for this game

Notre Dame survives scare at Clemson

Feb 11, 2015 - 4:32 AM Clemson, SC ( - Jerian Grant helped Notre Dame steal a win at Clemson on Tuesday, as the 10th-ranked Fighting Irish used a late run to down the Tigers 60-58 at Littlejohn Coliseum.

Grant, who has numerous family ties to the Clemson program, scored four points during a late 8-0 run that prevented Notre Dame (22-4, 10-3 ACC) from losing for the third time in four games.

Following a forgettable performance in a 30-point drubbing at Duke over the weekend, Grant finished with 22 points and five assists, while Pat Connaughton added 14 points for the victors.

"It's hard to hold these guys to 60 points," Clemson head coach Brad Brownell said of Notre Dame, which came in averaging over 80. "We gave ourselves chances to win the game down the stretch."

Jaron Blossomgame had a monster 17-point, 14-rebound effort go for naught, as Clemson (14-10, 6-6) missed two shots in the final 10 seconds.

Blossomgame was short on a contested baseline jumper during the final sequence, and a mad scramble at the top of the key saw Damarcus Harrison wind up with the ball. Harrison, who was 6-for-7 from the field to that point, was off the mark on his 3-point attempt, and Notre Dame escaped victorious.

The Tigers led all but the opening 1:10 of the first half. They scored 11 straight early on to take the lead, but a Grant 3-pointer at the buzzer had the Irish within 31-29.

There were 11 lead changes in a tight second half, but only one after Austin Ajukwa made a baseline jumper to give Clemson a 49-48 lead with just under eight minutes to play.

Rod Hall's three-point play with 4:07 remaining had the Tigers ahead 56-52, but two Grant free throws and a pair of Demetrius Jackson putbacks gave Notre Dame the lead down the stretch.

After Hall was whistled for an offensive foul, the Irish held the ball for more than a minute thanks to a Connaughton offensive rebound. Grant's elbow jumper with 41.5 seconds left pushed the lead to four.

"I don't know if there's a better player in the country at crunch time to take the big shot," Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey said of Grant. "He's having a fabulous year, and he's a thrill to coach."

Hall followed Grant's bucket with a quick layup, and the wild finish came after Jackson missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 28.3 seconds remaining.

Game Notes

Grant's father, Harvey, played one season at Clemson, his brother, Jerai, played there from 2007-11, and his uncle, Horace, is also an alumnus ... Harrison scored 15 points ... Notre Dame forward Zach Auguste was limited to two points after averaging 13.1 over his first 24 games ... This was Notre Dame's first trip to Clemson ... Notre Dame hosts Clemson in the regular season finale for both teams on Mar. 7.