Clemson basketball loses 21st straight road game to Duke on free throw in final second

Clemson’s futility at Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium continued Saturday as the Tigers dropped a 72-71 decision to the Blue Devils.

Duke's Tyrese Proctor made two free throws with .6 of a second remaining to provide the final margin.

Clemson hasn’t won on Duke’s home court since 1995 – 29 years and 21 games ago.

“It’s hard to win here for a lot of reasons, it really is, and tonight was an example of that,” Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. “I think a lot of people in the room, on the court, get caught up in the emotion of the game, and I thought that happened tonight. Really disappointed with how it ended. Give the Duke kids credit for being aggressive and taking it to the basket, but that’s really poor. That’s poor.”

Brownell, who is in his 14th season as the Tigers’ coach, is winless in eight games at the venerable venue.

"It was a tough day all day," Brownell said. "We had a hard time manufacturing baskets. It was a battle, but I kept telling them I think we have a real chance today, fellas. I think we're gonna win this game. We made some big plays and some big shots."

The loss was the fifth in seven games for Clemson (13-6, 3-5 ACC), which began the season 11-1. No. 12 Duke (15-4, 6-2) has won 10 of its past 11 games.

Clemson led 69-65 with 1:33 remaining but turned the ball over on three consecutive possessions, opening the door for the Blue Devils. Kyle Filipowski gave Duke a 70-69 lead with 15.2 seconds left with an old-fashioned three-point play, but PJ Hall’s free throws with 7.4 seconds remaining provided a one-point lead for Clemson.

Proctor provided the heroics after getting fouled to secure the win.

Some calls by officials questioned by Brownell

Several questionable calls by the officials weighed heavily on Brownell. His teams have now lost three games by two points or less at Cameron Indoor Stadium and he had a difficult time digesting some of the officiating he witnessed on Saturday.

“It’s a hard one, I’m not gonna lie to you,” Brownell said. “I’m angry, trying to watch what I say here a little bit, but, yeah, the game felt like it was taken from us a little bit at the end.”

It appeared Proctor should have been whistled for a traveling violation while attempting to drive to Clemson’s basket with less than one second remaining, but instead wound up on the free throw line.

A first-half technical foul called against the Tigers’ Jack Clark also appeared questionable at best. Clark simply tossed the ball to a Duke player out of bounds after a made shot by the Tigers.

“They said he shoved the ball into him,” Brownell said. “It’s really perplexing, really frustrating.”

Clemson gets lift off the bench for second straight game

The Tigers continue to get production off the bench. After getting 28 bench points in last Saturday’s win at Florida State, the trend continued against Duke with 20 points from the reserves.

RJ Godfrey led the way, scoring seven points and adding four rebounds and three assists. Josh Beadle contributed six points and two assists, and Dillon Hunter scored four points. Clark came off the bench to add three points, three rebounds, one assist and a steal.

“RJ was terrific,” Brownell said. “We have some athletes. They bring a little juice, some athleticism defensively. It gives us a different look. I’m proud of those guys. They’ve done a lot of good things here recently and they’re a real key to us finishing the season the way we all want to.”

Clemson gets another solid game from Chase Hunter

Chase Hunter continued is strong play of late, which is precisely what this team needs from its senior guard heading into the season's home stretch.

Hunter scored 11 points, including a driving layup that gave Clemson a 65-63 lead with 3:41 remaining. His penetration was key, and it marked Hunter’s third consecutive game in double figures and sixth in his past eight games.

He also had four rebounds and two assists. Hunter has made 30 of his most recent 34 free throw attempts.

This article originally appeared on Greenville News: Clemson basketball's upset bid against No. 12 Duke falls short