Hokies knock off No. 15 Clemson

(15) Clemson (20-7, 9-6) 253358
Virginia Tech (20-8, 9-6) 263965
  • Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va. - 9,275
  • High Points: 14 - Justin Robinson, Kerry Blackshear Jr.
  • High Rebounds: 7 - Kerry Blackshear Jr.

BLACKSBURG – Justin Robinson and Kerry Blackshear Jr. scored 14 points each to lift Virginia Tech to a 65-58 ACC upset victory over No. 15 Clemson on Wednesday night at Carilion Clinic Court.

The win marked the Hokies’ third straight over the Tigers, but more importantly, moved Tech to 20-8 overall, 9-6 in the ACC. The Hokies have now won six of their past eight games and moved into a tie for fourth place in the conference standings with only three regular-season games left.

Tech also took a major step toward enhancing its NCAA Tournament resume. Their win over the Tigers marked their third over a team in the top 10 of the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) and their fourth top-50 win.

“It sounds like such a coach, and in many respects, I try to stay away from that every day. We are not trying to think of anything other than the next 24 hours,” Tech coach Buzz Williams said. “How we manage the next 24 hours emotionally, physically, mentally … that’s going to impact Saturday. The same can be said for Friday. I’ve allowed our staff to kind of step in front me because they’re better at it than me at doing that more.

“I’ve kind of just tried to help give energy to our guys. Same thing in the game tonight. Very little strategy. Not a lot of technique. I thought we won the game because of energy, and I believe that will be the case if we win tomorrow [Saturday].”

Tech broke open a close game midway through the second half. The Hokies trailed 38-34 after Clemson's Marcquise Reed hit a 3-pointer with 13:43 remaining, but they went on a 10-0 run punctuated by Ahmed Hill's layup to take the lead for good.

The Hokies led by as many as 14 with 2:33 left before the Tigers put on a furious rally. They used an 11-2 run to cut the lead to 61-56 on a 3-pointer by Gabe DeVoe with 41 seconds remaining.

But Tech scored the next four points — all from the free-throw line — with Blackshear making 3 of 4 and Chris Clarke 1 of 2, which was just enough as the Tigers missed three 3-pointers in the final 30 seconds.

Reed paced the cold-shooting Tigers, who now have lost three straight games, with a career-high 28 points, while Elijah Thomas had his eighth double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Clemson shot just 38.6 percent from the floor (22 of 57).


• Tech’s bench outscored Clemson’s 19-0, and it also added 13 rebounds and six assists. Freshman P.J. Horne led the way with nine points and three boards.

• The Hokies’ 34.5 shooting percentage was their worst of the season.

• Tech’s five turnovers were its fewest of the season. The Hokies committed six on two other occasions.

• Blackshear scored in double figures for the first time in four games.

• Horne’s nine points were the most he has scored in an ACC game this season.

Devin Wilson’s eight points were the most he has scored since putting up nine in the Hokies’ win over The Citadel in the second game of the season.

• Tech moved to 7-1 with Wilson in the starting lineup this season.


The Hokies return to action Saturday with the second of three straight home games, as they taking on a Louisville team that has lost two straight games. Tipoff is slated for 1 p.m., and the game can be seen on CBS.

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