GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) - Al-Amir Dawes scored 18 points, and eighth-seeded Clemson defeated ninth-seeded Miami 69-64 on Wednesday to advance to the quarterfinals of the New York Life Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.
Aamir Simms added 14 points and 10 rebounds and John Newman had 11 points for Clemson, which finished 18 of 19 from the free-throw line.
Five-foot-7 Chris Lykes led Miami with 21 points off the bench including five 3s and DJ Vasiljevic added 17.
In what amounted to a 3-point shooting contest for most of the game, the two teams combined for 58 attempts, making just 18.
Both teams entered with 15-15 records, looking to keep their postseason berths alive.
Miami defeated Clemson 73-68 in overtime on the road on New Year's Eve and this game was every bit as tight with neither team leading by more than seven points until Clemson took over late.
The Tigers outscored Miami 16-11 in the final four minutes.
With the game tied at 53, Curran Scott made two free throws and Dawes added four more to put the Tigers ahead by six. Hunter Tyson then drilled a 3-pointer from the top of the key and Dawes added two more free throws to cap an 11-0 run and give Clemson its biggest lead of the game at 64-53 with 1:04 remaining.
Things got a little scary at the end for Clemson after Isaiah Wong stole an inbounds pass and converted a baseline 3 to cut the lead to 68-64. Miami's Anthony Walker added another steal and was fouled, but missed both free throws with 10 seconds left.
Miami: The Hurricanes lacked an inside game and relied too heavily on long 3s. It caught up to them as they finished just 11 of 36 from beyond the arc.
Clemson: The Tigers are going to live and die by the 3-pointer, so they will have to shoot better than 7 of 22 to move ahead in the ACC Tournament.
Clemson (16-15) advances to Thursday’s noon quarterfinal game versus top-seeded Florida State (25-5). The teams split during the regular season, with FSU winning 72-53 on Dec. 8 in Tallahassee and the Tigers scoring a 70-69 upset of the sixth-ranked Seminoles on Feb. 29 in Clemson.
The Tigers improved to 21-66 all-time in ACC Tournament play and to 2-4 in second-round games. Clemson is 8-26 in tournament games played in Greensboro.
Miami (15-16) slipped to 15-14 all-time in the ACC Tournament and to 9-6 in tournament games played in Greensboro. The Hurricanes are 2-3 in second-round games.
Clemson and Miami are now an even 1-1 in ACC Tournament meetings. Wednesday marked the first time the teams had met in the tournament since 2006. The Tigers now lead the all-time series between the teams, 15-13.
Eighth-seeded teams are now 12-14 versus No. 9 teams in the ACC Tournament, including 3-4 in second-round games.
With his team-high 18 points, Clemson freshman Al-Amir Dawes scored in double figures for the 12th time this season and the fourth time in his last six games.
With 14 points and 10 rebounds, Clemson junior Aamir Simms posted his fourth double-double of the season.
Wednesday marked the first time this season that Miami failed to win after leading at halftime. The Hurricanes had been 14-0 when leading at the half.
Despite wearing a mask to guard a facial laceration near his eye, Miami junior Chris Lykes led all scorers with 21 points while playing 28 minutes, including a 5-for-11 showing from 3-point range. Lykes delivered his sixth 20-point scoring game this season and the 21st of his career.
Playing in his final ACC Tournament game, Hurricanes senior DJ Vasilkevic added 17 points. It marked the 65th double-figure scoring game of his career and 23rd this season.