Allen's 3-pointer pushes Tech to victory over Clemson

Clemson (14-13, 4-11) 383270
Virginia Tech (19-8, 8-7) 413071
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 7,179
  • High Points: 19 - Zach LeDay
  • High Rebounds: 8 - Zach LeDay

BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech guard Seth Allen drained a 3-pointer with 3.8 seconds left to play to carry the Hokies to a 71-70 victory over Clemson in an ACC game played Tuesday night at Virginia Tech Carilion Court.

Zach LeDay scored 19 points to lead the Hokies (19-8, 8-7 ACC), who also beat the Tigers by a point on Jan. 22. Tech won for the third time in four games and moved to 14-1 at home this season.

In addition, the Hokies continued their penchant for winning close games, moving to 7-3 this season in games decided by five points or less.

“The line is obviously very thin, maybe almost invisible for the most part,” Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said. “The value of every possession on both ends is so monumental. With the complexion of our roster the way it is … whatever the adjective is in the thesaurus above monumental, that’s what it is for us.

“Incredibly grateful and thankful – because it could easily be the other way.”

Clemson (14-13, 4-11) trailed by as many as seven in the second half, but took a 70-68 lead when Marcquise Reed hit a baseline jumper with 21.6 seconds left. Out of a timeout, Allen missed a layup with 10 seconds left, and LeDay got the rebound, but the ball was knocked out of his hands and went out of bounds off Clemson.

With no timeouts left, Williams called for a play that the Hokies ran earlier in the game. Justin Robinson threw the ball in to Allen, who used a LeDay screen and buried a 3-pointer from the top of the key.

“There was no ‘first’ option,” Allen said. “The first option was the play on the other side, and that didn’t work [when Allen missed the layup]. Then it went out of bounds. I was supposed to pass it in, but Buzz was like, ‘No, you go on the block.’ We just played.

Allen finished with eight points, spending most of the first half on the bench after picking up his second foul with a little more than 10 minutes left in the half. Justin Bibbs added 12 points, hitting four 3-pointers on an evening when the Hokies hit 12 – their third straight game in which they’ve hit at least 10.

“I don’t know,” Williams said when asked if his team was getting better. “I mean this with all sincerity, I’m just trying to manage all that’s going on. Those guys are, they understand what’s going on. They want to do right. How long can we practice? What do we need to practice? Three games last week in seven days, two of them on the road. We haven’t been in a great rhythm but, as best we can, we’ve been trying to stay in a routine relative to the schedule.

“I do hope that all of our teams improve after Valentine’s Day because I think that’s what good teams do. I don’t know if we’re a good team, but I think we’re good at fighting. I think we’re good at caring for one another. I think we’re good at playing for one another.”

Reed paced the Tigers with 18 points. Clemson shot just 31.6 percent in the second half after shooting 56 percent in the first half.

The Hokies played their final road game of the season Saturday when they travel to Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts to face Boston College. Tipoff is slated for 4 p.m.

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