Brownell Part 2
Jordan Roper and Jaron Blossomgame
The Clemson Tigers took down No. 8 Miami on Saturday in front of a raucous crowd at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena. The win marks the first time in school history that the Tigers have beaten three ranked opponents in a row. A 13-0 run by the Tigers late in the second half clinched the 76-65 victory. Clemson is now 12-6 overall and 5-1 in the ACC. Miami fell to 13-3 overall and 2-2 in the ACC.
“I thought our guys showed a lot of resiliency tonight,” said head coach Brad Brownell. “There were a couple of things that happened in the game tonight that could’ve hurt our confidence, but we executed at a very high level offensively and got the win.”
Offensively, Jaron Blossomgame had one of the best games of his career with 25 points, one shy of his career high. Jordan Roper added 18 points, six assists and five steals. Sidy Djitte stepped up with Landry Nnoko saddled with foul trouble, posting 10 rebounds.
The first half was a back and forth battle between the teams. The half saw the score tied and the lead change nine times apiece. The biggest lead for either team was 34-29 in Miami’s favor with 1:22 left to play in the half. The Tigers were able to hold the Hurricanes to 1-9 shooting inside the final 4:40 before intermission.
Clemson tied the game at 47 apiece with 12:08 to go in the second. However, Miami put up six straight; Clemson was held scoreless for three minutes until Jordan Roper hit two free throws to make the score 53-49 with 8:51 to play. The Tigers gained new momentum thanks to Blossomgame, who hit a clutch three-point shot followed by an old fashioned three-point play with 7:06 and 5:58 to play respectively. Grantham followed Blossomgame’s lead with a three-pointer that gave Clemson its first lead of the second half at 61-60.
Those points were part of the final run that allowed the Tigers to pull away from Miami, deepening their cushion to 70-61 with 1:26 left in the game.The Tigers take to the road for a Tuesday, January 19 matchup with No. 11 Virginia, Clemson’s fourth straight top-25 opponent. The Tigers and Cavaliers are set to tip off at 8 p.m. in John Paul Jones Arena.
Clemson won its fifth straight ACC game Saturday, 76-65 over Miami. It is the sixth time in program history the Tigers have won at least five straight.
The last five-game ACC winning streak by Clemson came in 1996-97, when Rick Barnes’ team went 5-0 to start league play.
Clemson has defeated three ranked opponents for the first time in its history, all in the last six days. The Tigers beat No. 16 Louisville, No. 6 Duke and No. 8 Miami.
Saturday’s win was Clemson’s seventh top-25 win under head coach Brad Brownell. The three wins over ranked foes are the most in a single season at Clemson since 1997-98.
Clemson has now won two straight at home over Miami, and is now 7-2 all-time at home versus the Hurricanes.
The Tigers were 15-15 at the free throw line Saturday, a school record for single-game percentage given a minimum of 15 attempts.
Jaron Blossomgame notched his ACC career high with 25 points Saturday, his sixth 20-point game of the season.
Blossomgame scored double figures for the 15th time in 18 games this season, and for the 43rd time in his career.
Blossomgame matched his career high with nine made field goals.
Blossomgame is 13-13 on free throws the last two games, the longest perfect streak by a Tiger player this season.
Donte Grantham scored double figures for the 10th time this season, his fourth such outing in the Tigers’ last five games.
Jordan Roper finished with 18 points, his eighth double-figure game of the season.
Roper also added to his team-high assist total with six helpers, bringing his new tally to 79 for the season. He had just one turnover in 39 minutes and has only 22 on the season.
Roper posted a career-high five steals Saturday against the Hurricanes, most by a Clemson player since Tanner Smith had five against Gardner-Webb on Nov. 11, 2011.
Sidy Djitte notched double-digit rebounds for the fifth time this season, most on the team.
Clemson Head Coach Brad Brownell
“I thought our guys showed a lot of resiliency tonight; it didn’t come easy. Certainly there were some things in the game that could have caused us to lose confidence and think that this just might not be our night. We had a few calls go against us, they banked in a three and we didn’t play great defensively. We won this game because we executed offensively and Jordan (Roper) and Jaron (Blossomgame) were playing at a very high level. That is as a high a level as we have seen out of guys in the last couple of years, for us to have guys make those types of reads and decisions and play with that kind of confidence. Certainly, I felt like they were the difference in the game.”
On if the technical foul he received in the second half helped with momentum:
“I think everybody makes too much out of that, I thought that our guy got fouled and the play before that, I don’t know if it was the right call either. So I was disappointed because they were crucial plays in the game. If they helped, great, but I have gotten them before and they didn’t help, so believe me, it isn’t the reason we won, the reason we won is because of Jordan Roper and Jaron Blossomgame.”
On what the Tigers did to contain Sheldon McClellan:
“I don’t know that we did anything special, I think we certainly guarded him and paid attention to him. He is an outstanding player and a guy that when he gets rolling he is hard to guard, he can score on the zone and he makes deep threes. There wasn’t anything special, it was just making sure that guys knew who he was, and where he was and trying to do the best job you could on him. Different guys guarded him, Donte (Grantham) guarded him a lot, but it wasn’t anything special that we did in all honesty.”
Miami Head Coach Jim Larranaga“Well, I thought it was a terrific college basketball game for about 35 minutes and then we collapsed in the last five. We’re going to need to do a heck of a lot better job. I thought Clemson was terrific down the stretch, they made all their free throws, they were 15-15 from the foul line. They made their threes. We’re a very good three-point shooting team and we went 7-14 from three, but they out-executed us in the last five minutes and that was the difference in the ball game.”