EditorsNote: Fixes first name of Kerry Blackshear; other edits for clarity
Shelton Mitchell scored 22 points and Clemson blocked 12 Virginia Tech shots Saturday as the Tigers knocked off the 11th-ranked Hokies 59-51 in Clemson, S.C.
Clemson’s victory, its first against a ranked opponent this season, improved the Tigers to 15-8 overall and 5-5 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
It was Clemson’s fourth consecutive victory in ACC play following a 1-5 start and snapped a four-game losing streak against Virginia Tech.
The Hokies slipped to 18-5 (7-4 ACC) with their second straight loss.
Mitchell, a graduate guard, made seven of his 14 shots from the floor, including a career-best 5-of-9 shooting from 3-point range.
Fellow graduate guard Marcquise Reed added 15 points as the Tigers improved to 11-2 at home this season.
Virginia Tech led 5-2 as Clemson missed its first four shots from 3-point range before Mitchell connected with 15:50 left in the first half, jump-starting a 12-0 run in which Mitchell accounted for all of the Tigers’ points and gave Clemson a lead it would never relinquish.
Mitchell finished the first half with 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting, including 5-of-6 from beyond the arc, and the Tigers took a 33-29 lead into the half.
The Hokies pulled within a point, 41-40, on a basket by Kerry Blackshear Jr. with 12:28 remaining, but Reed and Hunter Tyson connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to push the Tigers’ lead to 47-40 with 9:15 left, and the Hokies never got closer than three points the rest of the day.
Justin Robinson, Virginia Tech’s second-leading scorer, missed a third straight game and is sidelined indefinitely after suffering a foot injury at Miami on Jan. 30.
Clemson held the Hokies to a season-low 28.3 percent shooting percentage to go along with the 12 blocked shots - a high in nine seasons under Coach Brad Brownell.
Clemson senior forward Elijah Thomas had seven blocks for a second consecutive game and has 22 blocks during the Tigers’ four-game winning streak.
Blackshear, a junior forward, led Virginia Tech with 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting while sophomore guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker added 13 and graduate swingman Ty Outlaw scored 10.
—Field Level Media