Waardenburg’s 18 helps Miami top Clemson 80-75 in ACC opener

Dec 3, 2021, 9:44 PM | Updated: Dec 4, 2021, 11:48 am
Miami guard Kameron McGusty (23) drives to the basket as Clemson guard David Collins (13) defends d...

Miami guard Kameron McGusty (23) drives to the basket as Clemson guard David Collins (13) defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, in Coral Gables, Fla. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

(AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Sam Waardenburg scored a career-high 18 points and Miami used a late 12-0 run to edge Clemson 80-75 in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams on Saturday.

Clemson led all the way in this traditionally tight match, opening the biggest lead as Chase Hunter scored four points in a 9-3 run that made it 70-61 with 5:02 to play.

The Hurricanes stormed back, starting with a Waardenburg 3-pointer and a layup, and taking the lead for the first time, 71-70, on a Jordan Miller 3 with 2:55 to play.

Isaiah Wong bumped Miami’s lead to 78-73 with two free throws at 11.9 seconds and Waardenburg added two at 5.6 seconds. David Collins made a layup with a second to go to make the final margin 5.

It marked the 17th time in the 32 meetings between the teams the game was decided by five points or less. Nine straight games have been decided by single digits and the last seven by a total of 28 points.

Miller and Kameron McGusty scored 13 and 15 points, respectively, for the Hurricanes (6-3) and Wong had 13.

PJ Hall led the Tigers (5-4) with 18 points, Hunter and Collins had 15 apiece and Hunter Tyson 10.

Hunter hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give Clemson a 16-8 lead in the first half. Miami tied it three times before the Tigers went up 40-34 on a Collins 3 in the final seconds of the half.

Anytime Clemson threatened to get away, Miami answered. Miller had 13 points and Waardenburg 10 in the second half.

Clemson, the top-shooting 3-point team in the ACC (41.7%), was 7 of 12 in the first half but just 2 of 9 in the second. Miami, which came in average 5.5 triples a game on 29% shooting, was 11 of 25, including 6 of 13 in the second half. Waardenburg had four and Miller three. Overall Miami shot 60% in the second half.

With Collins grabbing nine rebounds and Hall seven, Clemson had a 39-21 advantage in rebound, 13-4 on the offensive end for an 18-3 difference in second-chance points. But the Tigers squandered that advantage with 18 turnovers, 10 more than Miami, with the Hurricanes having a 21-10 edge in points off turnovers.

Miami is home against Lipscomb on Wednesday and Clemson plays Drake on Saturday in the Holiday Hoopsgiving in Atlanta.

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Waardenburg’s 18 helps Miami top Clemson 80-75 in ACC opener