By Staff Reports.
Clemson wins second straight ACC road game
For the first time in seven years Clemson has won back-to-back road games in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Tigers did so Wednesday night thanks to a 56-49 victory over Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.
Clemson also beat Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Mass., earlier this month. The Tigers move to 3-1 in the ACC and to 12-4 overall. The Tigers scored the game’s last seven points to get the victory.
“We did a good job and we got them to take some tough (shots),” Clemson head coach Brad Brownell said. “It’s one of those things where our guys have to grow. Jaron (Blossomgame), (Landry) Nnoko, we needed to be able to throw the ball inside a little bit more tonight and because we were not able to do that, they made some adjustments against us and made it a little harder for us to do some things with K.J. (McDaniels).
“It wasn’t easy out there.”
Virginia Tech (8-8, 1-3 ACC) tied the game at 49-49 on the three-pointer with a little more than two minutes to play in the game, but guard Adonis Filer drove the lane on the Tigers’ ensuing possession, drew a foul and made the basket to give them the lead for good.
Filer completed the three-point play by making the free throw for a 52-49 edge with a little more than a minute to play in the game. McDaniels, who led Clemson with 14 points, followed with two free throws of his own as did fellow guard Rod Hall to close out the game.
Hall finished with 11 points. Filer, who stepped up big in the second half, had nine points and was 2-2 from behind the three-point line.
“At the end of the half, I felt like I had to have those four guards out there and space so I could make them make plays,” Brownell said. “It was hard. I knew they were going to trap and do some different things, but we had things just spaced enough and Adonis made a great drive and finished. That was a huge three-point play.”
The win was big for the Tigers in a lot of ways. Not only was it the third conference win of the year and the second road conference victory, but Clemson is just the second team in the last two years to follow a win over Duke and win its next ACC game.
ACC Teams were 1-4 in the regular season after beating the Blue Devils before Wednesday night. It also marked the first time since 1997 the Tigers have followed a win over Duke with a victory.
Clemson, who leads the nation in scoring and field goal percentage defense, held the Hokies to 49 points and 41.7 percent shooting. The Tigers, who are also second in the country in three-point percentage defense, held one of the league’s best three-point shooting teams to 31.3 percent shooting from behind the arc.
Virginia Tech was just 5 of 16 from three-point range.
“Our guys had pretty good defensive discipline,” Brownell said. “We had a couple of breakdowns on some things on some of the pick-and-roll game where we did not have any backdoor help and some of that is hard because there are three-point shooters over there so I’ll have to study the film and improve that a little bit.
“We really wanted to keep them out of three-point game. They came in averaging eight and a half and we held them to five and did a prenominal job on Jarrell Eddie.”
Clemson held the Hokies’ top scorer to 1 of 6 shooting and to a season-low three points. Eddie was averaging 16.1 points per game coming in. Freshman guard Devin Wilson led the Hokies with 14 points in the loss.
Virginia Tech took a 36-30 lead with a little more than 12 minutes to go in the game on a Wilson bucket, but the Tigers responded with 10-unanswered points, and then took a 45-40 lead with 6:37 to play after a Hall three-pointer.
“They made a run at us and I think our guys showed a lot of guts by fighting back and finding a way to win,” Brownell said.
The Hokies then rallied to tie the game up with a 9-4 run, but in the end, Filer, Hall and McDaniels were able to put the game away and give the Clemson basketball program only its 11th back-to-back road wins in ACC history.
The Tigers will host Wake Forest at home Saturday with tipoff set for 4 p.m. The game will be televised on the ACC Network.