Great Scott! Tigers Win on the Road

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - They staggered and stumbled a bit down the stretch, but this time instead of wilting under the pressure of an Atlantic Coast Conference road game, Clemson found itself standing alone when the smoke cleared.

Edward Scott scored 32 points and the Tigers held off a late Virginia run Tuesday night, beating the Cavaliers 73-64 in Charlottesville, Va. Scott's scoring burst - 20 of which came in the first half - was a season high and second highest of his career.

All this despite the fact that the team's plane didn't land in Charlotteville until 1 a.m., having been delayed three hours due to bad weather.

"Maybe need to get in at 1 a.m. for every game," Scott said. "Whatever it takes for us to play like this I'm all for it."

So is his coach, Larry Shyatt, who heaped praise on the senior point guard for his play on both ends of the floor.

"Ed had great command of the game. He made a lot of shots early so everyone was probably overwhelmed by his made shots," Shyatt said. "But he was on a tough defensive assignment. He led us in terms of calling our offenses and changing our defenses and he really handled the ball at times when we needed him to in the last minute and half."

The win was significant for a number of reasons:

- It is Clemson's first road victory in the ACC this season, and just the third in Shyatt's tenure as head coach;

- It is just the 59th conference road win in school history, compared to 269 losses;

- It puts the Tigers 1 1/2 games ahead of last place Florida State (3-9) in the conference, ties it for seventh place with North Carolina at 4-7, and now has them sitting just 1/2 game behind the Cavs (5-7);

- More importantly, the victory clinches Clemson's first winning regular season since Shyatt's first year on the job in 1998-99.

"I've stood by them and will always because most of the time they do all the right things that put them in a position to be victorious," Shyatt said. "I think they are going to play their hearts out Saturday for our crowd."

Clemson (14-8) led by nine at the break and stretched the advantage to as many as 13 points in the middle stages of the second half despite opening the final 20 minutes shooting just 4-of-22 from the field.

Virginia (14-10) cut the deficit to four points on four different occasions, the last time at 68-64 on a Jason Clark dunk with 1:45 to go.

But Scott answered with a leaning bank shot on Clemson's next possession and, after a Virginia miss, hit 1-of-2 free throws with :50 for a 71-64 lead. Scott would miss a pair of free throws moments later, but Shawan Robinson iced the game by hitting two from the stripe with :20 to play.

Chey Christie backed up Scott with 16 points, 14 of which came in the first half. Tomas Nagys had another strong performance off the bench, finishing with 11 before fouling out with 2:00 to go.

"Chey is a terrific player and he came out to play tonight,"Scott said. "We need that from him. We need to have that every night from everyone. I think everybody played well.

"If we can continue that hopefully we will be pretty successful and be dancing in March."

Devin Smith finished with 30 for the Cavs, while Travis Watson and Elton Brown added 14 and 11, respectively.

Virginia's bench did not score in the game.

Clemson returns home Saturday for a Noon contest with Florida State.

CLEMSON (14-8)

Babalola 0-3, 2-3 2, Hobbs 1-3 1-3 3, Ford 1-5 0-0 2, Scott 11-23 7-10 32,
Christie 7-14 0-0 16, Betko 0-5 0-0 0, Nagys 3-7 5-9 11, Henderson 0-1 0-0 0,
Robinson 2-5 2-2 7. Totals 25-66 17-27 73.

Virginia (14-10)

Clark 2-3 2-2 6, Brown 3-9 4-6 11, Watson 5-14 3-5 14, Billet 1-9 0-0 3,
Smith 10-18 4-4 30, Vander Laan 0-2 0-0 0, Byars 0-1 0-0 0, Mapp 0-1 0-0 0,
Harper 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 21-61 13-17 64.

Halftime-Clemson 41-32. 3-Point goals-Clemson 6-19 (Scott 3-6, Christie 2-5,
Robinson 1-2, Nagys 0-1, Babalola 0-2, Betko 0-3.), Virginia 9-23 (Smith 6-11,
Brown 1-1, Watson 1-2, Billet 1-5, Mapp 0-1, Harper 0-3.) Fouled out-Nagys.
Rebounds-Clemson 44 (Hobbs 8), Virginia 42 (Watson 13). Assists-Clemson 8
(Scott 4), Virginia 14 (Billet 6). Total fouls-Clemson 20, Virginia 23.
Technicals-none. A-7,423.

Tags: Ed Scott
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