116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
NICEVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Patrick McCaffrey scored 21 points and No. 25 Iowa held off Clemson, 74-71, on Friday night to reach the Emerald Coast Classic championship game.
Iowa (5-0) will face the TCU-California winner in the title game Saturday. Clemson (4-2) will play the TCU-California loser.
Tony Perkins scored eight of his 11 points during the final two minutes, making a layup and six of six free throws to help squelch the Tigers’ threat.
The Hawkeyes had a 14-point lead with just under eight minutes to play, but Clemson tied it at 62 on a 3-pointer by Breven Galloway that capped a 16-2 run.
Chase Hunter hit a 3-pointer for Clemson to cut it to 72-71 with 4.1 seconds left. Perkins iced it with two free throws with 1.5 seconds to go.
McCaffery hit seven of 14 shots from the field. Kris Murray was the only other double-figure scorer for Iowa with 10.
Hunter led Clemson with 21 points and Hunter Tyson had 13.
Iowa: The victory kept Iowa undefeated and could help secure its tenuous position in the AP Top 25, but the Hawkeyes probably need to win the tournament title to stay there. They were unranked in the preseason poll, but last week grabbed the 25th slot as Michigan, Dayton and TCU, their possible opponent in the Emerald Coast title game, dropped out after suffering a one-point loss to Northwestern State of Louisiana.
Clemson: The loss was the second in as many games against Power 5 teams this season for Clemson and the first to a ranked team. The Tigers also fell to in-state rival South Carolina 60-58 on Nov. 11.