Clemson 60, Wake Forest 44

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 15, 2013
K.J. McDaniels scored 14 points and had career highs with nine rebounds and seven blocks to lead Clemson to its fourth straight win over Wake Forest 60-44 on Tuesday night. The Tigers (10-6, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) held the Demon Deacons to their lowest point total this season as McDaniels led an aggressive defensive attack that held Wake Forest's two leading scorers in C.J. Harris and Travis McKie to 20 points - 11 points below their combined average coming in. Adonis Filer scored 13 points and Devin Booker added 12 points and eight rebounds for the Tigers. Clemson, second in the ACC in points given up, held their second straight league opponent to 44 points. McKie led the Demon Deacons (9-7, 2-2) with 12 points, but struggled against Clemson's inside defense and was just 4-of-13 shooting. Wake Forest shot under 25 percent (15 of 61) and had just three assists. Clemson put the game away early with a 23-7 run in the first half. Milton Jennings and Rod Hall had five points each and Booker four points during the surge to put the Tigers ahead 27-15. Wake Forest never came closer than 10 points the rest of the way. McDaniels all but sealed things right after halftime, banking in a jumper and following with a 3-pointer while the Demon Deacons missed their first eight shots of the period. Devin Thomas was the only other Wake Forest player in double figures with 11 points. McKie led the team with 11 rebounds. Wake Forest was picked to finish 11th of 12 ACC teams this preseason, but have opened a surprising 2-1 after victories against Virginia and Boston College at home. The road, though, poses a much more difficult test for the Demon Deacons, who struggled to make shots early on against Clemson's aggressive defense. Clemson turned up its defense during the decisive stretch as it held the Demon Deacons without a basket for nearly 9 minutes. McDaniels, a 6-foot-6 sophomore, wiped out consecutive shots with big-time blocks, swatting away an attempt near the hoop by Arnaud Adala Moto before leaping up moments later to deny Tyler Cavanaugh. All the Demon Deacon points in the first half came from three players in Harris, McKie and Dein Thomas. The rest of the Wake lineup was 0 of 15 from the field. Wake Forest finished just 25 percent from the field (7 of 28) in the opening period. That was Clemson's best defensive showing of any half this season. Clemson got a boost from freshman guard Jordan Roper, who returned to action after missing last Saturday's win over Virginia with an ankle sprain. Roper had three of Clemson's six 3-pointers. The Tigers kept up the hot shooting that began in the second half against Virginia when they shot 77 percent (10 of 13). Clemson was 12 of 22 (54.5 percent) in the first half against Wake Forest. Cavanaugh struggled the most for the Demon Deacons. He was 0 for 11 before making his only bucket on a short put-back.
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