Feb. 15, 2014
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) - Virginia coach Tony Bennett was so excited about his team's first win at Clemson in seven years, he wanted to scream in celebration and pump his fists with his players in the locker room.
He didn't, though. That's not how the 17th-ranked Cavaliers built their longest Atlantic Coast Conference winning streak in 32 years and isn't how Bennett believes they'll go forward.
Joe Harris had 16 points, including a critical 3-pointer with about three minutes left, and Virginia won its ninth straight ACC game for the first time since Ralph Sampson dominated the middle there in 1981-82.
It also snapped a four-game losing streak at Clemson, enough reason for some postgame hoopla.
"But I said, nah," Bennett said with a smile. "Just told them, 'Great win. Hard fought. Made plays down the stretch.'"
That's keep with Bennett's steady approach at success. It's a stepladder, he tells his players, where you must carefully climb. "You put two feet on that step and everything you've got," he said. "That's the most important one."
The Cavaliers (21-5) moved to 12-1 in ACC play, also for the first time since Sampson's days. Not that it came easily as Virginia's No. 1 defense was matched up against a team in Clemson that ranked second nationally in fewest points allowed.
The Tigers (15-9, 6-6) trailed 49-48 on Rod Hall's layup with 3:38 to go. That's when Harris struck for a 3 and Anthony Gill followed with a three-point play for a 55-50 lead.
Clemson closed to 59-58 on K.J. McDaniels' 3 with 20.7 seconds left, but Malcolm Brogdon made two foul shots as the Cavaliers held on.
McDaniels had 24 points before fouling out in the final seconds. He was Clemson's only player in double figures.
"It does get to a point where we've got to all step up as a team," Tigers forward Austin Ajukwa said. "One person can't do everything. We've got to step up and fill our roles."
Virginia's players have done that.
Brogdon and Mike Tobey had 14 points each. The 6-foot-10 Tobey was a force underneath, making seven of nine shots. Gill had 12 points for the Cavaliers.
Virginia continued a roll the school hadn't seen since Sampson's stellar days. The Cavaliers also won a sixth ACC road game, the first time that happened since Sampson's senior year.
The Cavaliers had already clinched their third consecutive winning mark in ACC play, something they last achieved in - you guessed it - during Sampson's final three seasons.
That's got fans back home excited about what's accomplished and counting on bigger things ahead. Brogdon said it gets hard to navigate at times with fan recognition and the delight they take in each victory. "I think as long as we can really block that stuff out, we'll continue to play at a high level," he said.
Virginia came in with the nation's top defense, allowing just 55.5 points a game this season.
But Clemson's defense is right behind, second nationally at 55.7, and stood strongly against the Cavaliers over the first 20 minutes.
The Tigers showed some scoring punch early, making their first six shots and eight of their first 12 to lead 21-14 after DeMarcus Harrison's 3-pointer with 8:30 left in the half.
That's when Virginia turned things up on both sides of the ball during a 12-0 run to move in front. Harris, who missed two foul shots moments earlier, had a driving layup to start the Cavaliers' charge, then hit a pair of 3-pointers - the last which put Virginia in front for the first time, 24-21.
Virginia eventually pushed the lead to 29-23 when Clemson rallied back with a three-point play and short banker by McDaniels.
Harris missed a step-back 3, but Tobey had the strong tip in right before the horn sounded and Virginia went to the locker room ahead 31-28.
Virginia shot 63.6 percent (14 of 22) in the opening half, while Clemson - 14th of 15 ACC teams in field goal percentage - was 11 of 22 for 50 percent.
The Tigers were playing at home for the just the second time in four weeks after a gauntlet of road games (at Pittsburgh, at North Carolina, at Florida State, at Syracuse and at Notre Dame) where they went 1-4 with the lone win coming at FSU. Clemson ended the stretch with a 68-64 double overtime loss to the Irish.
Clemson played without starting center in 6-foot-10 Landry Nnoko, who was out with the flu. Without him, the Tigers managed only five rebounds in the opening half.
Hazzard Aiming to Uphold Family TraditionTrack & Field, Cross Country12/11/17A freshman from Long Island, New York, Halle Hazzard is the younger sister of Payton Hazzard, who was an All-America sprinter for the Cavaliers.UVA's Campbell Winners Share Special BondFootball12/6/17UVA is the only ACC school with multiple winners of the prestigious Campbell Trophy: Tom Burns in 1993 and Micah Kiser this year.'Hoos Draw Valuable Lessons from LossMen's Basketball12/6/17No. 15 Virginia heads into its exam break with an 8-1 record after losing 68-61 Tuesday night at No. 18 West Virginia.
Director of News Content
A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
Coach's Corner with Tony Bennett Airs Tonight
M. Basketball | 12/11/2017
Coach's Corner with Tony Bennett airs on Virginia Sports Radio Network tonight from 7:06-8 p.m.
Coach's Corner with Tony Bennett Begins Tonight
M. Basketball | 12/6/2017
The weekly "Coach's Corner with Tony Bennett" radio program that airs across the Virginia Sports ...
Jeff White: 'Hoos Draw Valuable Lessons from Loss
M. Basketball | 12/6/2017
No. 15 Virginia heads into its exam break with an 8-1 record after losing 68-61 Tuesday night at ...
No. 18 WVU Tops No. 15 Virginia 68-61
M. Basketball | 12/5/2017
Devon Hall led No. 15 Virginia (8-1) with 19 points and Kyle Guy added 18 as the Cavaliers fell...
No. 18 Virginia Plays at No. 19 West Virginia Tuesday
M. Basketball | 12/4/2017
No. 18 Virginia (8-0) travels to No. 19 West Virginia (7-1) on Tuesday (Dec. 5). Tipoff at WVU...
Jeff White: Selfless Effort Propels 'Hoos in Latest Win
M. Basketball | 12/2/2017
No. 18 Virginia was credited with 21 assists on its 30 field goals Saturday in its victory over...
Guy's 21 lead No. 18 Virginia past Lehigh 75-54
M. Basketball | 12/02/2017
Kyle Guy scored 21 points and No. 18 Virginia never trailed in a 75-54 victory against Lehigh on ...
No. 18 Virginia Meets Lehigh Saturday
M. Basketball | 12/01/2017
Virginia (7-0) continues non-conference men’s basketball action against Lehigh (4-3) on...
- Online Stores