WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The Wake Forest men's basketball team fell to No. 20 Clemson, 75-67 Saturday afternoon at the LJVM Coliseum.
Despite a back-and-forth battle throughout much of the second half, a late scoring drought by the Demon Deacons (9-14, 2-9 ACC) gave the Tigers (19-4, 8-3) the opportunity to pull away late en route to the 75-67 victory.
Bryant Crawford led the Deacons with 16 points to go along with six assists and five boards. Crawford has now scored double digits in 11-straight games and in 22 of 23 contests this season.
Keyshawn Woods tacked on 13 points for the Deacons, his second-straight double-figure performance.
Donovan Mitchell finished one-point shy of his career high with nine points. Mitchell went 3-for-3 beyond the arc, setting a career high with three-pointers made.
Olivier Sarr matched a career high with nine points. Sarr went 3-for-5 from the field while also pulling down five boards while Doral Moore finished with nine points and 13 rebounds, his sixth-straight double-figure rebounding effort.
After Clemson opened scoring early, the Deacs outscored the Tigers 9-2 to take an early five-point lead. However, the Tigers used a 5-0 run to tie the score at 9-all before taking the lead off a triple from Marcquise Reed. From there, the teams traded baskets, with Clemson holding a slight edge until a jumper from Crawford gave the Deacons a 17-16 lead with under eight minutes left in the half. Then, the Demon Deacons got hot in the field, hitting 4-for-5 and forcing Clemson into a timeout. The Tigers tied the game at 26-all before a rim-rocking dunk from Moore gave the Deacs the lead once again. The back-and-forth battle then saw Clemson use a quick 6-0 run to take a four-point advantage and force the Deacons into a timeout to reset. The Tigers took a 35-30 lead into halftime.
Clemson extended its lead to 41-33 early in the second half before an 8-0 run by Wake Forest tied the game at 41-all. The Deacons extended that run to 11-0 to take a 44-41 edge. However, Clemson caught up and a back-and-forth battle continued.
After tying the score at 47, the teams traded baskets and leads, combining for five lead changes in just over a minute. A huge 3-pointer from Mitchell gave Wake Forest a 59-56 lead and forced Clemson into a timeout. Out of the break, five-straight points from the Tigers allowed them to tie the score before another huge triple from Mitchell put the Deacs on top.
The Deacs then went on a scoring drought that lasted over five minutes, allowing Clemson to take the lead. Down 71-65 with 32 seconds remaining, Crawford knocked down a jumper to cut the Tigers' lead. However, Clemson sealed the game at the charity stripe, knocking down 4-for-4 in the final seconds to take a 75-67 victory.
Up next, the Demon Deacons travel to Miami for a Wednesday showdown with the Hurricanes. Tip is set for 7 p.m. on ESPN2.