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Hot start propels Wake Forest past Clemson

The Demon Deacons’ 48 first-half points were too much for the Tigers to overcome.

NCAA Basketball: Clemson at Wake Forest William Howard-USA TODAY Sports

Tyree Appleby scored 24 points, Austin Carr and Cameron Hildreth posted double-doubles and Wake Forest rode a torrid first half to a 87-77 win over Clemson on Wednesday night.

Appleby made two 3-pointers in the first 2:18, and the Deacons seemingly couldn’t miss from that point on in the opening half. The Tigers stayed within shouting distance, but Wake seemed to have an answer for every run they tried to put together — leading by 10 heading into halftime.

The Deacs scored five straight points out of the break and maintained a double-digit for the most of the second half. Clemson refused to go quietly though, cutting the lead to six on a four-point play by Chauncey Wiggins with 9:34 remaining.

Wake pushed the lead back to double figures, however, before the Tigers again closed the gap to six on a three-point play by Hunter Tyson with 2:07 to play. Hildreth then buried a 3-pointer on the Deacs’ next possession to put the game out of reach.

PJ Hall led Clemson with 22 points, while Tyson added 19 points and 14 rebounds. Brevin Galloway scored 16 and Wiggins chipped in 10 off the bench.

Clemson was without the services of point guard Chase Hunter, who suffered a foot injury against Duke. Still missing Alex Hemenway, the Tigers entered the game with just three healthy guards. Two of those guards — Josh Beadle and Dillon Hunter — got in foul trouble early, forcing the Tigers to play with unorthodox lineups for significant stretches.

Clemson returns home to face Virginia Tech on Saturday.