GAME NOTES: The Clemson Tigers look for their second consecutive win after an upset of then-No. 16 ranked Duke in Atlantic Coast Conference play as they travel to face the Virginia Tech Hokies at Cassell Coliseum.
Clemson has won three of its last four games, including the 72-59 upset over the struggling Blue Devils. The Tigers began the season 5-0, and have yet to lose back-to-back games. The Tigers are a game and a half behind ACC-leader Syracuse.
Virginia Tech is in the midst of a slump, having lost four of its last five games and two in a row. The Hokies are coming off a 62-59 loss to ACC basement dweller Boston College. The matchup with Clemson represents the final game of a five-game homestand for the Hokies.
Virginia Tech holds the all-time series lead over Clemson, 15-13. But since joining the ACC in 2004-05, the Tigers have defeated the Hokies on three separate occasions at Cassell Coliseum.
The win over Duke on Saturday represented the first time Clemson has beaten the Blue Devils since the 2008-09 season. The Tigers held Duke without a field goal in the final 6:22 of regulation, while going on a 13-2 run themselves to seal the victory. K.J. McDaniels led all scorers in the contest with 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the double-double. He was one of three Tigers to record a double-double in the game. Jaron Blossomgame netted 14 points and pulled down a team-high 14 rebounds, while Landry Nnoko scored 10 and recorded 13 rebounds.
McDaniels is the team leader in scoring at 17 ppg, and tops the team in rebounding as well with 7.1 rpg. His 43 blocked shots and 17 steals also are a team-high. Rod Hall is the only other Clemson player to average double digits this season at 10.5 and tops the roster in total assists with 59. Although Clemson only averages 67 ppg as a whole, the Tigers are giving up just 53.9 ppg.
Virginia Tech shot a dismal 28.6 percent from the floor in the second half against Boston College, allowing the Eagles to take command of the scoreboard and the game. Adam Smith came off the bench to score a team-high 12 points for Virginia Tech on 5-of-16 shooting. Jarell Eddie netted 10 points and grabbed a team-best eight rebounds, while C.J. Barksdale netted 11. The Hokies shot 31.8 percent from 3-point range and hit only 12-of-21 from the free-throw line in the three-point loss.
Eddie tops the team in scoring this season at 16.1 ppg and leads the squad with 6.1 rpg. His 39.9 percent shooting mark isn't off the charts, but its only slightly below the Virginia Tech team percentage at 43.2 percent from the floor. Smith, who has only played in 12 games this year, is second on the team at 12.7 ppg. Devin Wilson paces the Hokies with 74 assists.
The recent loss to Boston College at home is telling for Virginia Tech. Clemson is riding a momentum wave after defeating Duke, which shows what the Tigers are capable of this season.
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