The Tigers fell to Duke 70-59 Wednesday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke pulled away from Clemson in the second half after a late surge from the Tigers cut the halftime deficit to only two.
Demontez Stitt fought off strep throat to give the Tigers a strong performance. Stitt led the Tigers in scoring with 14. Milton Jennings added a double-double with ten points and 11 rebounds.
Clemson only shot 30 percent from the field and 21 percent from three. The Blue Devils finished the night shooting 42 percent from the field, including 41 percent from three.
Twenty Duke turnovers kept the Tigers in the game for the first 30 minutes. The Tigers were an impressive 13-15 from the line. Clemson also won the rebound battle 37-35 on the night.
The Devils jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first two minutes of the game. Clemson cut the lead to 10-8 with 14:26 to go in the half on a jumper by Jerai Grant.
The Tigers took their first lead at 18-17 with 9:43 to go on a jumper by Devin Booker. Duke went on a 14-2 run over the next four minutes and led 31-20 with 5:43 left in the half.
Clemson responded with a 12-0 run and took the lead 32-31 on a Demontez Stitt jumper at the 3:18 mark. Duke finished the half on a 3-0 run to take a 34-32 led to the locker room.
With 18:24 to go in the game Clemson tied the game at 38 on a Milton Jennings tip. Duke went on an 8-0 run to build a 46-38 lead with 15:01 to go.
The Tigers responded with an 10-4 run to cut the lead to 50-48 after Andre Smith made a pair of free throws with 11:40 to go. That was as close as the Tigers would get as Duke pulled away in the final ten minutes.
Seth Curry made three free throws for the Devils to stretch their lead to 63-52 with 5:02 remaining. Tanner Smith hit a jumper with 2:07 to go to get the Tigers within six at 65-59. The Tigers wouldn’t score again in the final two minutes.
Clemson fell to 19-10 on the season and 8-7 in the ACC with the loss. The Tigers will try defeat Virginia Tech on Saturday at Littlejohn to win the 4th place seed in the ACC tournament.