A win is good for the heart anytime, but especially on Valentine’s Day, and Clemson gave its fans a sweet one Tuesday night at Littlejohn Coliseum.
The Tigers pulled away late in the second half for a 60-48 win over 22nd ranked Virginia avenging a loss last month at Charlottesville. The Tigers improve to 13-12 overall and 5-6 in the ACC with their second straight win. The Cavaliers fall to 19-6 and 6-5 in league play.
And its no surprise the Tigers’ won at home on Valentine’s Day. They are now 16-4 on their home floor on that day. That’s the most wins for Clemson basketball on any day of the calendar.
Clemson clamped down on ACC Player of the Year candidate Mike Scott holding him to 13 points, four below his average, thanks to strong defense from Devin Booker and his teammates. Scott managed 11 shots but went thru long stretches in the second half without touching the ball.
AUDIO: Devin Booker post game interview
Booker also came alive offensively in the second half. After being shutout in the first twenty minutes, he had 10 points and 4 rebounds over the final 20 minutes.
The game was tied at the half at 24 and remained close thru most of the second half. With eight minutes to go, Clemson led 44-41, but the Tigers scored the next eight points for a 52-41 lead. The Cavaliers never got closer than eight points the rest of the way.
Andre Young and Tanner Smith led the Tigers with 13 points each. Young added three assists and two steals and Smith had four assists and four steals. The Tigers had 14 steals on the night as part of 18 Virginia turnovers. Clemson had 19 points off those turnovers.
AUDIO: Andre Young post game interview
Jontel Evans led Virginia with 17 points. Despite shooting 50% from the floor, the Cavs were just 3-16 on three pointers, and they took just one foul shot. The last time a Clemson opponent took just one free throw was South Florida in 1985.
AUDIO: Brad Brownell post game press conference
AUDIO: Tony Bennett post game press conference
The Tigers play at North Carolina Saturday, where, of course, they have never won. Virginia, which has lost three of its last four, returns home to face Maryland.