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  ACC 1st Round: #13 Clemson 69, #12 Virginia Tech 56
Clemson Crushes Cold Shooting Hokies
March 5, 2014

 
By JP Mundy, Photos by Orin Day

Nikki Dixon's 22 points and 12 boards led #13 seed Clemson to a 69-56 win over the cold shooting 12th seeded Hokies.
Photo by Orin Day - view more below!

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Clemson used a 13-point first half run to jump out to a 15-point lead as the 13th-seeded Tigers topped Virginia Tech, 69-56, in the opener of the ACC Women's Tournament in Greensboro. The Tigers got 22 points from Nikki Dixon and 19 from Nyilah Jamison-Myers and dominated the Hokies in the first half.

Virginia Tech's Uju Ugoka led the Hokies with 20 points, 18 of which were scored in the second half. That Herculean effort couldn't carry her team, as Ugoka had virtually no offensive support, save for Kelsey Conyers' 10 points. The disappointing season-ending loss comes only one week after the Hokies dismantled the Tigers 74-48 at Cassell Coliseum.

Top Performers

  1. Nikki Dixon, Clemson 22 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists. Dixon shot 50 percent from the floor and made 12-15 free throws to help avenge last week's loss to the Hokies. Tech never found an answer for Dixon, as the Tigers gear up for the next round..

  2. Nyilah Jamison-Myers, Clemson 19 points, 7 rebounds. In addition, Jamison-Myers was 7-9 from the free throw line.

  3. Uju Ugoka, Virginia Tech 20 points, 10 rebounds. Ugoka was benched early in the first half after picking up two quick fouls. Coach Dennis Wolff quickly reconsidered, and the talented forward finally responded with 18 points in the second half.

Game Analysis

Why Clemson won: At the time Clemson went on their big run, Virginia Tech was shooting 17.6 percent from the floor. The Tigers' defense was relentless for most of the game.

Why Virginia Tech lost: The Hokies played the Tigers even in the second half, but could never get defensive stops in the key moments of the game, and never found an answer for Dixon.

The Game Turned When...: The Hokies cut the lead to 9 with less than seven minutes to play, but turned an opportunity to further cut the lead into a Dixon bucket off of a turnover. The Hokies got no closer.

X-Factor: Vanessa Panousis had a tough trip to Greensboro, going 2-10 from the field. Her second basket came with seconds left in the game. She had multiple open looks, but just had some tough luck knocking them down.

Key Stat: The Tigers shot 28 free throws, getting to the line because of their aggression and intensity. They made 21 while the Hokies were 7-13.

Areas for Improvement: Clemson is a well-coached team that plays well when they match their coach's intensity. The Tigers will need that intensity Thursday versus Syracuse. The Hokies spent a lot of their time on offense rushing possessions and settling for bad shots, which must be addressed in the offseason (among other things).

Ramifications: Congratulations, Clemson! You get a very good (but beatable) Syracuse team in the next round. Virginia Tech? Thanks for playing, see you next year.

They Said It: "I feel like our defense is what catapulted us into playing such a well-balanced game, and I'm really proud of how hard they played, considering we did not play as well against Virginia Tech the first time."- Clemson head coach Audra Smith

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DWHoops Photos by Orin Day

All photos have been tagged and captioned as appropriate. Check for your favorite player!

Link to this Photo Opening Tip
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Link to this Photo Rejection by NJM  - CLEM Players: #15 Nyilah Jamison-Myers - VT Tags: #14 Uju Ugoka
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Link to this Photo Digest contributor JP Mundy covered Wake Forest during the regular season.
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Link to this Photo The urgency of senior Tellier  - CLEM Players: #23 Chancie Dunn - VT Tags: #31 Monet Tellier
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Link to this Photo Ballgame - Clemson 69, Virginia Tech 56
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