Tigers Fall to Virginia


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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Devin Smith scored 22 points and Elton Brown added 16 to give Virginia its first Atlantic Coast Conference victory, edging Clemson 81-79 on Saturday night.


Virginia's J.R. Reynolds missed the front end of of a one-and-one with 13.3 seconds remaining to give the Tigers a chance. Clemson (10-8, 1-5) got the rebound, but Sharrod Ford missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have won it for the Tigers as the shot just grazed the front of the rim.


“We didn’t really need the three,” said Clemson head coach Oliver Purnell. “I would have preferred he took a two, but if he would have made the three we would have all been happy. But we got a wide open look to win the game or tie it. It just didn’t go.”


Clemson was able to stay close to the Cavaliers (10-0) with the three point shot, making 13 on 30 attempts (43.3%). Clemson also led in rebounding 35 to 28 and committed the fewest turnovers in the Purnell era with 10. However, Virginia only had 6 turnovers against a Tiger team who came in the game eighth in the nation in steals and the Cavaliers also shot 63.0% from the field in the second half and 57.1% for the game.


“The night when we shot the ball well, our defense was not as quite as good,” said Purnell. “Our defense let us down.”


The Tigers were led by Olu Babalola's career-high 22 points while Cheyenne Moore and Ford added 15 and 13 respectively.


Virginia led 41-36 at halftime.

CLEMSON (10-8): Babalola 7-12 4-5 22, Moore 6-12 0-0 15, Ford 3-11 7-8 13, Hamilton 2-5 0-0 5, Hammonds 2-11 0-0 5, Allen 0-0 0-2 0, Hudson 0-0 0-0 0, Robinson 4-5 0-0 12, Perry 0-2 1-2 1, Akingbala 1-1 3-5 5, Mays 0-2 1-2 1. Totals 25-61 16-24 79.

VIRGINIA (10-6): Cain 2-5 0-0 4, Smith 9-15 1-1 22, Brown 7-11 2-3 16, Reynolds 4-8 2-4 11, Singletary 5-11 3-4 15, Bannister 1-1 0-0 2, Soroye 0-0 0-0 0, Forbes 1-2 2-4 4, Joseph 1-1 0-0 3, Minter 2-2 0-0 4. Totals 32-56 10-16 81.

Halftime — Virginia 41-35.

3-Point Goals — Clemson 13-30 (Robinson 4-5, Babalola 4-7, Moore 3-7, Hamilton 1-3, Hammonds 1-7, Ford 0-1); Virginia 7-15 (Smith 3-7, Singletary 2-3, Joseph 1-1, Reynolds 1-3, Forbes 0-1).

Fouled Out — None.

Rebounds — Clemson 31 (Babalola 7); Virginia 25 (Brown, Reynolds 7).

Assists — Clemson 18 (Babalola 5); Virginia 16 (Singletary 7).

Total Fouls — Clemson 18; Virginia 18.

A — 7,838.

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