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Clemson blows away Virginia with big second half

Mar 4, 2009 - 8:50 AM CLEMSON, South Carolina (Ticker) -- Terrence Oglesby scored 18 points to lead No. 19 Clemson to a 75-57 victory over Virginia on Tuesday.

Raymond Sykes added 14 points and Trevor Booker had 13 and 16 rebounds for Clemson (23-6, 9-6 ACC), which was coming off consecutive losses to Virginia Tech and Florida State.

A third straight loss looked possible at the half with Clemson leading only 32-31, but the Tigers outscored the Cavaliers, 43-26, after the break.

"You don't want to lose three in a row because it can play with your mind, especially when you've never had that happen to your team before," Clemson coach Oliver Purnell said. "That's what I was concerned about. Certainly, I think this team was resilient and could have dealt with it, but I didn't want to go there."

Calvin Baker scored 18 points for Virginia (9-17, 3-12), which has lost four straight since beating Clemson in overtime on February 15.

The Tigers got off to a slow start but took a 22-13 lead early on with a 13-0 run. Virginia fought back the rest of the half and was up 33-32 just after the break before Clemson took over.

A 12-2 burst gave the Tigers a 44-35 lead with 13 minutes to play. It was Clemson's largest lead at the time and they just kept on extending it.

Oglesby hit a 3-pointer to make it 57-40 with 8:45 to go. Jerai Grant converted a three-point play to extend the lead to 20 and the Tigers cruised from there.

"I was pleased with our second-half performance," Purnell said. "We had 10 turnovers in the first half and corrected that and only had five in the second. We were able to win the rebounding battle and play sticky defense.

The win was important as the Tigers try to move up from fifth in the Atlantic Coast Conference standings. The top four teams get a bye in the conference tournament and Clemson closes its regular season Sunday at No. 10 Wake Forest.

"You're going to lose some," Tigers guard K.C. Rivers said. "But it all comes down to playoff time. When it's time to buckle down, this team will be ready."

Virginia freshman Sylven Landesberg, was held to three points - all on free throws - as he missed all six of his shots from the field. Landesberg entered the game averaging a team-high 17.4 points.

"It was the ultimate display," Rivers said of his defense. "I shut (Landesberg) down. I always told you guys I don't have to score to be effective."