Late run lifts Notre Dame over Tigers

Late run lifts Notre Dame over Tigers


Late run lifts Notre Dame over Tigers


Notre Dame got 18 points from Rex Pflueger and 14 points from John Mooney as the Irish beat Clemson 61-57 Sunday at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson. The loss was the Tigers’ third straight and snapped their four-game home winning streak.

Clemson was led by Alex Hemenway’s and Tevin Mack’s 16 points. The loss dropped Clemson to 11-12 overall and 5-8 in ACC play. Notre Dame improved to 15-8 overall and 6-6 in the ACC.

The Tigers played the game without leading scorer Aamir Simms, who was out with the flu. Hemenway’s 16 points were a career-high. He was 5-of-8 from the field and 4-for-7 from behind the arc.

Mack was 6-for-16 from the field. Clemson, as a team, shot 36 percent overall and 26 percent from three-point range. They were 9-for-34 from deep.

Clemson led by as many as seven points, 36-29, on a Mack three with 16:19 to play in the game.

“Obviously, we had chances. We had a seven-point lead in the second half and then we just don’t make enough shots,” Clemson head coach Brad Brownell said. “It has been hard for us a little bit at times. We feel like we got some decent shots, but you have to knock them in.”

Pflueger made a dagger three from the top of the key to extend the Irish’s lead to 57-52 with 1:07 to play in the game. His three pretty much did the Tigers in at that point.

Hemenway tied the game at 50 with two free throws with 4:04 to play in the game, but Notre Dame got back-to-back baskets from TJ Gibbs and Pflueger to take a 54-50 lead with 3:14 to go in the game. Gibbs finished the game with 10 points.

Hemenway’s three-pointer from the right wing brought the Tigers within two, 50-48, 4:54 to play in the game.

Notre Dame broke a 43-43 tie when Mooney made a three from the right side while being fouled by Mack. The forward converted the three to give the Irish a 47-43 lead with 5:54 to go.

Clemson led 29-27 at the break despite making just 5-of-19 shots from behind the arc.

Notre Dame led for the majority of the half and even had a seven-point lead on two different occasions. But the Tigers hung close and eventually grabbed the lead for the first time, 20-19, on a Hemenway three with 3:40 to play in the half.

The Tigers also led following a Clyde Trapp three-pointer with 3:01 to go and then Trey Jemison’s jump hook with 36 seconds to play for its 29-27 advantage at halftime.

Clemson shot just 33 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes, including their 5-for-19 effort from three. The Tigers shot just 26 percent from three-point range in the first half.

The Tigers will play at Pittsburgh Wednesday at 9 p.m.


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