Clemson knocks off No. 21 Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA (Sports Network) – K.C. Rivers’ jumper with 18 seconds left
proved to be the difference as Clemson edged No. 21 Virginia Tech, 75-74, at
Rivers finished with 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting for the Tigers (21-9, 7-9
ACC), who won their second straight contest after a four-game slide. Cliff
Hammonds added 17 points and six assists, while James Mays and Vernon Hamilton
chipped in with 11 points each.
Zabian Dowdell scored a game-high 25 points but had seven turnovers for the
Hokies (20-10, 10-6), who dropped their second straight game to finish the
regular season. Jamon Gordon tallied 14 points and eight assists, while Deron
Washington finished with 11 points and six rebounds.
Clemson led by as many as 13 points, 35-22, in the first half after Raymond
Sykes got loose for a dunk with 3:39 in the frame.
But, the Hokies responded and closed the stanza with a 10-0 run. A.D.
Vassallo’s lay-in with 38 ticks left capped the scoring in the half with
Virginia Tech trailing by just three, 35-32.
Things remained extremely close in the final frame. Coleman Collins’ slam on
the break ignited the home crowd and evened things at 70 with just 2:44
remaining in the game. Then, 22 seconds later, the Hokies went on top, 72-70,
when Dowdell deposited a layup.
But, Clemson wasn’t done and responded. Rivers calmly dropped in a three
to put the Tigers back in front, 73-72, with 2:11 left.
The see-saw action continued from there. After both teams exchanged turnovers,
Dowdell came through by drilling a jumper with 44 ticks remaining.
Rivers matched him, however, less than 30 seconds later by draining a jumper
of his own, which turned out to be a game winner.
Virginia Tech finished 13-2 at home…The Hokies still lead the all-time
series, 10-8… Clemson won 20-plus games this season for the first time since