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McClinton's 3-point barrage buries Clemson

Jan 27, 2008 - 10:41 PM CORAL GABLES, Florida (Ticker) -- Jack McClinton hit three 3-pointers late and Miami converted its free throws in the final minute en route to a 75-72 victory over No. 25 Clemson in an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup on Sunday.

Miami (15-4, 2-3 ACC) used a second-half rally to snap a three-game conference losing streak.

After Clemson established its largest lead of the contest at 63-57 following three free throws from Terrence Oglesby, McClinton went on a personal 9-2 run as he drilled 3-pointers on three straight possessions - the final of which allowed the Hurricanes (15-4, 2-3) to take a 66-65 advantage with 71 seconds remaining.

"Jack is our guy," Miami coach Frank Haith said. "Jack knows we have confidence in him. I kept telling Jack, 'You're going to make the next shot.' Jack is a guy who gets in a rhythm and he is tough."

On the Tigers' ensuing possession, David Potter missed a layup and Cliff Hammonds clanged a 3-pointer.

"I thought we had some really good defensive stops when they went on those runs and were able to get some buckets in transition," Haith said.

Lance Hurdle and Brian Asbury hit 9-of-10 free throws over the final 50 seconds, ending any hopes Clemson (15-5, 3-3) had of making a comeback.

The Hurricanes shot 86 percent (25-for-29) from the foul line, offsetting a lackluster 33 percent (22-for-66) shooting performance from the field.

Hurdle scored 14 points and Asbury added 11 for the Hurricanes, who were coming off a 98-82 home loss to No. 4 North Carolina.

"We are a big-time family, and when you have trust - regardless of what happens - from your teammate, it is a lot easier to play," Hurdle said. "Those are my brothers."

Center Trevor Booker, Clemson's second-leading scorer, left the game midway through the opening half after suffering an a high ankle sprain with the Tigers trailing 17-12. The injury appeared to stymie the team initially as they gave up five consecutive points to fall behind 24-12, the largest deficit by either team in the game.

Raymond Sykes scored four points for Clemson during a 7-0 run to pull the Tigers to within 24-19 at the 7:51 mark.

Each team exchanged a layup and a free throw over the next two minutes, but K.C. Rivers drilled all three of his first-half 3-pointers to bookend a 13-8 stretch to knot the game at 35-35 with 48 seconds left before intermission.

However, Asbury hit two free throws near the end of half to allow Miami to take a 37-35 lead at the break.

Miami used a quick 6-2 run to open the final 20 minutes to push the lead out to six, but Clemson returned the favor on the strength of consecutive 3-pointers from Oglesby and Cliff Hammonds that ended a 10-0 run at the 14:40 mark, leaving the Tigers ahead, 49-45.

Neither team could establish more than a five-point advantage from that point on until Oglesby nailed his three free throws with 3:14 remaining, setting the stage for McClinton's long-range shooting display.

"Coach Haith always told me 'if you are open, keep shooting the ball,'" McClinton said. "Having that from my coach, him giving me the opportunity to play like that really helps me out."

Demontez Stitt scored 15 points to pace the Tigers, who fell to 0-2 in conference play on the road.