Tanner Smith scored 15 of his 20 points in the first half as Clemson snapped a three-game losing skid with a 78-58 victory over Wake Forest on Saturday at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The Tigers improved to 12-12 on the season, 4-6 in the ACC. The Demon Deacons fell to 11-14 overall, 2-9 in conference play.
With the win, the Tigers earned their first win at Wake Forest since the
facility's first season in 1989-90 (89-75 Clemson win). Clemson had
dropped 18 consecutive games to the Deacons in Winston-Salem. Clemson
also earned a regular season sweep over Wake for the first time since that
same ACC championship season. In addition, Clemson coach Brad Brownell
became the first Tiger mentor to win each of his first three games against
The Tigers shot a season-high 58 percent, converting 32 of 55 field goal
attempts. Clemson made 8-of-18 from three-point distance, 44 percent.
The Tigers also won the rebound margin 30-26 and collected 11 steals as a
team. Smith was the game's top scorer, and he was supported by Milton
Jennings with 15 and Andre Young with 12. Freshman guard Devin Coleman
added a season-high nine off the bench.
Clemson quickly jumped out to a 7-0 lead after Tanner Smith got a
fortunate bounce on a three-pointer. But, Wake Forest countered with a
9-2 run that tied the ballgame on a Chase Fischer jumper. The two teams
played closely for the next several minutes. After Young tied the game on
a jumper at 17, Harris came down the other end and took advantage of a
mismatch for a three-point play to put the Deacs up three. That began a
7-0 run that put Wake up 24-17 before Booker answered with a jump hook in
The Tigers put together a 7-0 run of their own to tie the game at 26.
Coleman sank his first three-point basket of the season during the run,
and Jennings capped it with a layup. Coleman put in a spinning reverse
layup moments later, which sandwiched back-to-back deep threes from Smith
that made it 34-32 in a sudden offensive battle.
Clemson closed the half strong on an 8-0 run that culminated with a Booker
tip-in just before the halftime buzzer. Smith scored a game-high 15
points in that opening stanza, and the Tigers shot a season-best 64
percent for the 20 minutes.
The second half featured a 17-5 run out of the gate in which the Tiger
seniors combined for 15 points. Bryan Narcisse hit his fifth
three-pointer of the season in the run. Clemson is now 10-3 all-time when
Narcisse makes a three-point basket.
Wake scored a modest four unanswered as Clemson failed to score for more
than three minutes. But, Jennings ended that with a three off a secondary
break to make it 62-45. The lead reached 73-50 on a long ball in the
corner by freshman K.J. McDaniels. The Tigers' freshmen combined for 16
points in the ballgame.
The Tigers return home to take on a ranked Virginia team on Tuesday, Feb.
14. The game is scheduled for 7:00 PM at Littlejohn Coliseum.
Tigers grab ACC road win at Wake
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