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Clemson flops at Virginia Tech

The Tigers settled for too many threes and didn’t make nearly enough.

NCAA Basketball: Clemson at Virginia Tech Michael Thomas Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson needed a road win to keep its fringe bubble hopes alive, but a 19-2 second-half run helped Virginia Tech pull away from the Tigers in a game they had to have.

PJ Horne and Tyrese Radford had 17 and 16 points, respectively, as the Hokies blitzed Clemson in the second half to cruise to a 70-58 win in Blacksburg.

Virginia Tech shot 54 percent from the floor and 46 percent from three, with many of those makes coming during the decisive run.

Clemson, for its part, put forth one of its worst efforts of the season. The Tigers made three straight three-pointers to open the game but were completely hapless for most of the game after that.

Aamir Simms and Al-Amir Dawes both spent extensive time on the bench in the first half with foul trouble, which seemed to set the tone for Clemson’s dreadful performance.

Despite a sluggish first 20 minutes, however, the Tigers ripped off 17 points in the opening six minutes of the second half and seemed poised to turn the game in their favor. But it was all Hokies from there, as Clemson’s 42-41 lead turned into a 16-point deficit in just over five minutes of gameplay.

Virginia Tech got loose for too many three-pointers and continuously knocked them down, whereas Clemson continued to settle for them despite continuing to miss.

In fact, the Tigers attempted a season-high 35 three-pointers to just 22 two-point shots — hard to believe given the Hokies notable lack of size and ability to defend the rim. They made just nine of those threes.

Tevin Mack led Clemson with 12 points, while Simms and Dawes has just five apiece. The Tigers got three first-half three-pointers from Alex Hemenway, but he didn’t score after that.

Clemson hosts Georgia Tech on Friday night to close its regular season.