CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) - Elijah Thomas had 23 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high seven blocks as Clemson won consecutive games for the first time since December with a 64-37 victory over Wake Forest on Sunday.
The Tigers (13-8, 3-5 ACC), a ranked team when the season began, had dropped five of six games to start conference play before looking like the club expected to return to the NCAA Tournament this week, following an 82-69 win over Pittsburgh on Tuesday with a blowout of the Demon Deacons.
Thomas, the 6-foot-9 senior, was a big reason why.
He made 10 of 11 shots and had his sixth game with double figure points and rebounds. He also was dominant on defense, Thomas' seven blocks surpassed the previous best of six he set twice before.
Things were over early in this one.
The Tigers were up 16-3 just seven minutes while the Demon Deacons made just one of their first eight shots and committed five turnovers. Wake Forest had no answer for Thomas underneath, who made four of five shots - all from very close to the basket - with six rebounds, three blocks and a steal the first 20 minutes.
Clemson was dominant everywhere in the opening half, except on the scoreboard. The Tigers made just three of their final nine attempts and were up just 30-16 heading into the locker room. That changed after the break as the Tigers opened with a 15-2 run that put them up by 25 points and left them cruising to their sixth straight victory over Wake Forest.
Chaundee Brown had 12 points to lead the Demon Deacons (8-13), who lost their fifth straight this season and fell to 1-8 in the ACC for the third time in four seasons.
Thomas was Clemson's only double-digit scorer. Leading scorer Marcquise Reed, averaging 19.6 points coming in, finished with nine points on 4-of-10 shooting.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons struggled with their offense. Leading scorer Brandon Childress, averaging 16 points a game, was held scoreless going 0-of-11 from the field. The team shot 23.7 percent for the game.
Clemson: The Tigers have had their issues scoring points when needed and that was evident again, even in a sizeable win. Other than Thomas, Clemson starters combined to shoot just 11 of 31, a performance that won't get things done long term.
Wake Forest returns home to play Pitt on Tuesday night.
Clemson goes to Georgia Tech on Wednesday night.
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