Senior forward Milton Jennings scored a career high 28 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead Clemson to a 77-70 win over Virginia Tech Sunday afternoon at Littlejohn Coliseum in front of 7980 fans. The Tigers snap a two game losing streak and improve to 11-8 overall and 3-4 in the ACC. Virginia Tech falls to 11-8 and 2-4 in league play.
Clemson bolted out of the gate to a 12-0 lead as it took Tech nearly seven minutes to score. But the Hokies fought their way back into the game and it was 33-33 at halftime.
The second half was tight until the final two minutes. Clemson led 64-62 with 2:24 to play but Jennings put the Tigers up four with a jumper. A minute late Jennings canned a pair of free throws for a 68-62 advantage, and with :42 to play Jennings hit two more foul shots to give Clemson a seven point cushion. The Tigers were 8-8 from the line down the stretch.
“This was a great win for our team today,” said Clemson coach Brad Brownell “I am very happy for several of our players, especially Milton (Jennings). He played outstanding and hit a lot of clutch free throws. He rebounded the ball and was terrific down the stretch. Obviously K.J.’s (McDaniels) first three outside shots at the beginning of the game got us off to a great start. He got in a little foul trouble, but played solid. Damarcus Harrison played like the guy I saw when I was recruiting him a couple of years ago. He was outstanding and played with so much more confidence. Harrison has had a great year for us defensively; he just hasn’t played as well offensively as we thought he would. He has been working at it, and a lot of it is confidence.”
Jennings finished 16-18 from the line and also had four blocked shots. Damarcus Harrison added 19 points and KJ McDaniels hit five three pointers on his way to a 17 point day. The Tigers hit 10 three pointers and were 23-29 from the line.
The Tigers held the Hokies to 35% shooting. Erick Green, the nation’s leading scorer, did score 25 points, just under his average, but was only 7-17 from the floor and did not make a three pointer.
The Hokies had three players to foul out and there were a total of 48 fouls whistled in the game.
Clemson is back in action at home Tuesday night against Georgia Tech.