WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Clemson Tigers came up short against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Thursday. Facing off with Wake Forest at Lawrence Joel Memorial Coliseum, Clemson put together a valiant comeback effort in the fourth quarter but fell 63-58 in the end.
Clemson (5-10, 1-3) shot the ball at 40.3 percent on the night, and Wake Forest (10-5, 3-1) tallied a 38.9 shooting percentage. The Tigers were efficient from beyond the arc, going 5-for-11 on 3-point shots. The Demon Deacons, on the other hand went 8-of-22 from 3-point land and also added 13 points from the free throw line. Wake Forest attempted 15 more free throws than Clemson, with the Tigers connecting on 3-of-4 free throws and the Demon Deacons registering a 13-for-19 mark at the charity stripe.
The rebounding margin was won 39-33 by the Tigers, and Kobi Thornton was a major factor. Thornton pulled down seven rebounds to go along with her 12 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Kendall Spray was Clemson’s leading scorer with 14 points. The sharpshooter sank four treys and collected five rebounds, as well. Clemson fared well down low, as well, with 28 of the Tigers’ points coming in the paint. Wake Forest’s Ivana Raca amassed 24 points to lead all scorers, and Alex Sharp, who went 4-of-5 from behind the 3-point line, recorded 16 points for the Demon Deacons.
Wake Forest boasted a lead at the end of each quarter on the evening, starting with a 20-16 advantage through one quarter of play. The Demon Deacons added to that lead in the second quarter, but the Tigers strung together a quick 7-1 run late in the period to pull within one point after trailing by seven points. A second-chance 3-pointer from Skylar Blackstock with 2:35 remaining in the quarter highlighted the Clemson surge.
The Demon Deacons were able to regain some breathing room heading into the intermission, however, and Wake Forest began the third quarter with a 33-27 lead. Wake Forest outscored Clemson 16-12 in the third period and sported a 10-point advantage at the conclusion of the quarter. A rare five-point possession sparked the Tigers at the beginning of the fourth quarter, though. Kendall Spray connected on an inside basket while drawing a foul after the ball left her hands. The foul resulted in Clemson maintaining possession, and Spray proceeded to drain a three-ball off the inbounds pass. The Tigers won the fourth quarter 19-14, but the Demon Deacons ultimately kept Clemson at bay and won the game 63-58.
The Tigers will remain on the road for their next contest, with a matchup in Atlanta versus the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (12-3, 3-1) scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 12. Slated to tip off at 2 p.m., the tilt at McCamish Pavilion will air on ACC Network Extra.
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