Deacons push themselves to 2-2 in the ACC

Wake Forest was riding high coming into their ACC matchup against Clemson with an impressive two-game winning streak in conference play. However, their streak was abruptly halted Jan. 15 as the Tigers cruised past the Demon Deacons for a 60-44 victory in Littlejohn Coliseum.

Jeremy Hefter/Old Gold & Black

The Deacs, who were looking to validate close wins against conference foes Virginia and Boston College, struggled on the offensive end nearly all night.

Early on the two teams remained close, as Wake took an 11-9 lead seven minutes into play. This would be the last advantage the Deacons would have in the game as the Tigers answered with a 15-2 run, as well as holding Wake without a basket for nearly nine minutes.

Clemson would take control in the remainder of the first half as the Deacs shot a dismal 25 percent from the field. Wake saw just three players score in the half, as the other Deacons went 0-15.

The second half was no better for the Deacons as they continued to struggle in their shooting. The Tigers also stepped up their defense on Wake, blocking 11 shots, just two shy of a school record in ACC play. The Deacs would come no closer than 10 as Clemson ran away with a 60-44 victory.

The Deacs finished with a 24.6 percent field goal percentage, the lowest since percentage by a Wake team since a 20 percent shooting night in 1964, incidentally also against the Clemson Tigers.

The Deacons only had three assists in the game, but outrebounded the Tigers 42-36.

Wake fell to 9-7 overall on the year, and 2-2 in ACC play.

Junior Travis McKie led the Deacons with his third double-double of the season, posting 12 points and of the season, posting 12 points and pulling down 11 rebounds.

Freshman Devin Thomas was the only other double-figure scorer for the Deacs, scoring 11 points and grabbing six rebounds.

Thomas has been key to the Deacons’ rebounding success, averaging over 10 rebounds in the last five games.

Photo courtesy of shakinthesouthland.com

The Deacon’s previous game had been  a 55-52 nail-biter against the Boston College Eagles, where senior guard C.J. Harris had led the Deacs with a career-high 29 points on 10-13 shooting.

Harris was unable to mimic his success in the Clemson contest, scoring just eight points.

It was just the third time that the Winston-Salem native was held to less than double digits in scoring this season.

Wake will return to action Jan. 19 as they will again be on the road, traveling to Blacksburg to take on the Virginia Tech Hokies. The Hokies are fresh off an overtime thriller victory over Georiga Tech Jan. 12.

The Deacs look to stay competitive in the ACC with a win over the Hokies. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. at Cassell Coliseum.