ATLANTA (Ticker) -- B.J. Elder turned in a career-best scoring effort as Georgia Tech tuned up for Saturday's showdown with the best team in the Atlantic Coast Conference by dispatching the league's worst team.
Elder scored 36 points to lead the 16th-ranked Yellow Jackets to a 76-69 ACC victory over Clemson.
"He got it going early and we just kept riding him and trying to run things for him," Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said.
The senior guard had 20 points by halftime and drilled 6-of-10 3-pointers to help Georgia Tech (16-3, 4-2 ACC) rebound from Saturday's loss to North Carolina State. Elder's point total was an ACC season high and the most by a Georgia Tech player in 10 years.
"Well, obviously he was huge for them just in terms of giving them an anchor on offense," Clemson coach Oliver Purnell said. "But we allowed them to get rolling and he's such a good player that once he's on a roll, he feels very confident."
Elder's effort came four days ahead of a meeting with top-ranked Duke.
Sharrod Ford collected 21 points and 13 rebounds for Clemson (8-9, 1-6), which has lost four straight.
"I give Georgia Tech credit, I didn't think they played well early, but they played very well coming down the stretch," Purnell said. "This is not a situation where we lost, they just beat us down the stretch by playing well on their home court."
The Tigers used a 14-6 run to climb within 71-65 with 1:37 to play but got no closer.
Georgia Tech was without starting forward Clarence Moore, who sat out with turf toe. Marvin Lewis replaced him in the starting lineup and scored 11 points.