Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Tigers Upset No. 9 Duke Clemson Claws Back from Early Deficit

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Tigers Upset No. 9 Duke Clemson Claws Back from Early Deficit

Article excerpt

Jaron Blossomgame scored 17 points, including the clinching dunk with 13.5 seconds left, to lift Clemson to a 68-63 victory Wednesday night against No. 9 Duke.

Coupled with Sunday's win against then No. 16 Louisville, it's the first time the Tigers (11-6, 4-1 ACC) have beaten consecutive ranked opponents since closing the 1989 season with victories against Duke and Georgia Tech.

"We're trying to build something special right now," Blossomgame said.

This one started like a typical Blue Devils blowout, with Duke taking a 28-16 lead midway through the opening half. Instead, the Tigers hung tough to beat Duke (14-3, 3-1) for the second time in three seasons.

"It was another big win for us," Tigers coach Brad Brownell said. "Exciting in some ways because we had so many guys make plays at the end of the game to get it done."

After Blossomgame's jam, Matt Jones missed a 3-pointer from the left corner. Clemson's Avry Holmes got the rebound and hit two foul shots with 1.8 seconds left to put things out of reach. Freshman Brandon Ingram scored 16 points for the Blue Devils, all but one in the first half.

Donte Grantham scored 16 points and Landry Nnoko had 12 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks for the Tigers. Grantham's 3-pointer tied the score, 50-50, before Blossomgame hit a long-range basket to put Clemson ahead for good, 53-50, with 7:24 left.Clemson outscored Duke 17-7 over the final 8 minutes of the half to tighten things up.

Krzyzewski thought his team's aggressiveness, including Ingram's, slackened because of foul problems.

"If there's only so much lead in your pencil, you have to be careful how many words you write," Krzyzewski said. "But that's the game and you've got to be really smart. It's tough for a young team to be really smart."

MORE ACC

* Syracuse 62, Boston College 40:Malachi Richardson scored 15 points and Syracuse (11-7, 1-4 ACC) seized control with a 21-2 run in the first half to defeat visiting Boston College (7-9, 0-3).

* Virginia Tech 93, Wake Forest 91: Justin Bibbs scored 32 points to lead Virginia Tech (11-6, 3-1 ACC) against visiting Wake Forest (10-6, 1-3).

* Notre Dame 72, Georgia Tech 64: Zach Auguste scored 24 points to help Notre Dame (11-5, 2-2 ACC) hold off visiting Georgia Tech (11-6, 1-3). …

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