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Tigers Defeat Demon Deacons: Men’s Basketball Improves to 14-8

Junior forward Jaron Blossomgame (5) dribbles the ball down the court at a home game in Greenville.
Ashley Stout, Asst. Photo Editor
Junior forward Jaron Blossomgame (5) dribbles the ball down the court at a home game in Greenville.

Tuesday, the Clemson Tigers men’s basketball team (14-8, 7-3) traveled to Winston-Salem, North Carolina to take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (10-12, 1-9). This was a big game for the Tigers because they have struggled on the road all season. They were looking to turn things around. 

The Tigers had a hard time scoring in the first half, totaling their worst scoring output in any half of basketball all season. The Tigers shot 30.4 percent from the field and 10 percent from the three-point line in the first half, and all signs were pointing to yet another road loss for our team. 

The Tigers went into the locker room at the half trailing the Demon Deacons 28-20. 

Head Coach Brad Brownell said, ‘’I certainly didn’t go in [at halftime] and encourage them to continue to play the way they were playing … We had some direct conversation that was good. But they understood. They knew it. We’ve done this before and needed to play better, more inspired.’’

The Tigers did just that, immediately going on an 11-0 run to start the second half, and really carried that “inspired” play through the whole second half — they scored the most points in a half by a Clemson Tigers basketball team since the 2008-2009 season. 

Guards Avry Holmes and Jordan Roper were key to that 56-point outpour in the second half, as the duo scored a combined 29 points in the second half (13 from Holmes, 16 from Roper). 

In the second half, the Tigers shot 55.2 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from three, and also sunk 91.3 percent of their free throws. 

Defensively, the Tigers stepped it up as well, holding the Demon Deacons to 34 points on 39.3 percent shooting, including 33.3 percent from three-point land. 

The Demon Deacons, who tallied their seventh straight loss, had two players reach double figures: Bryant Crawford had 13 points, and Devin Thomas finished with 12. The Demon Deacons sit in second to last place in the ACC, and will square off with Florida State (15-7, 5-5) Saturday at home. 

The Tigers had four of five starters reach double figures, led by Jaron Blossomgame who filled the stat sheet with a double-double in which he scored 22 points, had 13 rebounds, and added three assists and three blocks. 

Avry Holmes finished the game with 17 points, followed by his partner in crime Jordan Roper who had 16 points, and closed out with Donte Grantham’s 15 points. The Tigers picked up their seventh win in conference play and now sit alone in third place in the ACC. 

The Tigers look to pick up another victory Saturday when they travel to Blacksburg, Virginia to take on the Virginia Tech Hokies (12-11, 4-6). 

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