CLEMSON, S.C. — In a battle of ranked ACC teams, No. 18 Virginia defeated No. 12 Clemson 85-50 at Littlejohn Coliseum on Saturday. The Tigers took the court against the Cavaliers in the aftermath of a five-day layoff (Friday, Jan. 8-Wednesday, Jan. 13) brought on by COVID-19 protocol.
The Cavaliers (9-2, 5-0) shot well from the field, making 60.7 of their field goal attempts and netting 15 3-pointers. Clemson (9-2, 3-2) shot 40.4 percent from the floor and made five treys. Virginia won the rebounding battle 33-21, while the Tigers amassed 36 bench points and 24 points in the paint.
PJ Hall led Clemson in scoring with eight points on 4-of-7 shooting. John Newman III and Hunter Tyson both went 3-for-5 on shot attempts and scored seven points apiece. Aamir Simms and Clyde Trapp each pulled down five rebounds. Simms also tallied a pair of blocks. For Virginia, Sam Hauser and Tomas Woldetensae scored 14 points apiece.
Virginia raced out to a commanding lead, going up 20-3 at the 8:25 mark of the first half. The Tigers closed out the half on an 8-0 run, though, with Alex Hemenway and Hunter Tyson connecting on 3-point attempts and Tyson adding a layup out of the fast break. The Cavaliers took a 33-17 advantage into the break and pulled away in the second half, winning 85-50.
Clemson and Georgia Tech (6-3, 2-1) will square off at McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta on Wednesday, Jan. 20. The contest between the Tigers and the Yellow Jackets is set to tip off at 7 p.m. and air on a regional sports network (RSN).
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Head Coach Brad Brownell
Opening statement:“This was a tough day at the office, to say the least. We just didn’t have it tonight, and Virginia definitely had something to do with it. They were outstanding and always two steps faster than us. Our guys seemed to lose confidence right away. We just couldn’t make any shots early on. Virginia made plenty of threes, some open and some guarded. We lost our edge and confidence tonight. We just need to get back to practice and get back in a routine.”
On the keys to the game:“We looked dazed and confused at times. Virginia had a good game plan, and they executed it at a high level. When you make shots like they did, it’s hard to defend. We just didn’t do the things we needed to do. This was the first time all year we didn’t handle adversity well.”