Clemson’s men’s basketball team held off Virginia Tech 51-50 in Littlejohn Coliseum on Saturday night in a game that came down to the wire. With a 3-pointer by Hunter Tyson with just 12 seconds left on the clock, the Tigers found a way to win the game despite some inconsistent play throughout the night.
The game was tied up at 44 with around five minutes left on the clock after Clemson missed a few costly, long 3-pointers. At this point in the game, the Tigers were just 13% from beyond the arc, which was not enough to maintain the lead.
With 2:47 left on the clock, Virginia Tech starting guard Hunter Cattoor made a 3-pointer that proved to be costly for the Tigers, as the Hokies took the lead. Cattoor, who contributed 6 points to the Hokies’ 50 points, came up clutch when Virginia Tech needed him most.
However, even with less than one minute on the clock, PJ Hall found the basket to limit the Hokies’ lead to just one point.
With 14 seconds left on the clock, the Tigers called timeout. It was after the timeout that Tyson found a perfect opening for a 3-pointer that sealed the win for the Tigers and advanced their impressive ACC record to 8-1.
The Tigers held the lead for most of the first half until less than four minutes left in the half. Led by Hall, who had 10 points and five rebounds in the first half, the Tigers held a six-point lead at one point. That lead eventually vanished due to some inconsistent play on both sides of the ball.
With just over three minutes left in the first half, Virginia Tech went on an 8-0 run, which allowed the Hokies to take a 31-26 lead heading into the half. The Hokies, led by center Lynn Kid, who contributed 10 points in the game, found their footing on offense and benefitted from an inconsistent shooting performance by Clemson as the first half progressed.
Clemson shot just 33.3% from the field in the first half. The Tigers were 2 of 9 from beyond the arc, which allowed the Hokies to find their way back into the game. Virginia Tech had the edge over Clemson with a 42.9% shooting percentage from the field in the first half.
Even with the Hokies finding their rhythm on the court, the Tigers didn’t help themselves, falling into an over four-minute scoring drought up until the final seconds of the half.
However, the Tigers attempted to get the momentum back on their side at the outset of the second half. Early in the half, Clemson went on a 7-0 run, and with 16 minutes left on the clock, the Tigers tied the game up at 33-33.
Hall, a junior, was the offensive leader of the night, making 7 of 15 and scoring 20, which was his third consecutive game with an over 20-point performance. Hall contributed both on the leaderboard and racking up some rebounds to put the Tigers on the offensive in the second half.
With 12 points, Tyson showed up as a veteran for the Tigers, helping the team build their postseason resume and rebound from the loss at Wake Forest.
Even with a 38% shooting percentage from the field, the Tigers found just enough to get the edge over the Hokies.
Next up for Clemson is a matchup against Georgia Tech at Littlejohn Coliseum on Jan. 24 at 9 p.m.
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