Feb. 8, 2016
On the back of strong play in the post from Zach Auguste and Bonzie Colson, who combined for 30 points & 16 rebounds, the Irish move to 8-4 in ACC play and 17-7 overall after defeating Clemson, 89-83, in Greenville, S.C.
The win keeps the Fighting Irish (17-7, 8-4 Atlantic Coast) in line to finish in the top four seeds at the ACC tournament and get a double bye.
Notre Dame never trailed, but Clemson (14-10, 7-5) kept it close for most of the game. The Fighting Irish were up 50-47 when Clemson’s Donte Grantham was called for a charge on a close call driving to the basket.
Notre Dame scored on 11 of its next 12 possessions. Auguste had three baskets on powerful inside moves and the Irish hit five 3-pointers as the lead ballooned to 77-64.
Demetrius Jackson scored 17 points and V.J. Beachem added 15 points for the Irish.
”They’ve got older players that play with poise. They always have five guys on the floor that can score,” Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. ”Tonight they got something from everybody.”
The Irish shot 10-of-22 on 3-pointers, and Auguste said that was critical to open him up inside.
”We’re a very unselfish team. Our offense is great when it is flowing,” Auguste said.
Jaron Blossomgame scored a career-best 30 for the Tigers, who likely fell all the way off the NCAA tournament bubble. Their chances of climbing back on with an impressive win are dwindling. Five of Clemson’s last six regular season games are against teams in the bottom four of the ACC.
Auguste dominated despite foul trouble in the first half. He and his teammates also frustrated Clemson’s big men. Starting center Landry Nnoko was 0-for-1 with three points and four rebounds in 28 minutes. His backup, Sidy Djitte, was 1-for-3 with two points and one rebound. He had four fouls in 10 minutes.
Notre Dame also started out the game hot, getting back-to-back 3-poiners from Beachem, a layup by Auguste and another 3 from Jackson to take a 11-2 lead just over four minutes into the game.
It was Clemson’s first ACC loss in its home-away-from-home in Greenville at the Bon Secours Wellness Center.