Dwayne Curtis and Chris Warren both scored 19 points to lead Mississippi to an 85-82 victory over No. 15 Clemson on Saturday night in a matchup of unbeaten teams in the championship game of the San Juan Shootout.
Warren and Curtis, who also grabbed nine rebounds, went a combined 4-for-5 from the free throw line in the final 90 seconds for Mississippi (11-0), which matched the best start in school history.
The Rebels started 11-0 in 1936-37 and 2000-01.
Eniel Polynice and David Huertas both added 14 points for Mississippi.
Terrence Oglesby led Clemson (10-1) with 20 points, including going 5-of-7 from 3-point range, while K.C. Rivers added 19 points and Raymond Sykes had 17.
Warren's layup after a steal by Huertas capped Mississippi's 8-0 run and gave it the lead for good, 80-78 with 2:55 remaining.
Trailing by eight points at halftime, Clemson took its first lead of the second half at 54-53 on a soaring one-handed dunk by Sykes with 13:15 remaining. The Tigers could not keep up their intensity.
Mississippi opened the game on an 8-2 run capped by Polynice's putback of his own rebound. The Rebels went ahead 41-32 on a 3-pointer by Warren with 3:22 to play in the first half and held on for the 48-40 halftime lead. Curtis was 7-for-7 from the field in the first half when Mississippi outscored the Tigers 34-18 in the paint.
A cheering section of family and friends of Huertas, a native of Humacao, Puerto Rico, gave Mississippi the edge in crowd support inside the nearly empty stadium in this suburb of San Juan.
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