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Clemson up next for upset-minded Davidson

Davidson Wildcats head coach Matt McKillop yells down court during the Indy Classic NCAA men   s basketball doubleheader against the Purdue Boilermakers, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022, at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Purdue won 69-61.

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Credit: Alex Martin/Journal and Courier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Davidson will be out to make a statement Sunday when it faces Clemson in the title game of the Asheville (N.C.) Championship.

The Wildcats held off Maryland 64-61 in the tournament opener Friday as freshman Bobby Durkin scored 16 points, including a 3-pointer with 12.7 seconds remaining.

Angelo Brizzi scored 10 points with six steals, and David Skogman added nine points for Davidson (2-0). Brizzi scored four points in a 6-2 run that gave Davidson a 57-49 lead with 3:54 remaining. But Maryland tied the score 61-61 with 37 seconds remaining.

Durkin’s game-winner came after he slid open on the right wing and buried his fourth 3-pointer in five attempts. Maryland missed a 3-point attempt with five seconds remaining.

“I believe that we are doing the right things here as a coaching staff,” Davidson head coach Matt McKillop said. “I believe we are doing the right things with the people we’re trying to bring into this program.”

Clemson (2-0) will enter as the favorite Sunday after holding on for a 77-76 victory over UAB in Friday’s second game at Asheville. The Tigers needed to rally from a nine-point deficit with just under seven minutes remaining to pull off the victory.

Center PJ Hall had 27 points for Clemson on 11-of-18 shooting from the field, while playing 35 minutes. He also had a game-high nine rebounds with three blocked shots. Chase Hunter had 16 points for the Tigers, including two free throws with three seconds remaining to put the Tigers in the lead.

Going back to last season, Hall has 13 consecutive double-digit scoring games. He also has 17 games with at least 20 points for the Tigers during that span.

“This was a hard-fought game and they can kind of make you play ugly at times,” Clemson head coach Brad Brownell said, according to the Greenville (S.C.) News. “I’m proud of our team for just hanging in there. It was a bumper-car type of game.”

Clemson was 6 of 19 from 3-point range against UAB.

“I just kept trying to get our guys to relax,” Brownell said. “Offensively, I thought we were just a little hyper, especially early in the game. … We got a bunch of good shots, we just couldn’t make any.”

–Field Level Media