A last-minute rally fell short as Clemson (5-1, 0-1) suffered its first loss of the season due to a sluggish start in Blacksburg, Va., Tuesday. Virginia Tech held the Tigers to 38% shooting from the floor for the game and just 33% in the first half in a 66-60 victory. Clemson did find the energy to pull within two on an Aamir Simms layup with 25 seconds left, but the Hokies put the game away at the foul line with four consecutive free throws. Virginia Tech made Clemson pay at the stripe throughout the game, knocking down 25 of 31 free throw attempts. Al-Amir Dawes (18) and Simms (15) were the only Tigers to finish in double-figures.
Brad Brownell noted that his team didn’t have its usual energy in the opening minutes, “I give Virginia Tech a lot of credit. They were ready and looked energized. I was nervous about it. That was a hard game with Alabama on Saturday , and we just didn’t quite have our usual pace tonight …. We didn’t have as much juice as we had the previous five games.”
Clemson returns to action against Morehead State at Littlejohn Coliseum, next Tuesday, at 2 p.m.