The Irish were led by Rex Pflueger, who had a wild explosion of offensive production, scoring 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting (4-for-4 from deep) before fouling out with about a minute left in the game. John Mooney chipped in a classic 16-and-11 double-double and T.J. Gibbs managed to drop in 10 points himself.
This game started out pretty ugly, with the Irish and Tigers beginning the game a combined 3-for-14 from three-point range. Furthermore, with the score 12-7 in ND’s favor fairly early on, the two teams managed to go more than 7 minutes with neither team scoring a single point.
However, both sides began to knock down some shots a bit later, as Rex Pflueger surprised quite a few of us with 3-for-3 shooting from long range in the first half (and managed to do some chirping at the crowd/Clemson team while doing so). Nevertheless, Clemson actually took a two-point lead into the half with both teams struggling to get consistent offensive production.
As the game moved into the 2nd half, the Irish yet again struggled to get anything going offensively right out of the gate, and Clemson built up a 7-point lead as the Irish went multiple stretches of more than 3 minutes without scoring.
However, with leading scorer Aamir Simms out for the game with the flu, ND managed to hang around and gradually chip away at the deficit, setting up a final 10 minutes where the two teams traded leads back and forth a bit.
Down the stretch, Rex Pflueger hit multiple huge shots to go along with a bucket or two from T.J. Gibbs and John Mooney to give the Irish just enough of a lead to pull out the close road victory, 61 to 57.
The Irish shot 42% from the field and 36% from deep while also hitting 9-of-10 shots from the charity stripe. They narrowly out-rebounded the Tigers 35 to 31.
Clemson, meanwhile, was led by freshman Alex Hemenway’s 16 points on 4-of-7 three-point shooting and Tevin Mack’s 16 points and 6 boards. The Tigers shot 36% overall from the field and 27% from deep.
The Irish improve to 15-8 (6-6 ACC) on the season, and will play next in a quick turnaround against the Virginia Cavaliers on Tuesday evening in Charlottesville.