Miami-Clemson: Hot Shot Tigers Defend Home Court

Rob SlaterContributor IFebruary 28, 2008

Coming out on a 24-6 run, including hitting their first six 3-pointers, Clemson never wavered in a 79-69 win against Miami at home.

K.C. Rivers had 19 points for the Tigers (20-7, 8-5). Cliff Hammonds added 12 as they took advantage of 15 Miami turnovers, turned them into transition baskets for their big men, and easy 3-point attempts that found the net.

They closed the half with a 17 point lead, but Miami, led by Jack McClinton with 18, came surging back using a 32-16 run early in the 2nd half. Miami took the lead by one at 60-59. 

But Clemson quickly quieted that rally.

Cliff Hammonds went coast to coast off the inbounds pass to give Clemson the lead back by one.

Miami wouldn't get within four points for the rest of the game.

The Tigers brushed off a tough shooting performance against FSU. They missed 24/27 3-pointers and struggled their way to a disappointing loss. This moved them into 3rd place in the ACC and all but locked up a seed in the NCAA tournament. 

Clemson clinched a 20-win season for the second time in program history. They have a chance to secure a winning season in the ACC for the first time this Sunday when they travel to Maryland before returning home to finish against Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech.

As for Miami, they will move on back home to face Virginia and Boston College before finishing their season at Florida State.

The goal has to be for 20 wins to feel completely comfortable about the postseason and especially the mental factor of beating Boston College and rival FSU, both teams whom they have previously lost to.

At 19-8 with a 6-7 conference record, the ideal situation would be for them to take 2 out of their final 3 and finish with a .500 conference record and 21 wins. 

If this happens, look to see Miami dancing well into March, for now they have to shake off this loss and move on to Virginia.