CLEMSON: Clemson shoots down No. 16 Duke 72-59 - WRBL

Clemson shoots down No. 16 Duke 72-59

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CLEMSON, S.C. -

K.J. McDaniels scored 24 points and Jaron Blossomgame had career highs with 14 points and 14 rebounds as Clemson defeated No. 16 Duke 72-59 Saturday, the Blue Devils second straight Atlantic Coast Conference road loss.
    
Duke (12-4, 1-2 ACC) led 36-26 late in the first half before the Tigers (11-4, 2-1) put together a 37-18 run over the next 14 minutes to take control. Blossomgame's second 3-pointer of the half put Clemson ahead for good, 57-54, and Adonis Filer followed moments later with a driving layup to increase the lead.
    
Duke cut things to 59-57 on Quinn Cook's three, but McDaniels hit a twisting layup and got fouled for a three-point play to restore Clemson's margin.
    
The Tigers gradually built the lead to 69-59 with 2:06 go and Duke could not respond.
    
Rodney Hood led the Blue Devils with 20 points. Jabari Parker scored 15, only five after halftime.
    
Landry Nnoko also had a double-double for Clemson with 10 points and 13 rebounds. The Tigers had dropped their past five games with Duke.
    
Clemson pushed the pace from the start of the second half. Rod Hall, who hadn't scored in the first half, had three straight driving layups to cut Duke's lead to 40-38. Hall finished with 11 points.
    
Duke also lost its shooting touch. The Blue Devils made just eight of 32 shots in the second half and could not keep up with Clemson's defense.
    
Blossomgame, a freshman, bettered his career marks of nine points set against Massachusetts and nine rebounds set against Davidson, both games coming last month at the Charleston Classic.
    
Duke entered the week with its lowest ranking in six years and rebounded with a 79-57 victory at home over Georgia Tech on Tuesday night. But the Blue Devils were back on the road where prized freshman Parker struggled in 79-77 loss at Notre Dame last Saturday.  He had just seven points, the first time he'd failed to break double digits this season.
    
Parker took care of that issue early, hitting a pair of 3-pointers and collecting 10 points in the first six minutes as the Blue Devils moved in front 15-11. Parker missed the only two other shots he took as Clemson's best-in-the-nation defense clamped down on Duke.
    
Still, the Blue Devils methodical style gradually pushed the lead to 36-26 when Clemson went without a field goal for nearly six minutes late in the period.
    
That's when McDaniels hit a 3-pointer and Harrison followed with a jam to cut the lead in half. Amile Jefferson made one of two foul shots to send Duke to the locker room with a 37-31.
    
When Parker's production slowed down, Hood picked it up with 11 points down the stretch.
    
While it the Tigers were down, the offensive showing was a big improvement from two nights earlier when they were held to 30 percent shooting in a 56-41 home loss to Florida State. Clemson made 42 percent of its shots and had just seven turnovers against Duke's pressure.
    
The sold-out crowd at Littlejohn Coliseum got a treat at halftime when the football team came out and posed with its Orange Bowl trophy. The football Tigers finished with their second straight 11-win season and finished ranked eighth in the final AP poll.

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