Clemson drops season opener at home to Virginia Tech

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Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) -- P.J. Horne had a tie-breaking dunk with 63 seconds left and freshman Landers Nolley II scored 30 points and Virginia Tech outlasted Clemson 67-60 on Tuesday night in the Atlantic Coast Conference and season opener for both teams.

Clemson rallied from 55-50 down to it at 57-all with 1:11 left. That's when Wabissa Bede came out of a defensive tangle to throw a long pass to a wide-open Horne, who jammed the ball, got fouled and made the free throw.

Bede came up big one more time when he blocked the shot of Tigers freshman Al-Amir Dawes, picked up the steal that lead to a basket from Tyrece Radford to seal it with 39 seconds left.

The win was the first for new coach Mike Young and the 300th of his career in a satisfying debut for the new-look Hokies.

Nolley was a huge part of that.

The 6-foot-7 freshman, who redshirted last season, shot 12 of 23 with four 3-pointers. Nolley stretched Virginia Tech's lead down the stretch with a basket and two foul shots to go up 55-50 with 4:58 to go before the wild finish.

It was Clemson's first loss in a season opener since 1984-85, a run of 34 straight wins that was snapped. Of course, the Tigers hadn't faced an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent during that long run.

The league, in a nod to the recently launched ACC Network, chose to start its new 20-game basketball schedule with ACC play to open the season.

Newman led the Tigers with 15 points. Aamir Simms finished with 12 points and a game-high 15 rebounds.