run the clock down

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run the clock down

In sports, to protect a lead by using up as much possible time that remains in a game or match without giving the opposing team a chance to score, generally by maintaining a passive or defensive strategy. With just a narrow two-point lead, the home team has started to run the clock down to hold on for a win. It seems like a risky strategy, Jim. There's a lot of game time left for them to start running the clock down already.
See also: clock, down, run
References in periodicals archive ?
The game restarted with a minute left and Underbank successfully defused the short kick-off and ran the clock down to the referee's final whistle.
Michigan State (17-8, 8-4) ran the clock down, and Valentine's shot from to the right of the top of the key gave the Spartans a huge boost in their effort to secure an NCAA Tournament bid.
After that Billingham seemed content to play possession hockey and ran the clock down to secure one of their biggest derby wins in recent times.
Defensively we were so sound and we ran the clock down really well at the end.
David exploited the mismatch with Akmad, ran the clock down to the last five seconds and hit the basket after a shoulder fake that left Akmad down on the court.
In the third Test Australia were leading by a point in the final minutes and ran the clock down efficiently by keeping the ball and protecting possession.
It was then a case of Williams taking a pivotal controlling role as Wales ran the clock down during a nerve-jangling final few minutes.
That graft was duly provided by a dogged Newcastle pack, and you could almost smell the desperation as they picked, drove, picked, drove and then picked again - replacement hooker Michael Mayhew providing much of the late ballast as they ran the clock down, second by second.
Referee Garces was doing little to endear himself to the noisy Glasgow crowd, but the home side ran the clock down successfully, despite a late Jones penalty which failed to collect a losing bonus.
Jonas Gutierrez ran the clock down with awesome ball retention, the ball boys were in no hurry to return it back into play and the bloke that leisurely retrieved the ball from the crowd and tossed it 20 yards from where a Watford player was waiting to take a throw from all played their part.
But time ran out as the relieved French ran the clock down.
The score was tied 41-41 when South Eugene got the ball for its final possession with 1:46 remaining, and the Axemen ran the clock down until Marshall drove the right baseline and missed a jump shot with six seconds remaining.
Amsterdam tried to get the equaliser but Blaze ran the clock down.