Irish steal one in Littlejohn

Trailing by four with 4:07 remaining, No. 10 Notre Dame out-scored Clemson 8-2 down the stretch on a pair of Demetrius Jackson baskets within 56 seconds of one another, and Jerian Grant’s two free throws and jump shot with 42.7 seconds left.

Demetrius Jackson’s tip-in with 2:21 remaining and Jerian Grant’s short jumper with 42.7 seconds left after a clutch offensive rebound by Pat Connaughton provided the cushion No. 10 Notre Dame needed to claim a 60-58 victory over Clemson Tuesday night.

The Irish (22-4, 10-3), out-rebounded 38-26, and under fire from Jaron Blossomgame’s 17 points and 14 rebounds, came away with a victory in their first-ever appearance in Littlejohn Coliseum.

The victory was Notre Dame’s fifth ACC road win in seven tries.

Ten second-half lead changes and six ties highlighted this nip-and-tuck contest that saw the Irish trailing most of the first half as Clemson squad (14-10, 6-6) came out sizzling. The Tigers led by as many as eight points twice in the first half.

Led by Grant, the Irish forged ahead early in the second half before finally taking charge down the stretch. Grant finished with 22 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the field and 7-of-7 from the line. Connaughton scored 14 points on 3-of-6 shooting from three-point range while Jackson tossed in 11.

Trailing by four with less than four minutes remaining, Notre Dame scored eight of the last 10 points of the game. Grant’s two free throws and a rebound basket by Jackson tied the game at 56-56 with 3:17 left.

After Notre Dame took a four-point lead, Clemson’s Rod Hall drove through the lane and scored to make it a two-point game. Jackson missed the front end of a one-and-one with 28.3 seconds left, giving the Tigers a chance to tie or take the lead.

A miss by Blossomgame kicked out into the hands of Hall at the top of the key, but Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia knocked the ball free. The ball ended up in the hands of Notre Dame’s Bonzie Colson, who lost it to Damarcus Harrison with about five seconds remaining. Harrison’s long two-point jumper clanged off the rim and time ran out.

Clemson out-rebounded the Irish on the offensive end, 13-7. Notre Dame converted 10-of-13 from the line. Hall scored nine points for Clemson while Vasturia tossed in seven for the Irish.

Harrison came off the bench for the Tigers to score 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting.

The victory secures Notre Dame’s second-place standing in the ACC for at least another week. The Irish do not return to the hardwood until Tuesday, Feb. 17 when they host Wake Forest.


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