College Hoops

I’m One of the Best FT Shooters in the Country: Tyrese Proctor on His Game-Winning Free Throws Versus Clemson (Video)

DURHAM, NC: Duke sophomore Tyrese Proctor hit two three throws with .4 seconds remaining the game, to give his squad a 72-71 victory over Clemson at Cameron Indoor Stadium Saturday afternoon.

The foul call against Josh Beadle wasn’t without controversy, as Clemson head coach Brad Brownell closed his postgame presser by saying the game was taken from them.

None of that was on Proctor’s mind when he stepped to the line for those shots. The only thing he was thinking about is how he’s the best free throw shooter in the country.

“I was just talking to myself knowing I was going to make both of them,” Proctor said when I asked him what was going through his mind right before the shots. “I know I haven’t been shooting free throws that well this season. I know I’m one of the best free throw shooters in the country and I just took my time and knocked them both in.”

“That’s a tough moment to be in,” Duke head coach Jon Scheyer said. “It’s a moment you dream about being in. You get a chance to win the game down one with a second to go, but he was cool as could be. I just believed those were going in with everything I had. Both of them hardly touched the rim.”

No. 12 Duke (15-4, 6-2 ACC) plays Virginia Tech (13-7, 5-4 ACC) on Big Monday at Cassell Coliseum. The game on Jan. 29 tips off at 7 p.m. on ESPN.

Game Notes

  • With Duke trailing 69-65 and 2:03 remaining in the contest, the Blue Devils recorded steals on four straight possessions, including three in-a-row by Jared McCain, resulting in a 5-0 run to take a 70-69 advantage with 15 seconds left.
  • The Blue Devils have now won 21 consecutive home games against Clemson, dating back to 1995. Duke leads the all-time series with the Tigers, 115-33.
  • The Blue Devils’ defense held Clemson to 71 points, 9.7 below its season average of 80.7 points. The Blue Devils have now held 17 of their 19 opponents below their respective scoring average.
  • The ACC battle experienced 11 ties and 12 lead changes, with the final lead change via a pair of free throws by Duke sophomore guard Tyrese Proctor with one second remaining.
  • Duke opened the contest with its sixth different starting lineup this season, and the first consisting of only freshmen and sophomores.
  • Mark Mitchell scored 10 first-half points, securing his 28th career game with at least 10 points. Mitchell finished with 13 points on 3-of-6 shooting and 6-of-8 from the free-throw line.
  • The Blue Devils are now 26-2 in games that the sophomore reaches the 10-point threshold.
  • Tyrese Proctor went 4-of-6 from beyond the arc en route to 18 total points. The sophomore has scored at least 10 points in each of Duke’s last four games, averaging 17.5 points across that stretch.
  • Jared McCain scored a game-high 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting – including three 3-pointers – and poured in 16 second-half points with 11 of those points coming in the final 12 minutes. McCain has scored 20 points or more in five of the last 11 outings.

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