CLEMSON, S.C. -- Evan Smotrycz had a career-high 18 points and Michigan won an ACC/Big Ten Challenge game for the first time in five years with 69-61 victory at Clemson on Tuesday night.
The Wolverines (4-2) had lost four straight in the conference's annual matchups. This time, though, they used freshman Smotrycz and Tim Hardaway Jr. to build a big lead that Clemson (5-2) could not overcome.Smotrycz had a 3-pointer and a pair of three-point plays as Michigan took a 36-16 lead. The Tigers cut the lead to 45-37 before Jordan Morgan scored six consecutive points to restore Michigan's edge. The Wolverines improved to 4-0 all-time against Clemson.Andre Young led the Tigers with 14 points.It was just the second time in six games Smotrycz scored in double figures. He made 6 of 7 shots and chipped in six rebounds. Tim Hardaway Jr., son of the former NBA all-star, added 15 points.Young had four 3-pointers for Clemson.These teams hadn't met since the 2009 NCAA tournament when the Wolverines took a 62-59 first-round victory. Perhaps the most memorable thing about that one for Tigers fans was the ejection of 3-point shooter Terrence Oglesby for crash-landing an elbow into Stu Douglass's face.Some in the crowd hadn't forgotten, shouting at Douglass, one of two remaining Wolverines from that matchup, after one hard foul.Tigers forward Tanner Smith said earlier this week the team hoped to give the Littlejohn Coliseum crowd something to make them forget last Saturday's 29-7 football loss to rival South Carolina. Instead, Michigan showed how far Brad Brownell's program still has to go against power teams.Hardaway hit consecutive 3s to put the Wolverines up 16-7 less than 7 minutes in. Fellow freshman Smotrycz struck for two three-point plays as Michigan pushed the lead to 32-13.Douglass' easy bucket gave the Wolverines their largest at 36-16 with 3:35 remaining in the half.Meanwhile, little went right for the Tigers, who missed eight straight 3-pointers to end the half. They shot less than 28 percent (8 of 29) and were continually beaten to the basket by the Wolverines.At least Clemson's baseball team enjoyed their part of the game. Those Tigers were given their College World Series rings before tipoff. That included DH/outfielder-quarterback Kyle Parker, who was benched midway through his final home game by football coach Dabo Swinney then didn't come out to take questions.Earlier Tuesday, Parker said he'd stay for Clemson's bowl game. Still, there were a few boos among the cheers when Parker received his jewelry.