Continuing one of their best streaks of the season, the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team defeated No. 15 Clemson 65-58 Wednesday night. The win puts Tech at 9-6 in ACC play, good for a tie for fourth place entering the final three games of the season.
Clemson came into the game on a two-game losing streak, falling to Florida State and Duke last week. The Hokies were able to capitalize on their own recent momentum to pick up a big win and bolster their chances at making the NCAA Tournament in March.
The game was tight from the beginning as neither team held more than a three-point lead in the first half. The lead changed eight times during the half, with the Hokies leading 26-25 going into the break.
Virginia Tech came out hot in the second half and took a four-point lead on a three by Justin Robinson. Clemson reclaimed the lead with 14:32 left in the half thanks for a 3-pointer from Marcquise Reed. The Tigers climbed up to a four-point lead thanks to another made 3-pointer from Reed, but the Hokies took a 39-38 lead thanks to a 3-pointer from Chris Clarke and a couple of free throws by Justin Robinson.
That would be the last lead change of the game and the Hokies only rose from there, leading by as much as 14 with 2:33 left in the game.
Clemson resorted to fouling as time ticked off the clock and free throws by Kerry Blackshear, Jr. and Chris Clarke gave the Hokies a 65-58 lead to win the game.
Justin Robinson, was the leading scorer for the Hokies on the night, scoring 14 points while going 4-for-13 from the field. Robinson has led Virginia Tech in scoring in five of the last six games. The junior guard was a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line and contributed six rebounds and five assists in the victory.
Blackshear scored 14 points as well in Wednesday night’s win, going 4-for-12 from the field and 6-for-7 from the charity stripe. Blackshear also snagged seven rebounds for the Hokies.
Justin Bibbs and Devin Wilson each scored 8 points for the Hokies, with Wilson going 3-for-6 from the field and 2-for-4 from beyond the arc. Bibbs shot 3-for-9 on field goals and went 2-for-5 from three-point range.
Overall, the Hokies shot 34.5 percent from the field and 37.5 percent on three-point shots, both lower than the team’s season average, but enough to get the job done against a ranked team at home.
Tech held Clemson to just 38.6 percent on field goals and 30.6 percent from beyond the arc, both of which are also lower than opponents’ season average.
With the win, the Hokies seem like a lock to be heading back to March Madness for the second straight season. Virginia Tech is now 20-8 overall, marking three-straight 20-win seasons under head coach Buzz Williams.
Joe Lunardi had the Hokies as a 10-seed in his latest Bracketology, a spot that is likely to change following Wednesday night’s big win.
Tech still has three more games before the regular season is over, including home games against Louisville and Duke before heading to Miami on March 3.