Tigers 'grind' another ACC road win at Virginia Tech, 56-49

Jaron Blossomgame fights for the ball in Clemson's 56-49 win at Virginia Tech (AP Photo)

Jaron Blossomgame fights for the ball in Clemson's 56-49 win at Virginia Tech (AP Photo)

Going into their second ACC road trip this season, Clemson had strung together consecutive conference-away wins only 10 times in 61 seasons.

Thanks to some late resolve, they made it No. 11 Wednesday night, downing the Hokies 56-49 in Cassell Coliseum.

The two were tied 49-all with two minutes left, but facing the nation's top-scoring defense, the Hokies missed their final three shots and a pair of free throws.

Sophomore Tigers guard Adonis Filer broke the tie fouled on his way to the hoop - dropping in a basket and adding the free throw. Leading scorers K.J. McDaniels (14 points) and Rod Hall (11) sunk their shots from the charity stripe as well to salt away the 'W.' McDaniels has scored in double-figures in five consecutive conference games now.

"It's hard to win on the road," Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. "When you don't shoot the ball well at times – and we aren't a great shooting team, it makes it hard on you. We still have some growing pains as a shooting team.

"As a result of that, these games are going to be an awful grind. We just have to make enough plays at the end."

Virginia Tech (8-8, 1-3) is the sixth team Clemson has held under 50 points this season. They have kept opponents to 60 points or less in 13 of their 16 games, going 12-1 in those contests.

Clemson (12-4, 3-1 ACC) hadn't won back-to-back conference road games in five seasons and hadn't started 2-0 on the road since 2006-07.

The Tigers held a 25-24 edge at the half, both sides shooting under 40 percent for the session.

The Hokies' leading scorer going in, senior forward Jarell Eddie (16.1 PPG), didn't hit a shot until over 23 minutes in – a three-pointer – and didn't register another point the rest of the game.

Virginia Tech was undaunted though behind efforts underclassmen Ben Emelogu, Joey van Zegeren and Devin Wilson, holding a six-point lead with 14 minutes left.

Clemson sophomore forward Josh Smith's tip-in ignited a 10-0 Tigers run to answer, and Clemson wouldn't trail again.

"We really wanted to keep them out of the 3-point game," said Brownell. "They came in averaging 8.5 and we held them to 5. Did a phenomenal job on Jarell Eddie. When you play a certain way, you're gonna give other guys opportunities...Our guys just showed resiliency. Our guys didn't play great tonight, but they didn't play poorly."

Clemson returns to action this Saturday at 4 p.m. in Littlejohn Coliseum versus the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.

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Comments » 1

BlueRidgeBengal writes:

Not pretty no, but the single most important line is "another ACC road win."

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