for a dunk that made it 54-52. The Irish would get a 3 pointer from Pflueger to make it 57-52, and would hold on for the 4 point win.
Again, the Tigers got a glimpse of what another freshman (Hemenway) can do, but still didn’t get enough offense for a win. They shot just 35.7% (20 of 56) from the field and only 26.5% (9 of 34) from 3 point range. On the bright side, they were 8-9 from the free throw line. The Tigers were out-rebounded 35-31.
Clemson returns to the court on Wednesday, when they travel up to the Petersen Events Center for a 9pm tip with Pitt (15-9 overall 6-7 in conference).