Clemson hurts post-season hopes with loss
For all the good Clemson did in its victory over Florida State last Saturday, it might have undone it all with a loss 70-58 at Virginia Tech Wednesday at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg.
The Tigers once again struggled to shoot the basketball on the road, as Virginia used a 13-0 run at the midway point of the second half to seize control of the game and never looked back.
The win snapped the Hokies four-game losing streak. The loss took a major blow to Clemson’s post-season dreams considering Virginia had lost 10 of its last 12 games prior to Wednesday.
The Hokies (16-14, 7-12 ACC) were led by P.J. Horne’s 17 points. Not only was Horne deadly from behind the arc where he hit 4-of-6 shots, but he also had five steals on the defensive end of the court. Tyrece Radford added 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting.
Clemson (15-14, 9-10 ACC) was led by Tevin Mack’s 12 points. The Tigers top scorer and rebounder was held to five points and turned the basketball over four times.
The Tigers fell to 2-14 in games in which it failed to score 70 or more points this season. Clemson shot just 35.1 percent from the field and was 9-of-35 from three-point range. The Tigers were just 20-of-57 overall from the field.
Clemson led 42-41 following a Tevin Mack three-pointer with 13:59 to play, but it did not score for the next four minutes and 16 seconds as the Hokies went on a 13-0 run to take a 54-41 lead. The Tigers never recovered as Virginia Tech led by a many as 16 points down the stretch.
The Tigers opened the game by hitting three straight threes to build a 9-2 lead, but the Hokies rallied with an 8-0 to take a 10-9 advantage. Both squads went back and forth in the opening half, but Virginia Tech had a late surge to take a 30-25 lead at the break.
Mack’s three-pointer with 16:37 left, capped a 7-0 run for the Tigers early in the second half, while giving them a 35-34 lead. The two teams traded the lead on seven consecutive possessions after that, but Jalen Cone’s three-pointer with 13:36 to go gave the Hokies the lead for good at 44-42. That was the start of their 13-0 run to gain control of the game.
Coupled with its Nov. 5 win at Clemson, Virginia Tech swept the Tigers for just the second time in a season in basketball.
Clemson will host Georgia Tech in its season finale on Friday from Littlejohn Coliseum at 7 p.m.