Clemson, SC (SportsNetwork.com) - K.J. McDaniels had a game-high 24 points and the Clemson Tigers upset the 16th-ranked Duke Blue Devils, 72-59, in an ACC conference tilt at Littlejohn Coliseum.
McDaniels added 10 rebounds and three blocks to help Clemson (11-4, 2-1 ACC) defeat Duke for the first time since 2009. Jaron Blossomgame had a career-high 14 points with 14 boards for the Tigers, who have won three of their last four.
"This was certainly a great team win and I'm really proud of our players for showing a lot of resiliency, not only with the quick turnaround but also from halftime," said Clemson head coach Brad Brownell. "I thought we played exceptionally well in the second half and gained confidence throughout the game on both sides."
Rodney Hood paced Duke (12-4, 1-2 ACC) with 20 points and Jabari Parker had 15 points and seven rebounds in the Blue Devils' second loss in three games.
"From the start you could tell they had a great verve," said Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. "I thought that in the first half we did a good job of countering that, but their physicality and athleticism and determination wore on us."
Hood opened up the second half with a 3-pointer 31 seconds in to give Duke a 40-31 lead. Clemson's Rod Hall quickly answered with three straight layups and a foul shot, however, to ignite a 9-2 run to get the Tigers within two.
Blossomgame hit a free throw and dropped in a three to put the Tigers ahead at 52-50 with just under ten minutes remaining. However, Cook grabbed a loose ball for a steal and drove up the court to dish a behind-the-back pass to Parker, who finished the play with a layup to knot the score.
The two teams traded baskets before Blossomgame made another clutch three and Adonis Filer hit a layup to give Clemson a 59-54 lead with 7:10 remaining.
Parker then hustled to grab a rebound and got the ball to Cook, who stepped back to drain a three to make it a 2-point game.
Cook's triple was Duke's final field goal of the game, as Clemson went on a 13-2 run the rest of the way.
McDaniels swatted away a Rasheed Suliamon layup attempt and Damarcus Harrison was fouled by Parker in transition with a little over five minutes remaining. He made both shots to put Clemson ahead 64-57, and the Tigers pulled away thereafter.
After the Tigers jumped out to a 7-2 lead, Parker hit two threes and Hood followed with one of his own to ignite a 15-4 Duke run.
McDaniels hit a 3-pointer and Harrison dunked to get Clemson within five late in the first half, but Amile Jefferson made 1-of-2 free throws to allow Duke to take a 37-31 lead going into the break.