Howard, Wake Forest drop Tigers
Clemson loses second-straight conference game on a terrible shooting night.
by BO GILILOOLY
This article originally appeared in The Tiger on March 7, 2003 | PRINT

One could make the case that minus one player, Wake Forest would be an average team at best. Unfortunately for the Tigers, that one player was in rare form last Saturday.

Josh Howard had 29 points, including a career-best six 3-pointers, as the 12th-ranked Demon Deacons moved closer to their first outright ACC title since 1962 with an 80-68 victory over Clemson on Saturday.

Howard scored 19 points in the first half and finished 10-for-16 from the field as the Demon Deacons have won nine of 10 conference games. Howard played 32 minutes despite spraining his foot in the first half.

Meanwhile, the Tigers (15-10, 5-9) fell into a four-way tie for fifth in the ACC with Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Virginia. They missed 14 of their first 17 shots and went on a costly five-minute scoring drought in the middle of the second half.

"It will be won on the court," Edward Scott said when asked about breaking out of the log jam in the middle of the ACC. "We've been in a lot of close games and this is a great opportunity for us this coming week."

Clemson has lost two straight after winning three consecutive league games for the first time since 1996-97. Scott led the way with 27 points, but the senior guard took 29 shots.

Clemson grabbed 23 offensive rebounds and tied a school record with just six turnovers.

"It's sad we had to waste a couple of records when we lost the game," Shyatt said. "I wanted our guys to believe they could come in here and steal a game on the road and they did believe that, but we missed too many shots."

Wake Forest won despite being outscored 36-18 in the paint and 26-7 on fastbreak points.

After falling behind by 14 points in the opening seconds of the second half, Clemson closed to 44-42 as Chey Christie scored 12 of his 18 points in the opening 3:32.

The Demon Deacons, one of the nation's best free throw shooting teams at 76.5 percent, also allowed the Tigers to hang around by missing 13 of their first 27 shots from the line.

One of the most interesting stats of the night came in the disparity at the free throw line. Wake Forest was 33-of-49 -- the most attempts ever against a Shyatt-coached team -- while Clemson was just 11-of-20. This ultimately led to Shyatt being called for a technical after he let the referee know how he felt about the situation. Free throws aside, a 12-0 run sealed it for Wake Forest as the Tigers looked dazed and confused. Clemson missed eight straight shots and the front end of a 1-and-1 that helped the Demon Deacons to a 15 point lead with eight minutes to go.

Howard had nearly twice as many points as Clemson in the opening 7:40 as he hit five of his first seven shots, including three 3-pointers as the Demon Deacons went up 18-6. Less than three minutes later the lead reached 15 before the Tigers closed to 26-20 with Howard on the bench resting. But seconds after his return, Howard nailed his career-best fourth shot behind the arc. Howard's fifth 3-pointer 2:41 into the second half was the 100th of his career as Wake Forest beat Clemson for the 13th straight time at Joel Coliseum.

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