CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson suffered a loss at the hands of Wake Forest on Sunday, with the Demon Deacons downing the Tigers 72-65 at Littlejohn Coliseum. Despite limiting its opponent to just eight points in the fourth quarter, Clemson came away empty-handed.
The Tigers (10-9, 5-9) shot 41.0 percent on field goals and made seven 3-pointers, while Wake Forest (11-8, 8-7) was 60.0 percent from the floor and tallied eight treys. Clemson nabbed 12 steals and scored 18 points off 18 Wake Forest turnovers. In addition, the Tigers won the rebounding battle 32-27 and totaled 22 points in the paint and 17 second-chance points.
Gabby Elliott scored a team-high 18 points on the afternoon, going 7-for-15 from the field and 2-for-3 at the free throw line. She also collected five rebounds and five steals. Amari Robinson recorded 15 points and five boards. Delicia Washington finished with 11 points, six rebounds and five assists. For Wake Forest, Ivana Raca registered 20 points and five boards.
Robinson led the charge for the Tigers out of the gate, scoring 10 points in the first quarter. Also in the first period, Washington pulled off what was perhaps the play of the day for Clemson. She somehow connected on a circus shot from the elbow, which she made while being heavily defended. Furthermore, Washington assisted on a 3-pointer by Robinson that was banked in late in the first. The Tigers trailed 20-14 entering the second quarter, and the Demon Deacons extended their lead to 45-28 heading into the half.
Wake Forest maintained its comfortable lead in the third quarter, taking a 64-42 advantage into the fourth quarter, but Clemson did not give up without a fight. Outscoring the Demon Deacons 23-8 in the final period, the Tigers were sparked by Elliott. The freshman phenom netted several late-game shots, including a 3-pointer on Clemson’s final possession, which resulted in the 72-65 final score.
Next up for Clemson is a matchup with North Carolina (9-8, 4-8) on Thursday, Feb. 18. The Tigers and the Tar Heels will face off beginning at 7 p.m. inside Littlejohn, with the tilt airing on ACC Network Extra.
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Head Coach Amanda Butler
Opening statement:“This was a very disappointing loss. We started the game by giving up back-to-back threes to people we knew were going to shoot threes. We just didn’t fly out the gate ready to fight and protect our home court, and that falls squarely on me.”
On Clemson’s fourth-quarter comeback attempt:“We feel like our fight is one of or defining characteristics. The mystery is why the fight isn’t there at the beginning. That’s the million-dollar question we’ve got to answer.”
On the keys to the game:“You have to give Wake Forest a lot of credit for how ready and determined they were. We just didn’t do good job of setting the tone.”