CLEMSON -- Hunter Tyson's motivational halftime speech Tuesday night was directed as much toward himself as his Clemson basketball teammates.
The Tigers trailed Penn State by six and Tyson, their senior leader and second-best scorer, had none. He then took his words to heart.
Tyson finished with 24 points, including crucial buckets during the final minutes of the second overtime as Clemson pulled away for a 101-94 victory as a part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge at Littlejohn Coliseum.
"Our competitive fight as a unit (in the first half) was not where it needed to be," Tyson said. ".... I just found opportunities after halftime and I tried to take full advantage."
Tyson was 7-for-11 shooting, including 3-for-4 on 3-pointers, and added nine rebounds with three assists. P.J. Hall had 22 points and Alex Hemenway 15 on 4-for-6 from long range.
Clemson (6-2) will play host to Wake Forest in the ACC opener Friday (7 p.m., BSSO).
"The leadership and toughness and will to win inside Hunter Tyson," Clemson coach Brad Brownell said, "that's part of the reason why we won. He wouldn't let our guys lose. He tried to give us confidence in every huddle and every timeout."
Clemson missed 10 free throws through regulation and overtime but went 9-for-10 in the second extra period to seal the victory. Tyson was 1-for-2 at the line with 10.6 ticks remaining in the second half to leave the Tigers' advantage at 71-68. Andrew Funk of Penn State (6-2) banked in a 3-pointer with 5.2 left to send the game into OT.
"It was heartbreaking, honestly, seeing that go through," Tyson said, "especially because I just missed a free throw a few seconds before. But I knew it wasn't over. We had another chance to fight."
Clemson won despite a rare off-night for leading scorer Chase Hunter, who averages 16.7 points per game but fouled out in the first overtime with seven points after going 1-for-12. His only bucket was a 3-pointer in OT to put the Tigers up, 76-73. He did have five assists and was 4-for-4 from the foul line.
Hall, working his way back from a knee injury, made his first start after coming off the bench for the past six games and played a season-high 24 minutes. Clemson's other post players, Ian Schieffelin and Ben Middlebrooks, both scored eight points. Brevin Galloway scored nine.
Penn State came in ranked ninth nationally in 3-point percentage but was just 11-for-36 while Clemson went 11-for-21. The Nittany Lions, however, were 25-for-29 at the foul line.
Todd Shanesy covers Clemson athletics for the USA TODAY Network.
This article originally appeared on Greenville News: Clemson basketball beats Penn State, 101-94, in double OT