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Clemson falls short at Virginia

The Tigers’ first-half offensive struggles were too much to overcome in a 64-57 loss.

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

Jayden Gardner, Armaan Franklin and Isaac McKneely each scored 12 points and Virginia got enough offense to outlast Clemson 64-57 in Charlottesville on Tuesday night.

After a scoreless early effort from both teams, the Tigers took a 5-0 lead before the Cavaliers ripped off a 17-2 run over a five-minute stretch to take control of the game. Clemson whittled away at the deficit but still trailed 28-23 at the half.

PJ Hall opened the second half with a basket for the Tigers, but an ensuing 13-2 run helped Virginia surge to a 41-27 lead with 12:46 to play.

Ice cold on offense until that point, Clemson made eight of its next nine shots but hardly made up any ground, as the Cavaliers were nearly as efficient during the same stretch.

Virginia maintained a 57-45 before a 10-2 spurt by the Tigers trimmed the lead to four with 31 seconds remaining. That was as close as they would get, however, as the Cavaliers converted five of six free throws to finish off the win.

PJ Hall scored 19 points and Hunter Tyson 17, but Clemson’s guards couldn’t give them enough help and were overwhelmed by Virginia’s defense all evening. Chase Hunter and Brevin Galloway combined for just 10 points and 4-of-17 shooting.

Clemson closes the regular season at home against Notre Dame on Saturday night.