BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) Sean Pedulla scored a career-high 32 points to lead Virginia Tech to a 87-72 win over No. 21 Clemson on Wednesday.

Pedulla tied his career high with six 3-pointers and set his career high in points for the second consecutive game for the Hokies (10-5, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who snapped a two-game losing streak. Pedulla’s previous career high of 26 came in Virginia Tech’s loss to Florida State on Saturday.

“We just needed to get our rhythm back and our confidence back,” Pedulla said. “I think the last couple of games since we had lost two in a row, our confidence was a little down. The coaches did a great job of getting our confidence back up and telling us we are a good team when we put it all together. It was a matter of putting it all together, and we did for the most part today.”

Ian Schieffelin led Clemson with 15 points. The Tigers (11-4, 1-3) have lost three consecutive games.

Virginia Tech, which moved to 8-0 at home this season, led by nine at halftime and held off the Tigers, who cut the lead to four points on three occasions in the final 10 minutes. The final time came when Schieffelin scored with 6:59 remaining to cut the Hokies’ lead to 70-66.

Virginia Tech’s Tyler Nickel, though, buried jumpers on back-to-back possessions - the last a 3-pointer with 5:32 left - and the Hokies weren’t threatened the rest of the way.

“We just played better basketball tonight,” Virginia Tech coach Mike Young said. “It helps when the ball goes in the basket, but I thought we shared and Tyler Nickel had his best game in a Hokie uniform. It was just one of those team wins when everybody played well.”

Nickel finished with career highs in points (24) and 3-pointers (5) for the Hokies, who made 13 3-pointers and shot 54.4% (31 of 57) for the game.

“We were beat up from the last game,” Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. “Monday, we tried to regroup. I thought we were getting there. I thought we were fine by today, but clearly we were not ready. I just thought they (the Hokies) played with great pace and great intensity, and when you make shots like they did, that just energizes you. We were basically playing uphill the whole game.”


Clemson: The Tigers jumped out to a 9-0 start this season - their best start under coach Brad Brownell - but have lost four of their past six games. Defense has been the issue for the Tigers, who have allowed at least 79 points in three of their losses and simply had no answer for Pedulla or Nickel, who combined to hit 17 of 27 from the floor, including 11 of 17 from beyond the arc.

Virginia Tech: After two consecutive losses and squandering opportunities for quality nonconference wins over Florida Atlantic and Auburn, the Hokies needed this one. They got it in impressive fashion, doing so despite losing second-leading scorer Hunter Cattoor with an undisclosed injury late in the first half. He did not return and Young said he would know more Thursday about Cattoor’s future status.


Clemson’s three-game losing streak likely means the Tigers will be out of the Top 25 poll on Monday.


Clemson: Hosts Boston College on Saturday.

Virginia Tech: Hosts Miami on Saturday.


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