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Tigers hold off Hokies for Senior Night win


  by - Senior Writer - Friday, March 2, 2012 12:29 AM
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Senior Andre Young had 10 points for the Tigers.

CLEMSON – Senior Night was indeed a night for a senior, with a junior thrown in for good measure.

Senior Tanner SmithTanner Smith
Sr. Guard
#5 6-5, 210
Alpharetta, GA

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, playing his last regular season game in Littlejohn Coliseum, scored 14 points and hit the game-winning free throws and junior Devin BookerDevin Booker
Jr. Forward
#31 6-8, 245
Whitmire, SC

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had 11 points, four rebounds and three assists as Clemson held off Virginia Tech 58-56 late Thursday night in Atlantic Coast Conference action.

The Tigers (16-13 overall, 8-7 ACC) moved into a fourth-place tie with three other teams in the conference standings with the win. The Tigers managed the win despite finishing 0-of-10 from three-point range, the first time they won an ACC game without a three since they beat Virginia 74-63 in 1990.

The Tigers saw an eight-point lead slip away as the Hokies tied the game at 56-56 on Robert Brown's two free throws with 2:55 to go. Ten seconds later, Smith sunk two free throws to put the Tigers ahead for good.

The Hokies would miss their final three shots from the field and their final two free throws – the last with 2.2 seconds remaining in the game – as Clemson held on for the win. Cadarian Raines had been fouled on his way to the basket, but missed his first foul shot and then intentionally missed his second attempt. The ball wound up in Smith's hands and Clemson won for the fifth time in six games.

“It was a toughness win,” Clemson head coach Brad BrownellBrad Brownell
Head Coach
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said. “It was a mental, physical grind, grind-it-out type of game where you have to show some guts and do things that aren’t fun. You have to fight through screens. You have to keep everybody in front of you as hard as you can and make them shoot a contested shot. You have to go block out. You have to grind on offense and move the ball and cut. It’s exhausting. You have to play with great discipline and you have to execute, and we did that.”

Virginia Tech looked like the more aggressive team early, hitting three quick 3-pointers in running out to a 16-6 lead. The Hokies still led 24-17 with 10:05 remaining in the half, but missed their next seven shots as the Tigers went on a 12-2 run that put them in front 29-26.

Freshman Devin ColemanDevin Coleman
Fr. Guard
#15 6-2, 200
Philadelphia, PA

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finished the run with a drive to the hoop with six seconds remaining in the half as the Tigers were up 33-31 at intermission.

The Tigers eventually worked the lead to eight – their biggest of the night – on Smith’s layup on an assist from Booker with just over ten minutes remaining.

But Tech guard Erick Green hit two big 3-pointers as the Hokies climbed back into the contest, setting up the frantic final three minutes.

Brownell said this was a testament to the work they have put in.

“It’s because of the way we work and the way we practice every day and how hard these guys go at it that we’ve improved,” he said. “We’re a better team in February than we were in November and December. We’re markedly better. We’ve had 25 or 30 games and a bunch of good practices. Things have come our way a little bit.”

Brownell then said that the contributions of seniors like Smith and Young cannot be overlooked.

“They don’t get enough credit for being good players,” he said. “They are really good players. We look at things the wrong way sometimes. All the things they can do—making threes, making good passes, good basketball IQ plays, poise under pressure, willingness to be coached, willingness to come and work hard every day, willingness to be leaders and put their necks out in front of other people. There are a lot of things that go into being really good. They care more about the team than they care about their stats and what’s going on with that. There are checks in all of those boxes.”


Post-season play and a chance to finish in the top four in the ACC were both longshots just three short weeks ago, but both have become reality. The Tigers were 3-6 in the ACC at that point, but have now won five of their last six conference games and stand at 8-7 in the conference, good for a tie for fourth place.

