Virginia Tech bests Clemson in ACC first round
ATLANTA (AP) — Virginia Tech point guard Erick Green scored 24 points as the Hokies went on a 9-0 run to take the lead late in the game and hung on to beat Clemson 68-63 on Thursday night in the first round of the ACC tournament.
There were 10 ties, the last at 52-52. Clemson, the No. 7 seed, then went about 3 minutes without scoring as Virginia Tech, the No. 10 seed, took the lead.
The Hokies (16-16), who ended a four-game losing streak, will play No. 2 seed Duke in Friday night’s quarterfinals.
Clemson’s Milton Jennings hit a 3-pointer with 17 seconds remaining to cut the Hokies’ lead to 68-63. After Dorenzo Hudson made two free throws for Virginia Tech, the Tigers couldn’t make another 3.
Hudson had 19 points.
Devin Coleman led Clemson with 15 points. Jennings and Andre Young each had 13. Tanner Smith had 12.
Clemson (16-15) hurt its comeback chances with poor free-throw shooting. Bryan Narcisse and Devin Booker each made one of two tries in the final minute.
Green provided the assist on Hudson’s 3-pointer that snapped a 52-52 tie. Green’s 3-pointer with 3:50 remaining pushed the lead to 58-52.
Following a flagrant one foul against Booker, Cadarian Raines sank a free throw to push the lead to seven points.
Dorian Finney-Smith drove for a lay-up with 2:23 remaining, pushing the lead to 61-52.
Booker ended Clemson’s drought with a jam with 2:04 remaining.
Green leads Virginia Tech with his average of 15.3 points per game. He posted his first game with at least 20 points since he had 21 against Florida State on Jan. 10.
The teams added another chapter to their history of close games, including a split of two two-point decisions in the regular season. Since Virginia Tech joined the ACC before the 2004-05 season, 11 of 13 games between the teams has been decided by no more than five points.
There were 11 lead changes in the game.
Virginia Tech senior forward Victor Davila, who missed the last six games of the regular season with a left groin and leg injury, did not play. Davila started 25 games this season, averaging 7.5 points and 4.2 rebounds.