Tigers shake off slow start to beat Wake


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CLEMSON – Brad BrownellBrad Brownell
Head Coach
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told his coaching staff before Saturday’s home contest against Wake Forest that he didn’t like the look on his players’ faces.

Brownell said his team didn’t look prepared to do battle against a young Wake Forest that, like Clemson, was in desperate need of an ACC victory. Brownell’s words were prophetic as the Tigers struggled through the early part of the game but rallied for a 71-60 victory over the Demon Deacons at Littlejohn Coliseum.

Andre YoungAndre Young
Sr. Guard
#11 5-9, 175
Albany, GA

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scored 19 points to lead the Tigers, while Devin BookerDevin Booker
Jr. Forward
#31 6-8, 245
Whitmire, SC

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scored 16 points and Tanner SmithTanner Smith
Sr. Guard
#5 6-5, 210
Alpharetta, GA

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added 13 for the Tigers (11-9, 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), who shook of the slow start. Bryan NarcisseBryan Narcisse
Sr. Forward
#21 6-6, 220
North Augusta, SC

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had 11 points, the fourth Clemson player to hit double figures, while Booker had seven rebounds, three blocks and three assists. Wake Forest (11-10, 2-5) was led by C.J. Harris, who scored 19 points.

“I was angry about our defense early on, because we talked about being an energy team and playing really hard,” Brownell said. “I actually said something to our staff when I was talking to them upstairs before we came down that I didn’t like the look in their eyes. I felt like that it was a noon game and we haven’t done this much at home. I don’t know if we’re ready for a competitive fight.

“We were a little bit on our heels. To Wake’s credit, I thought they executed things with good pace and got some things going. And, then when you’re not scoring and you go down and miss some shots, you need some positive energy to get ready to guard. What comes first the positive energy or the guard? It’s nice when you have both, but we didn’t have it. That’s what I was imploring them to do in a couple of those timeouts.”

Each team entered the contest having won just two games in the conference, placing them just ahead of one-win teams in last-place Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. Wake had lost four-of-five coming in, while Clemson broke a three-game losing streak with a 64-62 win over Georgia Tech last Saturday.

The Tigers trailed 6-0 and 12-4 before a Devin ColemanDevin Coleman
Fr. Guard
#15 6-2, 200
Philadelphia, PA

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steal set up an Andre Young 3-pointer that made it 12-7. The Tigers still struggled to find a rhythm, however, enduring a 1-for-15 start from the floor and still trailed 19-13 when the Clemson defense fueled a 23-10 run the final eight minutes of the half. Tanner Smith hit a 3-pointer to open the charge, and then he and Devin Booker had breakaway jams off Wake Forest turnovers as Clemson took its first lead, 20-19.

Brownell said that Narcisse helped keep the Tigers in the game early.

“He’s a high energy kid,” he said. “When he’s active like that, it really helps take some pressure off of the other guys. He has had maybe a little of an up-and-down season. He defended well against {Travis] McKie for the most part when he was on him, and his length helps us in terms of activity defensively and also with some rebounding.”

Milton JenningsMilton Jennings
Jr. Forward
#24 6-9, 225
Summerville, SC

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had a turnaround jumper that put the Tigers in front for good, 26-25. Young followed with a 3-pointer and a basket before Smith brought the Littlejohn crowd to its feet with a 3-pointer as time ran out in the half for a 36-29 lead.

The Tigers finished the half by hitting 13 of their final 20 shots, scoring on 15 of their final 17 possessions of the half with just two turnovers.

The Tigers stayed hot to open the second half, using a 13-4 run where Young scored six points and Booker had four. The Tigers’ defense again fueled the run, pressuring Wake into four straight turnovers during the stretch, scoring off each one to move in front 51-39 with 12:25 to play.

Wake Forest never got closer than 10 points the rest of the way as the Tigers collected ten steals as part of Wake’s 15 turnovers.


“Turnovers killed us,” Wake head coach Jeff Bzdelik said. “When you’ve been struggling offensively and you start the game the way we did, you have to be able to build on that success. We didn’t take advantage of the lead we had in the first half. We had some opportunities; open shots and free throws that you just have to make. There-in lies the story of the game in my mind.”

The Tigers meanwhile, had just eight turnovers while dishing out 16 assists.

