Elijah Thomas posts a double-double as Tigers rout Wake Forest 64-37
|Sunday, February 3, 2019, 1:53 PM- -|
CLEMSON – Elijah Thomas posted his sixth double-double of the season and the 17th of his career and Clemson led from start to finish in a 64-37 rout of Wake Forest Sunday afternoon in Littlejohn Coliseum.
Thomas scored a game-high 19 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and posted a career-high seven blocked shots for the Tigers. Thomas was 10-of-11 from the field (tied a career-high in field goals) and was 3-of-3 from the line.
The victory is Clemson’s sixth consecutive in the series with Wake Forest and is the Tigers’ second straight ACC victory. Clemson has won three consecutive home games. Wake Forest has dropped five games in a row, with four of the five coming by 16 points or more.
The Tigers improve to 13-8 overall and 3-5 in the ACC, while Wake Forest falls to 8-13 overall and 1-8 in league play. Marcquise Reed added nine points and David Skara seven for the Tigers. Sharone Wright, Jr., whose father played at Clemson, scored just one point for the Demon Deacons.
Clemson shot 47% from the field (27-53)and hit 6-of-18 from 3-point range. Wake Forest shot just 24 from the field (14-59) and hit just 3-of-22 from 3-point range (14%). Wake outrebounded Clemson 41-34 and had an astounding 18 offensive rebounds, but managed just 16 points in the paint.
The 37 points given up tied for the fewest in an ACC game under Brad Brownell. Georgia Tech scored 37 in a game in 2012.
"As a team and as a program we have to commit to the things we set out to do this year," Thomas said. "Once we commit to that we will be the team we want to be. We are a confident bunch and we all love to score, but we need to be ferocious on defense. We have room for improvement."
Thomas scored the first four points of the game as Clemson jumped out to the quick lead. The Demon Deacons were cold at the start, hitting just two field goals in the first seven minutes, as the Tigers roared out to a 16-5 advantage with 13:11 to play in the half.
That was part of a 19-4 run that spanned seven minutes and saw Clemson eventually take a 24-7 lead with seven minutes remaining in the half. However, the Tigers began to struggle from the field and the Demon Deacons found their range as Wake Forest ended the half on a 9-6 run that saw Clemson hold a 30-18 lead at intermission.
Thomas led a furious charge out of halftime. The Tigers started the half by looking inside, and layups by Aamir Sims and David Skara and two layups by Thomas helped push Clemson to a quick 42-30 lead. The Demon Deacons once again couldn’t force the issue on the offensive end, and when Mitchell drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key with just over 13 minutes remaining, Wake head coach Danny Manning was forced to call a timeout with Clemson leading 45-20.
Clemson led 49-28 when Thomas bullied his way into the paint for two more points and a 41-28 lead, and a minute later John Newman hit a 3-pointer from the corner for a 54-28 lead. Thomas left the game to an ovation with just over four minutes left in the game and the Tigers were able to run out the clock.
The biggest cheer of the day came with just under two minutes remaining when former walk-on Lyles Davis – who recently earned a scholarship – drained a 3-pointer that gave Clemson a 63-34 lead.
Clemson returns to action Wednesday, traveling to Georgia Tech in a 7 pm tip. The Tigers return home next Saturday with another noon tip, hosting Virginia Tech.
Notes: Clemson won its second league game in a row … Clemson improved to 25-3 (.893) in Littlejohn Coliseum dating back to last season (last 28 home games) … the Tigers won their sixth in a row over the Demon Deacons … Brad Brownell won his 162nd game at Clemson – just 15 wins shy of tying Cliff Ellis for the most all-time in Clemson history (177) … Clemson held Wake Forest to just 37 total points – tied for the fewest allowed in an ACC game since allowing 37 to Georgia Tech in a 56-37 win (Feb. 21, 2012) … Clemson moves to 41-2 under Brad Brownell when allowing 50 points or less (2-0 in 2018-19) … Clemson’s 10 blocks were a season-best (previous: 8 vs. Charleston Southern – Dec. 18, 2018) … 10 blocks is the most in a game and most in an ACC game for the Tigers since posting 10 against NC State last season (Dec. 30, 2017) … Elijah Thomas posted his 17th career double-double and sixth of the season … Clemson is 13-4 overall when Thomas notches a double-double in his career … Thomas blocked a career-high seven shots … Thomas now has 146 blocked shots in his career … averaging 1.83 blocks per game over his 80-game Clemson career – sixth all-time in Clemson history … Thomas now owns 548 career rebounds at Clemson – just 56 shy of tying Horace Wyatt (1978-82) for 25th on Clemson’s all-time list … Thomas tied his career-high with 10 made field goals … Marcquise Reed moved into 26th all-time in scoring and now has 1,225 points in his Clemson career … with one steal, Reed now has 138 for his Clemson career – just three shy of tying Bobby Conrad (1976-80) for 15th on Clemson’s all-time list … Lyles Davis set a new career-high in points with his first career made 3-pointer … Davis tied his career-high with one steal … Davis also tied his career-high with one made field goal … Trey Jemison tied his career-high with two rebounds … John Newman III set a new career-mark with six points … Newman tied his career-high with two made field goals and set a new career-high with two made 3-pointers … Wake Forest’s 18 first half points were the lowest allowed by Clemson this season … Clemson held Wake Forest to a season-low 23.7 percent shooting … held Wake Forest to a season-low 13.6 percent from 3-point range … held Wake Forest to a season-low 20.6 percent shooting in the second half.