COL BKB: West Virginia 84, Clemson 76

March 17, 2011 at 5:26 PM
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TAMPA, Fla., March 17 (UPI) -- Darryl Bryant and Kevin Jones combined for 36 points and West Virginia overcame a slow start Thursday before taking an 84-76 NCAA tournament win over Clemson.

The West Virginia Mountaineers, the No. 5 seed in the East Regional, trailed by as many as 10 in the first half but ran off nine consecutive points to end the first half and had a 12-3 spurt to open the second half in turning the game around.

Clemson, which won a first-round game Tuesday as a No. 12 seed, had a final charge that Dalton Pepper thwarted for West Virginia. The Tigers got within 74-71 with 1:49 to play but, after Joe Mazzulla made two Mountaineer free throws, Pepper had steals on three consecutive Clemson possessions -- scoring twice -- that effectively put the game out of reach.

Jones dropped a 3-point shot as time wound down in the first half to pull the Mountaineers even 40-40. Bryant capped the early second-half run with a 4-point play that made the score 52-43 with 14:31 left.

Bryant finished with 19 points and Jones had 17 to lead five Mountaineers into double figures. Clemson's Andre Young led all scorers with 22 points.

West Virginia (21-11) moves to a third-round game Saturday against fourth-seeded Kentucky, which edged No. 13 Princeton 59-57. Clemson closed its season 22-12.

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