CLEMSON, S.C. — In a hotly contested matchup, the Clemson University men’s basketball team came up short to Notre Dame on Sunday. A breakout performance from Alex Hemenway sparked the Tigers on the evening, but that was not enough, as the Fighting Irish pulled out a 61-57 win at Littlejohn Coliseum.
Both teams relied heavily on 3-point shooting, as a combined 62 3-balls were attempted in the ACC tilt. Clemson (11-12, 5-8) knocked down nine treys and finished with an overall shooting percentage of 35.7. Notre Dame (15-8, 6-6) connected on 10 3-point attempts and produced an overall shooting mark of 42 percent. The Tigers tallied 13 points off 11 Notre Dame turnovers and recorded 20 points in the paint. The Fighting Irish won the rebounding margin 35-31.
Hemenway incited Clemson off the bench with a season-best 16 points. The freshman made a season-high four 3-pointers while playing a season-high 19 minutes. Tevin Mack, who made two 3-balls and corralled six rebounds, also registered 16 points. Star big man Aamir Simms was unable to suit up due to flu-related symptoms, but Trey Jemison made his first-career start in Simms’ place and amassed a career-best seven boards in addition to scoring four points. Rex Pflueger led Notre Dame with a game-high 18 points. He went 4-for-4 on shots from beyond the arc.
In the first half, Hemenway provided the Tigers with a lift after sinking a couple of 3-pointers not long after entering the game. The second trey put Clemson ahead 20-19 at the 3:40 mark. After each team traded a series of 3-balls late in the first half, the Tigers took a 29-27 lead into the intermission.
Notre Dame scored the first basket of the second half to knot the Tigers up at 29 points apiece, but Clemson then reeled off a 7-0 run and matched its largest lead of the game on a 3-ball by Mack with 16:19 remaining. However, the Fighting Irish fought back and ultimately outscored the Tigers 34-28 in the second half. A 4-point play by Notre Dame’s John Mooney proved critical down the stretch and a 3-pointer from Pflueger with 1:07 on the game clock put the Fighting Irish ahead by two possessions, leading to the 61-57 final score.