“We just took care of the ball,” Brownell said. “Wake is not a high-pressure team, so you’re not dealing with a team that’s trying to gamble and steal and those kinds of things. I think our guys have gotten a little better offensively. I think we’re a little more comfortable. We just made some good decisions.”

Young was coming off a career-high 29 points in the win against Georgia Tech last week, and Brownell said his senior is starting to emerge as a go-to player.

“He has to be. We all knew that he was going to be the guy coming into the season,” he said. “There have been some times when he hasn’t been as consistent as we would like. That’s part of the process of being a primary player, of being asked and expected to make big plays and big shots. The last two games, he’s been able to do that for us.”

Clemson travels to Virginia to take on the Cavaliers Tuesday night at 7 p.m.



VISITORS: Wake Forest 11-10, 2-5
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
25 Mescheriakov, Nikita f  2-7    0-1    2-2    2  2  4   3   6  1  3  0  1  31
30 McKie, Travis....... f  6-14   1-3    0-2    5  7 12   4  13  3  3  1  2  37
40 Walker, Ty.......... c  4-7    0-0    0-0    2  2  4   2   8  1  2  3  0  26
01 Chennault, Tony..... g  1-7    0-1    1-5    2  3  5   3   3  3  2  0  0  29
11 Harris, C.J......... g  5-10   1-3    8-8    1  6  7   5  19  3  4  0  1  38
02 Fields, Anthony.....    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  1  0  0  0   1
10 Fischer, Chase......    3-7    1-2    2-2    0  3  3   0   9  1  0  0  0  24
33 Desrosiers, Carson..    1-2    0-0    0-0    0  4  4   1   2  0  0  1  0  14
   TEAM................                         2     2             1
   Totals..............   22-54   3-10  13-19  14 27 41  18  60 13 15  5  4 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-26 46.2%   2nd Half: 10-28 35.7%   Game: 40.7%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  1-5  20.0%   2nd Half:  2-5  40.0%   Game: 30.0%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  4-6  66.7%   2nd Half:  9-13 69.2%   Game: 68.4%    2


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOME TEAM: Clemson 11-9, 3-3
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
21 Narcisse, Bryan..... f  2-6    1-2    6-6    3  1  4   0  11  1  0  1  2  20
24 Jennings, Milton.... f  2-10   0-1    1-2    2  5  7   3   5  0  3  2  0  25
31 Booker, Devin....... f  6-11   0-0    4-4    3  4  7   2  16  3  0  3  1  33
05 Smith, Tanner....... g  5-10   2-4    1-3    1  3  4   4  13  3  3  0  4  32
11 Young, Andre........ g  7-12   3-6    2-4    1  3  4   2  19  5  0  0  2  33
01 Sapp, T.J...........    0-4    0-2    0-0    0  1  1   2   0  2  0  0  0  15
04 Hall, Rod...........    1-2    0-0    1-3    0  1  1   2   3  1  2  0  0  14
10 Baciu, Catalin......    1-2    0-0    0-0    1  0  1   2   2  0  0  1  0   9
15 Coleman, Devin......    1-2    0-0    0-0    0  3  3   1   2  1  0  0  1  14
22 Sullivan, Bernard...    0-1    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   5
   TEAM................                         2  1  3
   Totals..............   25-60   6-15  15-22  13 22 35  18  71 16  8  7 10 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 14-35 40.0%   2nd Half: 11-25 44.0%   Game: 41.7%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  4-8  50.0%   2nd Half:  2-7  28.6%   Game: 40.0%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  4-5  80.0%   2nd Half: 11-17 64.7%   Game: 68.2%    2


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Officials: Les Jones, Raymond Styons, Bernard Clinton
Technical fouls: Wake Forest-Mescheriakov, Nikita. Clemson-None.
Attendance: 8134
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Wake Forest...................   29   31  -   60
Clemson.......................   36   35  -   71

Points in the paint-WF 32,CU 22. Points off turnovers-WF 4,CU 19.
2nd chance points-WF 10,CU 11. Fast break points-WF 0,CU 10.
Bench points-WF 11,CU 7. Score tied-1 time. Lead changed-7 times.
Last FG-WF 2nd-00:14, CU 2nd-01:32.
Largest lead-WF by 8 1st-12:01, CU by 15 2nd-03:27.

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