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Tigers fall short in Blacksburg: Clemson’s men’s basketball teams loses 60-57 to the Virginia Tech Hokies

Landry Nnoko (35) had 17 points, 12 rebounds and 8 blocks against Virginia Tech.
Allen Randall, Staff
Landry Nnoko (35) had 17 points, 12 rebounds and 8 blocks against Virginia Tech.

The Clemson Tigers men’s basketball team suffered a tough loss on the road against Virginia Tech, losing by a final score of 60 to 57. After trailing by as much as 12, the Tigers were able to claw and fight back to get the game within one point. 

Zach LeDay led the Hokies in scoring with 19 points, 12 rebounds and shot an outstanding 90 percent from the free throw line. 

LeDay sealed the victory for Virginia Tech with a flurry of clutch free throws in the final seconds of the ballgame. LeDay spoke after the game on his success at the free throw line, saying, “I shoot in Cassell [Coliseum] every day. I leave making 10 free throws in a row. I didn’t make my last one, but I’m glad I made nine [out of 10  shots against the Tigers]. I’m glad those free throws made a big difference in the game at the end.” 

For the Tigers, center Landry Nnoko nearly had a triple-double finishing with 17 points, 12 rebounds and eight blocks. Jordan Roper finished with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Donte Grantham added 11 points, five rebounds and was a perfect six-for-six from the free throw line. 

Jaron Blossomgame started off hot with six points in the first half after knocking down two three pointers but he struggled to get things going in the second half, finishing with eight points and five rebounds.

Virginia Tech ended the first half in a strong fashion on a 5-0 run to cut the lead to just two going into halftime in large part due to both LeDay and Seth Allen, who scored five of his 10 points in the first half. 

Throughout the course of the game, Virginia Tech’s bench was clearly better than Clemson’s. The Hokies bench outscored the Tigers 32-0. 

Along with LeDay, Jalen Hudson also came off of the bench for the Hokies and made an impact, finishing with 13 points and two rebounds. 

Clemson Head Coach Brad Brownell spoke to the media after the game saying, “LeDay played well for them, especially that hustle play. Hudson played really well off the bench.”

For Clemson to bounce back from the tough loss on Saturday, they will definitely need some type of production from their bench players. They have to force tough shots on the defensive end and make free throws. 

The Hokies will be in action on Feb. 9 on the road against No. 9 Virginia Cavaliers.The Tigers will be in action in Greenville on Feb. 8 against a Notre Dame team that is coming off of an upset victory over the No. 2 team in the country: the North Carolina Tar Heels. 


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