Clemson’s offense started off slowly before grinding to a complete stop in a 56-44 loss at Wake Forest, Saturday. The Tigers shot just 31% from the field and 19% from the 3-point line in their lowest scoring output since a 63-43 defeat to Virginia last season. The Demon Deacons weren’t much better, knocking down 35% of their field goal attempts, but a 19-7 second-half run was good enough to build a 20-point lead en route to a comfortable victory.
Aamir Simms paced Clemson (11-10, 5-6 ACC) with 14 points and eight rebounds. After failing to reach double figures in the last three games, Simms was the lone scoring threat for the Tigers through much of the game. In the first half, Simms outscored his teammates 10-9 and was responsible for Clemson’s only 3-pointer.
Clemson was also unable to generate free throws or open court opportunities. Only Simms, John Newman III and Hunter Tyson attempted foul shots and the Tigers scored just five points on the break. Alex Hemenway came of the bench to knock down a pair of late 3-pointers, but the game was already out of reach. Tevin Mack, fresh of a career-high 32 points against Syracuse, was held to two points on 1 of 9 shooting.
The Tigers defense kept it close until intermission, but Deacon guards Andrien White (17 points) and Brandon Childress (10 points) sparked a 13-0 run to start the second half, resulting in a 36-19 lead.
Clemson is next in action, Wednesday, at Virginia. The Cavaliers are coming off a 61-56 victory over fifth-ranked Florida State and have beaten the Tigers in nine straight dating back to the 2012-2013 season.