WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Chris Paul and company kept Wake Forest among the ranks of the unbeaten.
Paul scored 21 points and Eric Williams added 17 as the fourth-ranked Demon Deacons posted a 78-63 victory over Clemson in their Atlantic Coast Conference home opener.
Wake Forest (11-0, 2-0 ACC) extended its home winning streak to 24 games, improving to 7-0 at Joel Coliseum this season. The Demon Deacons entered the day among nine remaining unbeaten Division I teams.
Clemson (7-6, 0-2) pulled within 51-46 on a pair of free throws by Shawan Robinson just past the midway point of the second half. But Williams converted a three-point play and Paul made two from the line and came up with a steal that led to a basket for Trent Strickland for a 58-46 bulge with 8:08 remaining.
"Chris is a wonderful point guard and he gets us out of difficult situations," Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser said. "It is shocking to see his growth as a leader on the court, especially since he's only a freshman."
The Demon Deacons extended their home winning streak to 14 against the Tigers, who have not won here since the 1989-90 season - the first year of the facility.
Williams was the catalyst as Wake Forest held a commanding 58-26 edge in points in the paint. Strickland also came up with a big game off the bench by making all five shots for 10 points and five rebounds as Prosser used him in place of third guard Taron Downey.
"It's my job to come out there and give the team a big energy boost," Williams said. "The two-guard system helped us out on the boards and it worked very well against Clemson today."
"It's not like Halloween, where everyone dresses up and gets candy," Prosser said. "You have to earn it (playing time)."
Williams decisively outplayed Clemson power forward Chris Hobbs, who fouled out with eight points and five rebounds. The Tigers, who lead the ACC in turnovers, finished with 23.
"Our inability to take care of the ball was the reason why we couldn't win this game," Clemson coach Oliver Purnell said. "We didn't play well down the stretch."
The Tigers fell to 0-4 against ranked teams, losing by an average of over 17 points.