Hokies Fall at Clemson 69-60

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Virginia Tech lost to Clemson 69-60 on the road on Saturday afternoon, dropping their record to 19-10 overall and 9-7 in the ACC. They will be either the #5 or #6 seed in next week’s ACC Tournament. Clemson is now 20-10 overall, 9-7 in conference play, and they will receive a first round bye in the ACC Tournament.

Clemson controlled this game from start to finish. The Hokies never led, and the game was never tied except for the 0-0 start. Tech started just 1-of-6 from the field, and committed six turnovers in the same span as the Tigers were able to jump out to a big lead. Clemson hit three early three-pointers and got up 11-6, and then threw down three consecutive dunks to extend their lead to 17-6.

The Clemson guards were able to get penetration for most of the game, and Tech’s help defense left something to be desired on the inside. The Hokies were able to rally and cut the Clemson lead to 34-30 heading into halftime, but they couldn’t sustain the momentum, and the Tigers were never seriously challenged throughout the course of the second half.

Malcolm Delaney had 19 points for the Hokies, while Terrell Bell had 10 points and 11 rebounds. Manny Atkins came off the bench to give Tech a spark, scoring nine points, drawing a key charge, and coming up with several loose balls. However, Atkins is still somewhat suspect with his help defense, and Tigers were able to exploit it a few times.

Jeff Allen had nine points and five rebounds, but seven of his points came from the free throw line. He was just 1-of-5 from the field, and he also committed eight turnovers, including seven in the first half, when the Hokies have 14 turnovers. Erick Green was 2-of-13 from the field and scored seven points. Delaney, who started the game 4-of-8 from the field, finished 5-of-14.

The Hokies made just 18-of-59 shots in this game for 30.5%. Clemson was 24-of-49, good for 49%. Virginia Tech was 18-of-23 (78.3%) from the free throw line, and they were able to avoid getting blown out because of their success from the charity stripe.

Clemson had four players in double figures: Jerai Grant (17), Demontez Stitt (15), Devin Booker (14) and Andre Young (11). The Tigers had exceptional ball movement all game long, dishing out 19 assists on 24 made baskets. Meanwhile, the Hokies had twice as many turnovers (18) as assists (9).

If Boston College defeats Wake Forest tomorrow, the Hokies will be the #6 seed in the ACC Tournament and will face #11 seed Georgia Tech at approximately 9pm on Thursday night. If Wake upsets BC, the Hokies will be the #5 seed. In that scenario, they would face #12 Wake Forest at approximately 2pm on Thursday afternoon.

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