CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) – Hunter Tyson had a career-high 21 points, including the go-ahead basket, as Clemson rallied from 10-points down in the second half to defeat Wake Forest 71-68 on Tuesday night.
The Tigers (10-8, 4-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed by 10 points in the opening half and were still behind 47-39 with 15 minutes to go.
But, helped by a five-point possession, Clemson came back to win its seventh straight over Wake Forest.
The Tigers have won four of their past five ACC games after starting 0-3 in league play.
Wake Forest (9-9, 2-6) got within 60-59 as Brandon Childress made three foul shots with 4:09 left. But Tyson followed with 3-pointer to extend Clemson’s lead and the Demon Deacons could not respond.
Clemson won despite its leading scorer this season, Aamir Simms, getting just seven points — and going just 7 of 18 from the foul line.
The Tigers made just one of their first 10 free throws before Curran Scott hit a pair and Clyde Trapp (just 2 of 7 from the line) made his last one with 11.4 seconds left for a 68-64 lead. Tyson hit a final foul shot with a second to go for the final margin — and to eclipse his previous high of 20 set this year against Detroit Mercy.
Clemson rallied from 10 points down — in part due to a five-point possession — to tie things at 51-all. On Tevin Mack’s outside jumper, Olivier Sarr committed a foul during the shot that gave the ball right back to Clemson and Simms hit a 3-pointer as the Tigers closed from 47-39 behind to trailing by just three.
Simms then cut it to 47-46 with his last basket of the game. Wake Forest stretched it back to 56-51 before Clemson took control for good.
Tyson’s inside layup with 5:50 to go gave Clemson the lead for good before Scott drained a 3-pointer for a 60-56 lead as the crowd erupted.
Wake Forest had a chance to tie trailing 67-64 with 11 seconds left, but Ismael Massoud missed a 3-pointer.
Andrien White had a season-high 22 points to lead Wake Forest. Sarr had 16 points and 11 rebounds.
The Demon Deacons were just 2-of-11 shooting with 12 points the final nine minutes.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons were in position to win two straight ACC games for the first time this season. But they settled for quick, long shots down the stretch. They were just 3 of 16 on 3-pointers in the final 20 minutes.
Clemson: The Tigers have found their stride after struggling through much of December. They’ve defeated the four North Carolina ACC schools (Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Wake Forest) for the first time in a season since 1995-96.
Wake Forest takes on reigning national champs Virginia at home on Sunday.
Clemson plays at No. 6 Louisville on Saturday.