The Tigers defeated Wake Forest 63-49 Saturday afternoon in Littlejohn as they moved a step close to their fourth straight NCAA tournament appearance.
“This was just a blue-collar win, that’s the best way I can describe it,” said Brownell.
Jerai Grant and Demontez Stitt led Clemson with 14 points each. Devin Booked added a double-double with ten points and ten rebounds.
The Tigers shot 43 percent from the field for the game including 33 percent from three. Wake Forest only shot 34 percent from the field for the game.
“I thought our team, we were pretty aggressive, maybe not early but shortly there after. I thought we could have played a little better offensively. We missed a couple of lay-ups in the first half and had a few too many turnovers, being a little careless and playing a little faster than we needed to. All in all, thought, I thought our guys played the game the right way and forced Wake out of doing some of the things they like doing,” said Brownell.
Clemson and Wake Forest traded baskets for the first five minutes and the score was tied 8-8. The Tigers went on a 14-3 run to take the lead 22-11 as Milton Jennings hit a three with 8:48 to go in the half.
With 3:56 to go the Tigers had stretched the lead to 33-17 on a Demontez Stitt free throw. The Tigers wouldn’t score in the final four minutes and led 33-20 at the half.
Jerai Grant led the Tigers at the half with seven points. Demontez Stitt and Milton Jennings each added five in the first half.
Clemson shot 43 percent in the first half, but only 14 percent from three. The Tiger’s defense held the Deacs to 24 percent shooting in the half.
Wake Forest started the half on a 7-4 run and with 16:51 to go the lead was down to 37-27. With 15:25 to go Grant scored a three point play the old fashioned way to put the Tigers up 42-30.
Demontez Stitt hit a fade away three as the clock ran out to put Clemson up 50-34. Wake went on a 4-0 run to cut the lead to 50-38.
Milton Jennings hit his second three of the game to put the Tigers up 53-38 with 9:40 to go. Demontez Stitt added another three with 5:45 to go to put Clemson up 61-45.
The Tigers never were threatened down the stretch as they cruised to a 63-49 victory.
Clemson moved to 19-9 on the season and 8-6 in the ACC. The Tigers travel to Duke before returning home to play Virginia Tech.