Ugh. Even writing these basketball recaps has become painful and we get paid to do it. Just one of those years for Clemson. That can’t win on the road and lately winning at home hasn’t been so easy either. The Tigers chalked up another road loss Saturday with a 69-61 loss at Virginia Tech. The good news is Clemson passed the 60 point threshold for the first time since Groundhog’s Day. The bad news is the Tigers lost again and are 13-16 overall and 4-12 in the ACC.
Don’t be too blue, Tiger fans. Don’t give up hope and remember:
As for the game recap, here it is courtesy of the Clemson SID:
Clemson erased an 11-point halftime deficit to pull within two points in the second half on a couple of occasions, but Virginia Tech converted 15 out of 18 from the free throw line in the second half to close out a 69-61 victory on the Hokies’ Senior Night at Cassell Coliseum. With the win, Virginia Tech improved to 13-16 on the season, 4-12 in the ACC. Clemson fell to 13-15 overall, 5-11 in league play.
Devin Booker led the Tigers with 17 points, including 12 in the second half. Adonis Filer tied his ACC-high with 13 points in a supporting effort for Clemson, who played without second-leading scorer K.J. McDaniels for a second straight contest due to an ankle injury. Milton Jennings also had 13 points Saturday. Erick Green led Tech on his Senior Night, scoring a game-high 29 points.
Virginia Tech out-shot the Tigers, converting 54.8 percent of its field goals. Clemson was just 23-of-54 for a 42.6 percent clip. The Tigers once again struggled from long distance, making only four of 16 three-point attempts. Tech made 6-of-13 from three, 46 percent. Tech dominated the boards, owning a +12 rebound advantage for the night.
Clemson took a 15-11 lead at the 12:30 mark on a traditional three-point play by Booker. But Green responded with his second trifecta of the early going, a fadeaway shot from the top to draw the Hokies within one. Following another hanging three and a steal and conversion, Tech was suddenly up 21-17 with 9:56 to play. The lead reached six after VT closed out an 11-2 run in which Clemson committed three turnovers.
The Tigers went nearly seven minutes without a field goal until Filer scored on a putback with 2:41 to go. Clemson made only three of its final 14 field goal attempts and trailed by 11 at halftime.
Damarcus Harrison cut the deficit to nine at 42-33 with 14:54 left on a drive from the right side. Booker later scored eight consecutive points to pull Clemson within three at 46-43. The Tigers pulled to within two at 50-48 on a putback inside by Jennings with just under 10 to play. But Tech scored five unanswered to push its lead to 55-48 before a Booker flush cut it to five.
Down 57-53 with multiple chances to draw closer over a span of three minutes, Clemson yielded a deep three to Green with just under four to play that proved to be a back-breaker. But the Tigers responded again, first on a follow shot by Rod Hall and then on a steal and breakaway jam by Filer. The freshman out of Chicago, IL drew the Tigers within three at 64-61 on a pair of free throws, and Clemson got a steal off of its pressure with 48 seconds left. Filer was fouled again on a drive, but this time missed both and VT salted the game away at the charity stripe.
The Tigers return home to play host to Boston College on Tuesday at 7:00 PM. Clemson will celebrate Senior Night, where Booker and Jennings will be honored prior to the game at Littlejohn Coliseum.