Earning Stripes: Duke Men’s Basketball Survives Clemson in Last-Gasp Victory

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In a nail-biting showdown on Saturday afternoon, the 12th-ranked Duke Blue Devils managed to secure a thrilling 72-71 victory over the Clemson Tigers, keeping their perfect record intact at 2-0. The game’s intensity reached its peak in the final moments, with Tyrese Proctor’s last-gasp free throws proving to be the decisive factor.

Head coach Jon Scheyer expressed his pride in the team’s performance, emphasizing the resilience and determination displayed by the Blue Devils. The game was a rollercoaster, with Clemson holding a four-point lead with just over two minutes remaining. Jared McCain emerged as a key player for Duke, showcasing his skills with crucial steals and fast-break layups.

The Cameron Crazies erupted as Kyle Filipowski’s layup tied the game, leading to an and-one opportunity that Filipowski successfully converted, leveling the score with 15 seconds on the clock. However, the drama continued as Clemson had possession. In a critical defensive play, Filipowski fouled out, and PJ Hall stepped up to the free-throw line. Hall made both shots, putting Clemson ahead by two points with only seven seconds left.

Enter Tyrese Proctor, who drove through the Tigers’ defense with determination. Faced with immense pressure, Proctor sunk the first free throw to tie the game and then confidently made the second, securing a dramatic 72-71 victory for Duke. Proctor, reflecting on his performance, expressed self-assurance, stating, “I’m the best free-throw shooter in the country.”

Coach Scheyer praised Proctor’s composure, recalling the exchange where he assured the young player, “You got it,” to which Proctor responded, “Gotcha Coach.” The article highlights the pivotal moments that shaped the game, including McCain’s three-pointers and Filipowski’s crucial plays.

Despite Clemson’s resurgence, Duke’s ability to weather the storm and secure the win showcased the team’s resilience. The game also saw a standout performance from Proctor, whose 18 points, including crucial free throws, played a pivotal role in Duke’s success. McCain’s impressive 21 points, with nine coming from beyond the arc, further solidified the Blue Devils’ victory.

Looking ahead, Duke faces Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., followed by a highly anticipated matchup against archrival North Carolina. The article captures the essence of a hard-fought victory, encapsulating the highs and lows of a thrilling college basketball contest.

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