CORAL GABLES, Fla. — The Clemson Tigers fell to the Miami Hurricanes on Thursday. The ACC battle in South Florida saw Clemson put together a gallant come-from-behind effort in the fourth quarter. However, the Hurricanes weathered the storm at the Watsco Center and prevailed 68-64 in the first of two scheduled meetings between Clemson and Miami this season.
From the floor, the Tigers (7-12, 3-5) shot 39 percent while the Hurricanes (11-8, 3-5) were 39.3 percent on field goal attempts. Beyond the arc, Miami knocked down eight 3-pointers, and Clemson sank five treys. The Tigers showed out on the glass, out-rebounding the ‘Canes 47-31 and totaling 19 second-chance points. Clemson also benefited from 16 points off the bench and 28 points in the paint. The Hurricanes were able to force 18 turnovers, which they converted into 20 points.
Playing on her 19th birthday, Clemson’s Hannah Hank finished tied with Kendall Spray as the leading scorer for the Tigers on the evening, as she tallied 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field and 4-for-5 shooting at the free throw line. Hank also pulled down seven rebounds. As for Spray, she connected on four 3-pointers in her 14-point display, with 11 of her 14 points coming in the second half. Amari Robinson added 10 points and six rebounds, and Kobi Thornton recorded seven points and a team-high eight boards. Miami’s Kelsey Marshall led all scorers with 22 points. Marshall was 5-of-8 on 3-point attempts.
In the first quarter, Clemson used a 7-0 run, which was capped off by a 3-ball from Destiny Thomas at the 5:56 mark, to take a 9-6 lead. Miami responded by closing out the opening period with an 8-0 run. Leading 14-9 through 10 minutes of action, the Hurricanes proceeded to outscore the Tigers 24-15 in the second quarter. Miami went 9-of-11 on field goals in the second quarter and made eight shots in a row at one point. The Hurricanes sported a 38-24 advantage at halftime and led by as many as 22 points in the third quarter.
Clemson’s fourth quarter turnaround was foreshadowed by a surge late in the third period, as the Tigers outscored the Hurricanes 7-1 in the final 1:35 of the quarter and entered the fourth trailing 58-42. From there, Clemson went on a 7-0 run that resulted in Miami’s lead shrinking to single digits, and the Tigers eventually tied the game up after Spray made a pair of clutch 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions. Marshall answered Spray’s game-tying trey via a go-ahead trey of her own with 52 seconds remaining, though, and Miami went on to win 68-64.
Clemson will remain on the road for its next matchup. The Tigers are set face off against the Virginia Tech Hokies (13-4, 3-3) at Cassel Coliseum on Sunday, Jan. 26. Scheduled to tip off at 1 p.m., the contest in Blacksburg, Va., will air on a regional sports network (RSN).