Wake Hands Tigers Third Straight Loss


by - Correspondent -
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CLEMSON - As Clemson's offensive struggles continue, the Atlantic Coast Conference losses continue to mount. The latest, an 81-60 defeat at the hands of No. 17 Wake Forest Tuesday night at Littlejohn Coliseum, offset another solid defensive effort for much of the game. It also was the Tigers' third straight loss and fourth in its last five games. More importantly, it was the first of any of those defeats that wasn't close down the stretch; not a good sign for a team standing at 1-5 in league play (11-5 overall) with road trips to N.C. State and Duke coming up within their next three games. The emotion and intensity that had characterized Clemson during that stretch, even in defeat, withered on the vine as the second half wore on. "No one has been able to knock us out. No one has been able to punch us out until tonight, and Wake Forest did it," Clemson head coach Larry Shyatt said. "We started out and looked very focused...our defense was outstanding. Very disappointed in the second half. I thought we battled at times, but it almost looks like you'd question the heart of our team (late) as opposed to the first six or seven minutes of the game." The Demon Deacons hit eight 3-pointers and scored 14 points off nine Clemson turnovers in the first half, yet led just 37-32 at the break. But the Tigers' offensive funk showed out in a big way as the evening progre ssed, Clemson scoring just 12 points in the first 13 minutes of the second half, falling behind by double digits and never recovering. Meanwhile, Wake Forest (14-2, 4-2) went from bombing away outside to pounding the ball inside, using a 17-4 run to turn a 42-37 lead into a 59-41 advantage with just 8:38 to play. Clemson never got closer than 14 points the rest of the way. "It's hard to win an ACC basketball game. It's just hard," said Wake Forest head coach Skip Prosser. "I don't care, home or away, there are no layups in the league every game. I am very proud of our players." Vytas Danelius led the Deacs with 21 points, while Josh Howard and Taron Downey finished with 18 each. Ed Scott and Chey Christie scored 14 points each for Clemson. NOTES - Scott became the second guard in school history to reach the 1,000 point, 500 assist barrier for his career; - The victory was Prosser's 200th of his career, and Wake's first ACC road win in 360 days.

WAKE FOREST (14-2)

Levy 2-2 2-4 6, Danelius 7-10 5-7 21, Williams 2-4 1-2 5, Downey 5-9 4-4 18, Howard 4-13 7-10 18, Ellis 0-1 0-0 0, Benken 0-0 0-0 0, Joyce 0-1 0-0 0, Lepore 0-0 1-2 1, Strickland 5-10 2-2 12. Totals 25-50 22-31 81.

CLEMSON (11-5)

Babalola 2-5 1-1 6, Hobbs 1-3 0-1 2, Ford 2-6 2-4 6, Scott 5-14 1-3 14, Christie 6-15 0-0 14, Betko 3-4 0-0 8, Nagys 0-0 0-0 0, Henderson 2-2 0-2 4, Robinson 1-4 0-0 3, Akingbala 0-1 0-1 0, Douglas 1-4 0-0 3. Totals 23-58 4-12 60. Halftime-Wake Forest 37-32. 3-Point goals-Wake Forest 9-19 (Downey 4-8, Howard 3-6, Danelius 2-4, Strickland 0-1), Clemson 10-23 (Scott 3-8, Betko 2-3, Christie 2-6, Babalola 1-1, Douglas 1-2, Robinson 1-3). Fouled out-Hobbs. Rebounds-Wake Forest 38 (Howard 11), Clemson 32 (Ford 11). Assists-Wake Forest 19 (Downey 4), Clemson 15 (Scott 5). Total fouls-Wake Forest 18, Clemson 27. Technical-Clemson bench. A-8,500.

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