A 15-0 run to close out regulation carried Clemson into overtime, and Al-Amir Dawes made the go-ahead 3-pointer to down TC, 62-60 on Sunday night in an MGM Main Event semifinal in Las Vegas.
The Tigers (5-1) fell behind 52-37 on a R.J. Nembhard lay-in with 7:39 remaining. TCU did not score again for the rest of the half, as Clemson capitalized on a variety of Horned Frogs misses and turnovers to chip away at the deficit.
TCU (4-1) had an opportunity to break the 52-all tie with four seconds remaining. But Desmond Bane — who scored 17 points — missed a pair of free throws. Kevin Samuel’s block of Aamir Simms on the other end as time expired capped a wild finish to regulation.
TCU broke the run with a free throw to open the overtime scoring, but Clemson quickly responded as the extra frame was back-and-forth throughout. The Tigers had their own chances to close out the Horned Frogs after Dawes’ 3-pointer gave Clemson a 61-60 lead with 93 seconds left, but missed four straight foul shots.
Tevin Mack ended the streak of misses when scored the last of his game-high 22 points by making 1 of 2 free throws with a second to play to close out the game. Mack made five 3-pointers on the night and grabbed nine rebounds.
Simms finished with a double-double for Clemson — 13 points and 12 rebounds — and flirted with a triple-double with seven assists.
John Newman III added nine points for the Tigers, with Dawes scoring eight.
TCU built its lead scoring 18 points off Clemson turnovers, and on Edric Dennis’ hot hand behind the 3-point line. He scored a team-high 18 points, shooting 5of 12 from behind the arc. Samuel recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
TCU pushed its lead back to four points in overtime on the last of Dennis’ 3-pointers with 2:40 to play, but went scoreless the rest of the way. Dennis’ attempt at a game-winner in the closing seconds caromed off to teammate Jaire Grayer, who missed the put-back and set Mack up for the free throw that sealed the game.
—Field Level Media