BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -- Akin Akingbala had 21 points and 16
rebounds Wednesday night and Clemson outscored Virginia Tech 14-2
over the last 3:50 to beat the Hokies 86-81.
The second half featured 14 lead changes, and Cliff Hammonds
supplied the last one when he hit a layup with 52 seconds to go,
giving the Tigers an 82-81 lead. Four free throws -- two for a
technical called against the Hokies bench -- completed the scoring.
Hammonds added 18 points and Shawan Robinson had 17 for Clemson
(17-11, 6-9 Atlantic Coast Conference), which finished 13-for-22
from 3-point territory.
Zabian Dowdell led Virginia Tech (14-14, 4-11) with 17 points,
Coleman Collins had 16 and nine rebounds and Deron Washington
scored 15. Jamon Gordon added 13, but his layup with 1:19 left was
the Hokies lone basket after Dowdell scored with 3:50 left.
The Tigers trailed 79-72 after Dowdell's layup, but Robinson hit
his fourth 3-pointer of the game with 3:36 remaining. Two free
throws by Akingbala and Robinson's fifth 3-pointer gave the
visitors an 80-79 lead with 1:45 remaining.
After Gordon's layup gave the edge back to the Hokies, Hammonds
had a jumper and free throw, Robinson added two free throws and
Akingbala hit another free throw.
Clemson led 37-35 at halftime, and the Hokies took the lead for
the first time with 19:48 left at 38-37 on a three-point play by
Collins. The game stayed close with neither team leading by more
than three until the Hokies went on a 15-9 run to take a 79-72
lead, Dowdell following a steal by Washington with a layup with
3:50 to play.
Washington had four steals and four blocks in the game.
Then, it was the Tigers turn to rally, and Robinson's shooting
helped them avenge a 75-74 loss to the Hokies at Clemson on Feb. 8,
a game that went to overtime.
Virginia Tech lost despite shooting 57 percent from the field.