SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Clemson fell victim to hot-shooting No. 21 Notre Dame in Purcell Pavilion on Saturday, 75-70.
The Tigers led by seven at halftime, only to see the Fighting Irish finish the game 15-for-32 from three-point range to secure a 3-0 start to ACC play. Notre Dame improved to 14-2, 3-0 in the ACC, while the Tigers fell to 11-4, 1-2 in the league.
Jaron Blossomgame again led the Tigers offensively. The Clemson graduate scored 22 points to tie for game-high honors, while adding eight rebounds to also lead the Tigers. It was his 13th game with at least 20 points in Clemson’s last 19 regular season ACC games.
Gabe DeVoe added 14 points off the bench, his high total since the Xavier game on Nov. 18. Elijah Thomas added nine points and four blocks, while Shelton Mitchell contributed eight points, six rebounds and five assists.
V.J. Beachem paced the Irish attack with 22 points, matching his career high. He hit 6-10 from three-point range. Matt Farrell added 15 points and seven assists from the point guard position, as Notre Dame posted 18 assists and only 10 turnovers in the game.
The Tigers scored the game’s first 10 points, six courtesy of Blossomgame. Clemson took advantage of a couple of Notre Dame turnovers and converted in transition, first on a Blossomgame dunk and then a layup from Mitchell.
After Notre Dame put together a 17-2 run to take a five-point lead, DeVoe sprung to life. He hit four three-pointers off the bench in the opening frame, the last of which gave the Tigers a 33-27 lead. Clemson held on to a seven-point edge at the half, 40-33.
The second half featured seven ties and 11 lead changes. Clemson appeared in good position after Thomas banked in a left-handed shot in the paint to give his team a 66-64 lead with 3:04 to play. Thomas then blocked Notre Dame’s Bonzie Colson perfectly on the ensuing possession, but the ball bounced perfectly to Farrell, who knocked in a three-pointer to put his team ahead. Mitchell and Blossomgame answered with shots that tied the game at 70, but following a Colson layup, Farrell again canned a long ball to give the Irish the five-point win.
The Tigers stay on the road, next facing Georgia Tech in Atlanta on Thursday, Jan. 12.
—Photo Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports