Clemson holds off Alabama 67-54

Clemson guard Shelton Mitchell scores against Alabama in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016, in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – Shelton Mitchell scored 18 points and grabbed five rebounds Sunday as Clemson defeated Alabama 67-54.

Alabama (5-5) narrowed Clemson’s lead to 11 points or less three times over the final 12 minutes. Clemson’s Gabe Devoe responded by sinking 3-pointers the first two times to maintain the double-digit advantage for the Tigers (8-2), but his answering shot missed the third time and Alabama cut the lead down to nine points for the first time during the second half.

Clemson held on, responding to the Crimson Tide’s late 7-0 run with a layup from Mitchell who also sank four free throws over the final minute of the game.

Devoe finished with 11 points to join Mitchell in double figures for Clemson.

Avery Johnson Jr. came off the bench for the Crimson Tide to score a career-high 17 points.