Balanced effort propels #Clemson over VT on Senior Day (AUDIO)

Al-Amir Dawes was one of four Tigers to finish in double figures, Saturday (Clemson University Athletics)

Story by Nikki Hood

The Clemson seniors – David Collins, Naz Bohannon, and Hunter Tyson – go out in style with a 63-59 victory over Virginia Tech on Senior Day at Littlejohn Coliseum Saturday afternoon.

The win was Clemson’s fourth in a row and snapped a three-game losing streak to Virginia Tech. It was Hokies’ head coach Mike Young’s first loss in the series.

Clemson had four players in double-digit scoring, with PJ Hall – who made his first appearance in nearly four games – netting 12 points, Alex Hemenway scored 11 points, Al-Amir Dawes, and David Collins added ten apiece.

Clemson improves to 16-15 overall and 8-12 in the ACC, while Virginia Tech falls to 19-12 overall and 11-9 in league play. Virginia Tech’s Nahiem Alleyne led all scorers with 17 points, while Justyn Mutts added 15 points.

The Tigers jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead off of a Hunter Tyson three-pointer and David Collins layup, but Virginia Tech kept it to a close 5-4 after four consecutive free throws at the 14:21 mark in the first half.

After Virginia Tech made its first field goal at the 11:52 mark, the teams traded baskets for much of the next 10 minutes. Virginia Tech opened up a 26-19 lead – the Hokies’ first of the game – with 4:41 to play before intermission after the team got hot from beyond the arc, and Clemson went cold, allowing the Hokies to go on an 11-1 run.

Virginia Tech’s lead was as much as nine points at 33-24 with just over a minute to play before halftime, but a 6-0 run by Clemson that began with an Alex Hemenway layup and ended with a Collins drive and right-handed floater in the lane cut the Hokies lead to 33-30 at the half.

A pair of PJ Hall baskets gave Clemson a brief 34-33 lead coming out of halftime, and a couple of treys by Collins and Al-Amir Dawes opened up a 40-37 Tigers’ lead with 14:26 to play, but a 5-0 Hokies’ run made it a two-point Virginia Tech advantage at 42-40 with 12:48 to go.

Clemson countered with a 10-3 run of its own to take a 50-44 lead with just over 10 minutes to play. However, the Tigers went the next six minutes without a field goal allowing the Hokies to tie the game at 54-54 on a pair of free throws with 4:55 to play.

The Tigers took a 58-54 lead on a pair of Hall baskets and held on the rest of the way as the Hokies didn’t have a field goal in the last three minutes of the game.

Chase Hunter hit a free throw– his first point of the game – to seal the victory.

Clemson will be the ten seed in next week’s ACC Tournament. The Tigers will open play against NC State in the first round at 4:30 pm on Tuesday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The game will be televised on the ACC Network.

Final Box

Brad Brownell postgame press conference

Hunter Tyson and Parker Fox postgame press conference

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