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Clemson blows past Wake in second half to win ACC opener


PJ Hall took another huge step toward returning to form by scoring 21 points as Clemson opened Atlantic Coast Conference play with a 77-57 victory against visiting Wake Forest on Friday night.

Hunter Tyson’s 15 points, Brevin Galloway’s 14 and Alex Hemenway’s 12 (all in the second half) also gave a boost to the Tigers. Chase Hunter chipped in with 11 points for Clemson (7-2, 1-0 ACC).

Daivien Williamson, who has played sparingly the past couple of weeks because of an ailing back, scored 12 off the bench for Wake Forest (7-2, 0-1). Cameron Hildreth added 11 points.

Wake Forest scoring leader Tyree Appleby, who had been averaging 19.6 points per game, was held to eight points on 3-for-13 shooting from the field.

The Demon Deacons were 8 for 28 on 3s compared to Clemson’s 9 for 22.

Hall has been working back into regular playing time after a season-ending injury last winter and a subsequent setback during the summer. But he looked in form as he made seven of 11 shots from the field. He made two 3-pointers and also went 5 for 6 on free throws.

Tyson was 8 for 8 at the foul line, an effort that helped Clemson close on a strong run. Tyson’s 10 rebounds contributed to the Tigers’ 38-24 edge on the boards.

Wake Forest was coming off a road victory at Wisconsin and carried that momentum into the early stages of this conference game. Wake Forest led 33-26 at halftime, but the Tigers went ahead less than four minutes into the second half.

Once the Tigers heated up, they rarely slowed down.

The Demon Deacons were within 52-45 with less than 8 1/2 minutes remaining before the Tigers took off. Wake Forest managed only six points across the final six minutes, as Clemson went on to outscore Wake 51-24 in the half.

Hemenway drained two 3-pointers in a 44-second span as Clemson built its lead to 65-51 with less than five minutes to play. Those were his third and fourth 3s of the second half.

–Field Level Media









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