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Tyson, Clemson exorcise demons in win at Virginia

The Tigers stifled the Cavaliers in the second half to pull away for a much-needed road conference win.

NCAA Basketball: Clemson at Virginia Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson had lost 11 straight games to Virginia and hadn’t won in Charlottesville since 2008, but this time around the Tigers controlled the first half and pulled away with a second-half surge to notch a 67-50 road victory over the Cavaliers.

Hunter Tyson led the way for Clemson with 17 points including 3-of-5 3-point shooting. He spearheaded a 19-5 run in the second half to turn a tightening game into a convincing win for the Tigers.

David Collins added a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, while PJ Hall chipped in 11 and 7 of his own. Clemson — normally bogged down when attacking the Virginia defense — posted another efficient offensive performance, shooting 47 percent from the field and 36 percent from 3-point range with just seven turnovers.

In a surprising turn of events, Virginia was the team in this matchup that was sputtering offensively and trying to play catch-up. After a nip-and-tuck first 10 minutes, Clemson was able to distance itself with a 35-27 halftime lead.

A quick Virginia run cut the deficit to 37-35 and prompted a Clemson timeout at the 17:24 mark. After that, the Cavaliers went ice cold.

Virginia didn’t make another field goal until Armaan Franklin’s jumper with 6:31 remaining, and by then the Tigers had worked their way to a double-digit lead the hapless Cavaliers could not overcome. Virginia cut the lead to 56-44 with six minutes left, but five straight points by Tyson snuffed out any hope of a miracle comeback.

Reece Beekman scored 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting to pace Virginia, but he was a one-man show as the rest of his team shot an abysmal 8 of 31 from the field.

Clemson got an efficient performance from its bench, with Naz Bohannon and Ian Schieffelin pitching in a combined 14 points in just 20 combined minutes of playing time.

The Tigers are now 9-4 and ranked 37th in the KenPom rankings. They host Duke at 2pm next Wednesday.