Clemson will put a four-game winning streak on the line Tuesday night when the Tigers play host to longtime nemesis Virginia.
It will be the second meeting in two weeks between the teams. The Tigers (9-4, 1-1 ACC) snapped an 11-game losing streak against the Cavaliers (8-5, 2-1) on Dec. 22 in Charlottesville, Va.
Clemson’s lone scheduled game since was a Dec. 29 matchup against Duke that was postponed by COVID concerns within the Duke program.
Virginia is coming off a 74-69 victory at Syracuse on Saturday night that provided some encouragement after the Cavaliers got off to their worst start of the Tony Bennett era.
“It was a good step for sure,” Bennett said. “We kept our composure. There was some resiliency.”
Bennett’s team exhibited little composure in its 17-point loss to Clemson two weeks ago, shooting 36.6 percent from the floor and 27.3 percent from 3-point range. The Cavaliers were outrebounded 35-26, allowed 24 points on their 14 turnovers and got no points off the bench.
Still, Clemson will take nothing for granted against a Virginia program that has dominated the Tigers in recent years.
“This is the first time I’ve won here,” said 12th-year Clemson coach Brad Brownell after the win at Virginia. “This is a big win for our guys. We were really focused and played confidently.”
Tuesday night’s game will pit Virginia, which boasts the league’s top-ranked scoring defense, against a Clemson offense that paces the ACC in 3-point shooting.
Clemson’s starters have remained unchanged this season, and all five are averaging 9.6 points or better, led by PJ Hall at 14.4. The Tigers are shooting a collective 41 percent from beyond the arc and have five regular players connected at a 40 percent clip or better.
“It’s a good blend,” Brownell said. “It’s not just coaches figuring it out; the players have to figure it out and buy into what their role is.”
–Field Level Media