Notre Dame survives scare at Clemson

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.

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, and Hall followed with
a quick layup.

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.