Despite rough patches, Notre Dame holds on against Clemson

Except for the result, Notre Dame probably will want to forget its game against Clemson.

The shooting left a lot to be desired, and the Tigers were a feisty group eager to snag another home victory,

 against a ranked opponent after doing it against Virginia Tech this season.

 Yet somehow, the Irish hung on long enough to escape with a 57-54 victory.

The Irish (15-2, 6-1) struggled from the field all night, often missing open shots.

 While the Tigers (12-8, 3-5) weren’t much better, they took advantage of their opportunities more in the first half,

leading by as much as nine. All signs pointed to the Irish dropping a game that a team of their stature should not.

Then, they made four unanswered layups at the beginning of the third quarter to go up seven,

 and they mostly controlled the game from there.

Despite playing a better second half, the Irish nearly let the game get away.

With Maddy Westbeld at the free-throw line in the final seconds and her team up three,

 she only needed to make one to all but assure victory. Instead, she missed both,

 and Daisha Bradford got the rebound. Bradford fired a prayer at the buzzer to try,

 and send the game to overtime, but the shot wasn’t that close, and the Irish could exhale.