Al-Amir Dawes scored 18 points to lead eighth-seeded Clemson to a 69-64 win over ninth-seeded Miami in a second-round ACC Tournament game Wednesday in Greensboro, N.C.
Aamir Simms added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Tigers, who overcame a 21-point effort off the bench by the Hurricanes’ Chris Lykes in his first game back from a gruesome injury.
Clemson (16-15), which will play top-seeded and fourth-ranked Florida State in Thursday’s third round, also got 11 points from John Newman.
Miami (15-16), now ineligible for the NIT due to a losing record, saw its season come to an end.
Lykes returned to action one week after taking an inadvertent injury from teammate Sam Waardenburg. Lykes played despite a broken nose and a lacerated left eye. He entered the game with 15:04 left in the first half, wearing a mask and sporting a nasty bruise under his left eye.
Besides Lykes, Miami got 17 points from Dejan Vasiljevic and 12 from Kameron McGusty.
There were nine ties and 14 lead changes in the game.
Clemson took a 17-10 lead with 7:22 left in the first half, but the Tigers then went scoreless for six minutes as Miami went on a 11-0 run.
After Clemson tied the score 21-21, Miami’s Isaiah Wong hit a put-back with 3.7 seconds left for a 23-21 halftime lead.
The Hurricanes shot just 32.1 percent in the first half, including 2-of-15 on 3-pointers. The Tigers shot 37.5 percent, including 27.3 percent from deep.
However, Miami — which entered this game 14-0 this season when leading at halftime — could not hold onto its slim lead.
The key for Clemson was at the foul line. After not taking any free throws in the first half, the Tigers made 18 of 19 after intermission.
For the game, Clemson shot 46.8 percent, including 7-for-22 on 3-pointers. Miami shot 38.1 percent, including 11-for-36 from behind the arc.
—Field Level Media