Losing Streak Continues As Virginia Tech Falls At No. 19 Clemson, 51-50

Lynn Kidd had 10 points for Virginia Tech in his return to Clemson, but the Hokies fell short. (Virginia Tech sports photography)

Hunter Cattoor had a look at the end of the game off a screen for Virginia Tech and Mike Young, but his 3-pointer fell short. After leading for much of Saturday evening’s game in Littlejohn Coliseum, the Hokies lost to No. 19 Clemson by one, 51-50.

Tech controlled the game for much of the second half and had a two-point cushion with 21 seconds remaining after Grant Basile knocked down one-of-two free throws. But the Tigers ran an inbounds play to Hunter Tyson, who pump faked and got Cattoor in the air before drilling the go-ahead three.

It was a very even game, one with plenty of defense and a few offensive spurts. In the end, though, the Hokies (11-8, 1-7 ACC) came out on the losing end for the seventh straight time. It’s the program’s first seven-game losing streak since 2014-15 under Buzz Williams.

PJ Hall posted 20 points (7-of-15) and eight rebounds for league-leaders Clemson (16-4, 8-1 ACC). Tyson was the only other player in double figures with 12. The Tigers played without starting point guard Chase Hunter, and his loss showed – they finished with 17 turnovers to eight assists.

On the other side, Grant Basile led Virginia Tech with 13 points. Former Clemson big man Lynn Kidd added 10. Justyn Mutts contributed eight. That trio made 12 of its 22 shots (54.5%).

However, the backcourt of Sean Pedulla (seven points, 2-of-13), Hunter Cattoor (six points, 2-of-8), Darius Maddox (zero points, 0-of-6) and MJ Collins (six points, 2-of-3) was a combined 6-of-30 (20%) from the floor. It’s the first time all season that Pedulla failed to reach double figures.

Mike Young and the Hokies were in the game until the end but came up short. (Virginia Tech sports photography)

Tech was abysmal on the offensive end in the second half. After shooting 43% in the first 20 minutes, it started the second period 2-of-18 from the field through the first 14 minutes. Yet, it was still in the game. And a 3-pointer from Collins with 5:47 remaining cut the deficit to two points, 44-42.

That sparked an 8-0 run that helped the Hokies retake the lead, and they were in the driver’s seat heading into the final minutes. But after trading baskets, Tyson’s three gave the Tigers the lead for good.

Tech closed the first half on an 8-1 run over the final four minutes and led 31-26 at intermission. Clemson countered with some heavy runs after recess, though, of 7-0 and 8-0. Over the first 13 minutes of the second half, the Tigers outscored the Hokies 18-8.

Tech hung around, though, and had a chance at the end when it mattered. But Cattoor’s shot came up short, and despite Pedulla grabbing an offensive rebound, he couldn’t put it back up.

After losing to the Tigers on Jan. 4 in Cassell Coliseum, it’s the first time ever that Clemson has swept Virginia Tech in two meetings in a season.

The Hokies have to turn the page quickly as a matchup with Duke (14-5, 5-3 ACC) looms on Monday night. It’s a 7 p.m. ET clash on ESPN. Tech’s home for a good while, too – four of its next five games (Syracuse, Virginia and Boston College) are at home. The only road trip is one to Miami on Tuesday, Jan. 31.

Box Score: Link 

16 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. I rewatched some of the ACC touney. Maddox shot seems different. 1) not as smooth of a release, 2) release point seems lower; 3) seems to have developed a “hitch” in release. And, when he misses his body language changes, appearing to lose swagger. Painful to watch. The Rice injury is a killer. I think I would play Mutts at the 3 spot & go “big”.

  2. After a good shooting performance against what is normally regarded as one of the best defensive teams in the country (UVA), we lay an offensive egg. Yes, they played good defense but come on. So much for being back with the return of Hunter. Take Collins 2/3 out and HC, SP and DM combine for 4/27. This is getting ridiculous. Probably could have gotten a better 2-point shot. Didn’t need a 3. Did I read that MY misread the scoreboard and thought we needed a 3?

    Was at the game and HC had a monster ice pack on his elbow when he got on the bus.

  3. Should have been a foul on the part back attempt as time expired. But the refs we more interested in self-preservation than calling it right.

  4. Somehow I just knew that with 10.8 to go and us having a chance to win the game with any made basket that we were going to pass it around the arc and jack up a 3. That works maybe 1 time out of 10.

    19 points in the 2nd half. Outscored again at the free throw line for the margin of victory or more.

    MY has now tied Pry’s record for consecutive losses.

  5. Clemson’s “D” was not allowing us to get high quality looks. The shooting percentage of our backcourt was directly due to Clemson’s “D”. Our “D” played better than it has lately – we just need to put it all together.

  6. The basketball is taking funny bounces – a la a football – all across the country this season. Look what happened to Kansas Yesterday at TCU. Recently Iowa was a 31.5 point favorite and lost at home. Kentucky looks great – except for its W-L record. Etc., etc., etc..

    Maybe VT was lucky to win the ACC last season – and unlucky to be in this losing streak.

    Gotta admit that it was another painful experience to watch a win slip through the teams hands.

    1. Very painful. But gotta keep working hard to get better and hopefully make good on this homestand. Sometimes you just gotta work thru adversity.

    1. You are correct. And a loss is a loss. But if there is a silver lining, it’s that we have played quite badly and still been in every game. I mean, our back court has had plenty of shots they should be making. It’s almost like getting the yips in golf. Just ain’t going in. But we are what our record is 100%.

  7. Hmmm. 20% from floor but it seemed like they all would have shots and then pull back to take a longer shot with. Those first looks cant be worse than 20%

  8. Painful. At one point in the second half we had five straight offensive possessions without getting up a single shot. Guard play has to get much better or we may not win again. Maddox is so lost he was benched in crunch time. I never expected such futility.
    Beat Duke!

    1. Unfortunately I did. Wish I was wrong.

      Expect another loss Monday night,

      But it’s ok, it’s just a game.

      Would be nice to see them play to what we thought was their potential!

Comments are closed.