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Virginia Tech basketball: Hokies survive No. 24 Clemson

Virginia Tech is now 5-1 on the season.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 04 Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Virginia Tech Hokies kicked off ACC play on Tuesday with a big 66-60 win over No. 24 Clemson.

The Hokies led throughout the game until the Tigers took a one-point lead with around two minutes remaining in the first half. Then, Tech went on a quick 9-3 run to go into halftime with a 32-27 lead.

Mike Young’s squad came out in the second half, going on a 13-2 run to blow the game open at 45-29. But Clemson wasn’t done.

The Tigers would claw back to within two scores, and the Hokies would always answer. However, late in the game, Clemson cut the lead to two points. Fortunately for the Hokies, they shot almost 81 percent from the free-throw line, hitting 25 of 31 attempts, which proved to be the difference in the game.

Sophomore guard Tyrece Radford led the Hokies with 15 points. Forward Keve Aluma and guard Nahiem Alleyne both chipped in with 13 points and four rebounds apiece for Virginia Tech.

Hunter Cattoor was strong off the bench for the Hokies, scoring 11 points and six rebounds.

Unfortunately, Virginia Tech’s depth took a hit when senior guard Cartier Diarra opted out of the season, the head coach said after the game. Young did say Diarra could return to the team.

Virginia Tech moves to 5-1 on the season and 1-0 in ACC play. It is the second consecutive season that the Hokies defeated Clemson in their ACC opener.

The Hokies host Coppin State on Saturday.