CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Opposing coaches always look for a way to slow down Mike Scott when playing No. 16 Virginia, and then for a way to minimize 3-point shooters Joe Harris and Sammy Zeglinski.
Clemson failed on both counts in a 65-61 loss at Virginia on Tuesday night as Scott had 23 points, including four free throws in the final 16.8 seconds, and Harris scored a season-high 19.
"When those guys are making shots, or taking shots, you don't feel good about it on your end," Tigers coach Brad Brownell said. "Those are three guys that are all good players and guys that can make shots, get hot."
Devin Booker scored 16 points and Tanner Smith had 14 for the Tigers (11-10, 3-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), who were without starting forward Milton Jennings after he was suspended for academic reasons on Monday.
The Tigers went cold as the Cavaliers heated up after halftime. Harris had three of his five 3-pointers in a 19-3 run that gave Virginia a 49-38 lead, and the Tigers were 1 for 10 from the field in that stretch.
Several times, Brownell said, the Tigers missed a shot in the lane, and it led to a transition 3-pointer for the Cavaliers, making it feel like a 5-point swing on one possession.
It helped that when Virginia got open shots, it made them. The Cavaliers shot 56 percent.
"The way they play, their points are never going to be high, but you look at their field goal percentage against us," Brownell said. 'We played well. We had three or four bad shots in the second half."
Virginia (18-3, 5-2) reached 18 victories before the end of January for the first time since 1981-82.
The Tigers were within 61-58 and had the ball when they called a timeout with 20.6 seconds to play. They inbounded to Andre Young, who quickly launched a 3-pointer that missed. Scott rebounded for Virginia, was fouled and made both.
The Tigers led 35-30 early in the second half before Harris and Zeglinski hit consecutive 3-pointers to put Virginia ahead. The shots were the start of an 11-0 run before Booker hit a 3-pointer for the Tigers. The Cavaliers then added eight straight points to open a 49-38 lead.
3-Point Goals -- Clemson 8-21 (Narcisse 0-2, Booker 2-4, Sapp 1-3, Smith 4-5, Young 1-6, McDaniels 0-1); Virginia 6-14 (Harris 5-6, Zeglinski 1-7). Steals -- Clemson 5 (Young 2); Virginia 3 (Scott, Evans, Seglinski). Blocks -- Clemson 1 (Baciu); Virginia 5 (Scott 3). Turnovers -- Clemson 4 (Booker 2); Virginia 11 (Evans 5). Technicals -- Clemson None. A--10,919.