The Clemson Tigers had an extremely impressive 80-69 home ACC win Wednesday night over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. It snapped a six-game losing streak for the Tigers.
PJ Hall was ruled out prior to the game, still feeling effects from the foot injury he has been dealing with all season and Hunter Tyson remained out with a broken clavicle. Middlebrooks and Schieffelin got the starts in the frontcourt.
Chase Hunter played his best game as a Clemson Tiger, scoring 21 points. Hunter was extremely efficient, knocking down 10 of his 12 shots, including making his last six attempts. This season has been a crazy one for Chase Hunter. He was unplayable in clutch moments earlier in the season, with terrible shot selection and efficiency. The last couple of weeks, the narrative around him has completely changed. He is an aggressive scorer, confident ball handler, and a menace in transition. The game has really slowed down for Hunter, and it’s reflecting on the stat sheet.
Al-Amir Dawes also put in a great outing, notching 19 points. Dawes, who had just two at the halftime break, really turned on the gas down the stretch, including a clutch bucket in the final minutes of the game.
Nick Honor also played a very solid game, scoring 13 points, 5-7 from the floor. Honor will always bring the intensity on the defensive end, tonight was no different. Honor did a tremendous job getting it done on both ends.
The Tigers won the game with their efficient shooting. 54% from the floor, compared to the Deacon’s 41% is a wide margin. Wake Forest shot themselves in the foot with a rough shooting night, knocking down just 28% of their 3-point attempts. You have to give credit to the Tigers defense, they did a good job on closing out to shooters.
This win was a very pleasant surprise for the Tigers. Playing an above average ACC opponent without your best player is never easy. Clemson found a way to win, good to see from this team, just too little, too late on the season for this to move the needle on anything postseason related.
Clemson is now 5-12 in conference play, and 13-15 overall as we head into the final three games of the season. Next up for the Tigers will be a trip to the northeast at Boston College. A putrid home loss earlier in the season to the Eagles should be enough motivation to get another conference win.