WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Jaron Blossomgame had 22 points and 13 rebounds to help Clemson beat Wake Forest 76-62 on Tuesday night.
Jordan Roper scored all 16 of his points after halftime for the Tigers (14-8, 7-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), who took control in the second half to erase an eight-point halftime deficit and gradually pull away in the final 9½ minutes for a league road win.
The Tigers shot 55 percent and made 21 of 23 free throws en route to scoring 56 second-half points, showing far more energy and a greater attacking mindset than they did while managing just 20 points in the first 20 minutes.
Bryant Crawford had 13 points for the Demon Deacons (10-12, 1-9), who shot 42 percent and missed 10 free throws — each one looming larger as the Tigers began to stretch out their lead to double figures in the final 4 minutes.
Blossomgame made 7 of 14 shots, 7 of 9 free throws and had three blocks to go with his double-double to lead Clemson’s offense. And he got plenty of help from Roper and Avry Holmes, both of whom provided some scoring punch after halftime to help the Tigers get rolling despite foul trouble to big men Landry Nnoko and Sidy Djitte.
Wake Forest had lost six straight coming in, with the last four coming against teams ranked in the AP Top 25 — a brutal stretch that included the Demon Deacons blowing a seven-point lead in the final 30 seconds to lose to then-No. 11 Virginia — as part of a schedule ranked as the toughest in the country by ESPN, KenPom and Sagarin.
Neither team had a ton to feel good about in the first half. Wake Forest got off to a miserable start filled with turnovers, while Clemson went cold and managed just two baskets in the final 15 minutes to trail 28-20 at the break.
But the Tigers came out with plenty of jump, running off 11 straight points in a sign that they were ready to roll.
Clemson: Holmes finished with 13 of his 17 points after halftime. ... The Tigers came in with a 2-19 record against the Demon Deacons in Joel Coliseum, with one of those coming the first year the building opened in 1989-90. The other came in the 2011-12 season.
Wake Forest: Devin Thomas had 12 points. ... The Demon Deacons made 13 of 23 free throws. ... Wake Forest was going for its 100th all-time win against Clemson.
Clemson visits Virginia Tech on Saturday.
Wake Forest hosts Florida State on Saturday.