Blossomgame has 20 as Clemson beats Syracuse 74-73 in OT

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) Jaron Blossomgame and Landry Nnoko combined for 11 of Clemson's 13 points in overtime to lead the Tigers to a 74-73 win over Syracuse on Tuesday night.

Trevor Cooney stole an inbounds pass in the closing seconds but missed a 3-pointer from the corner that would have given the Orange the lead.

Blossomgame led the Tigers (9-6, 2-1 ACC) with 20 points. Nnokomo equaled his career high with 19 and snared 10 rebounds before fouling out in the extra period.

Michael Gbinije led Syracuse (10-6, 0-3) with 22 points, while freshman Malachi Richardson scored a career-high 21.

Syracuse has not started a season 0-3 in league play since 1996-97 as a member of the Big East Conference.

It was the final game as interim coach for Syracuse's Mike Hopkins. Jim Boeheim returns Wednesday after serving a nine-game suspension imposed by the NCAA.

Blossomgame's lay-in gave the Tigers a 65-63 lead a minute into the overtime, but Richardson-s 3-pointer gave the Orange its only lead in the extra session at 66-65 with 3:01 to go.

A three-point play by Nnoko gave Clemson a 70-66 lead, and the Tigers survived the tense final seconds.

A 3-pointer by Tyler Lydon brought Syracuse to 74-73 with 12 seconds to go. Cooney then stole the inbounds pass, lost it briefly with a bad pass before Gbinije corraled it to set up Cooney's potential game-winning 3.

Gabe DeVoe's 3-pointer from the corner with 11 seconds left in regulation forced the overtime after Richardson appeared to have lifted the Orange to a thrilling come-from-behind win.

Richardson scored the last six Syracuse points in regulation, including a desperation 3-pointer over a double team in the corner with no time left on the shot clock to give the Orange a 61-58 lead with 18 seconds to go, setting up DeVoe's heroics.

Richardson missed the second of two free throws with 18 seconds left that would have given Syracuse a four-point lead and rendered DeVoe's shot moot.

The teams traded buckets for much of the second half. Gbinije's 3-pointer, his third of the game on nine attempts, pulled Syracuse to 50-48 with 9:02 to go. Another 3-pointer by Gbinije with 5:50 left gave Syracuse its first lead, 51-50, since 7-2 early in the first half.

The teams then went back and forth. Richardson's two free throws gave Syracuse a 57-56 with 1:57 remaining.

Boeheim, who was suspended after a long NCAA investigation into the athletic department that uncovered academic violations in men's basketball, returns to the sidelines Saturday night when the Orange host No. 6 North Carolina. Hopkins compiled a 4-5 record.

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TIP-INS:

Clemson: Clemson had not won on the road before Tuesday, going 0-3. ... Blossomgame ranks in the top 20 in the ACC in scoring and rebounding. ...The Tigers were making 35 percent of their 3-point attempts and hitting 8.1 per game from beyond the arc. They finished 8 of 17 against Syracuse. ... Clemson is third in the ACC in scoring defense and leads the conference in blocked shots.

Syracuse: Freshman guard Franklin Howard missed his second consecutive game due to an undisclosed illness. ... Gbinije was hoping to rebound from a 3-for-14, 0-for-7 from the 3 performance at Miami. He finished 7 of 19 and 4 of 13 on 3s. Prior to Tuesday, Gbinije was just 1-of-11 shooting from the 3 and 9-of-19 from the foul line in the previous two games, losses at Pitt and Miami. .Gbinije has scored in double digits every game.

UP NEXT:

Syracuse hosts North Carolina Saturday night.

Clemson is home Sunday against Louisville.

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AP College Basketball Website: www.collegebasketball.ap.org

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