The Clemson Tigers lost on the road Tuesday night and fell to 17-10 overall and 8-7 in conference play. The Tigers lost to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons by a final score of 62-57. The Demon Deacons were led by Devin Thomas who had 12 points, 5 rebounds, and a steal. The leading scorers for the Tigers were Damarcus Harrison with 15 points and K.J. McDaniels and Rod Hall with 10 points each. The Tigers were leading 30-23 at halftime and looked to be in total control of the game. The Demon Deacons however came out hot in the second half and outscored the Tigers 39-27.
The Tigers turned the ball over throughout the game and went ice cold shooting in the second half. The Demon Deacons switched to a zone defense early in the second half and the Tigers struggled mightily to score against it, as they have against zone defenses all year. The Tigers failed to establish a presence down low, as Landry Nnoko got into foul trouble early, and lost the rebounding battle 19-11 in the second half. In addition to the struggles down low, K.J. McDaniels had possibly his worst game of the season so far on Tuesday. McDaniels looked to be sluggish and hesitant to attack the Wake Forest defense and wasn’t able to grab as many rebounds as he normally does. K.J. also didn’t seem very comfortable, especially near the end of the game when he missed two key free throws, which is rare for the 85% free throw shooter. Struggling with free throws were another theme of the night for the Tigers as the team only went 5-13 from the line, which is far worse than the 73% season free throw average.
The loss Tuesday was detrimental to the Tigers NCAA Tournament bid hopes and the Tigers are now very unlikely to receive an at large bid. The Tigers would have to win out and go deep into the ACC Tournament to really just get themselves back in the conversation at all. The Tigers will return home for their next game against the Maryland Terrapins (15-13, 7-8) on Sunday March 2nd at 1:00 pm.