Clemson plays at Florida St. on Sunday, and by then will have a much better understanding of what has to happen to earn a No. 4 seed. If the other three teams tied with Clemson lose [Miami, Virginia and N.C. State] and Clemson wins, the Tigers will earn that seed. If Clemson and N.C. State win, the Tigers earn the seed based on the head-to-head. If Miami wins in their home game against Boston College, the Tigers will not earn the seed because of the head-to-head loss to the Canes.


VISITORS: Virginia Tech 15-15, 4-11
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
04 Cadarian Raines..... f  6-12   0-0    0-3    3  5  8   2  12  0  1  0  0  32
15 Dorian Finney-Smith. f  1-4    0-2    2-4    1  4  5   4   4  1  1  0  0  24
05 Dorenzo Hudson...... g  4-7    3-4    0-0    0  5  5   1  11  1  2  0  0  35
11 Erick Green......... g  3-11   2-4    0-0    1  3  4   0   8  3  0  0  1  35
31 Jarell Eddie........ g  5-10   3-6    2-2    1  3  4   4  15  2  5  0  0  31
01 Robert Brown........    1-2    0-0    2-2    0  1  1   2   4  3  3  0  2  19
10 Marquis Rankin......    0-1    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   2   0  1  2  0  2  14
42 C.J. Barksdale......    1-2    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   2   2  0  0  1  0  10
   TEAM................                            3  3
   Totals..............   21-49   8-16   6-11   6 24 30  17  56 11 14  1  5 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-25 48.0%   2nd Half:  9-24 37.5%   Game: 42.9%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  4-8  50.0%   2nd Half:  4-8  50.0%   Game: 50.0%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  3-4  75.0%   2nd Half:  3-7  42.9%   Game: 54.5%    2


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOME TEAM: Clemson 16-13, 8-7
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
21 Narcisse, Bryan..... f  0-2    0-1    0-0    0  1  1   1   0  2  1  0  2  12
24 Jennings, Milton.... f  2-9    0-2    2-5    3  9 12   3   6  2  2  0  1  35
10 Baciu, Catalin...... c  3-5    0-0    2-5    1  2  3   3   8  0  0  2  1  13
05 Smith, Tanner....... g  5-10   0-1    4-5    1  5  6   1  14  4  2  0  2  33
11 Young, Andre........ g  4-9    0-4    2-4    0  1  1   1  10  2  2  0  2  33
01 Sapp, T.J...........    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   6
04 Hall, Rod...........    1-2    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   1   2  0  1  0  1  13
15 Coleman, Devin......    3-6    0-1    0-0    1  3  4   1   6  0  1  0  3  18
22 Sullivan, Bernard...    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   3
31 Booker, Devin.......    4-5    0-0    3-4    2  2  4   2  11  3  3  0  1  27
32 McDaniels, K.J......    0-2    0-1    1-2    2  1  3   0   1  0  0  0  0   7
   TEAM................                         1     1
   Totals..............   22-50   0-10  14-25  11 25 36  13  58 13 12  2 13 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-27 44.4%   2nd Half: 10-23 43.5%   Game: 44.0%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  0-4   0.0%   2nd Half:  0-6   0.0%   Game:  0.0%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  9-14 64.3%   2nd Half:  5-11 45.5%   Game: 56.0%    4


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Officials: Jamie Luckie, Jim Burr, Tim Kelly
Technical fouls: Virginia Tech-None. Clemson-Smith, Tanner.
Attendance: 8735
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Virginia Tech.................   31   25  -   56
Clemson.......................   33   25  -   58

Points in the paint-VT 14,CU 38. Points off turnovers-VT 8,CU 21.
2nd chance points-VT 9,CU 5. Fast break points-VT 0,CU 13.
Bench points-VT 6,CU 20. Score tied-6 times. Lead changed-3 times.
Last FG-VT 2nd-03:48, CU 2nd-03:25.
Largest lead-VT by 10 1st-14:26, CU by 8 2nd-10:05.

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