CLEMSON, South Carolina (Ticker) -- If Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser was sending a message, Justin Gray got it loud and clear.
Gray scored a career-high 29 points and sparked a key second-half run as the 18th-ranked Demon Deacons ended a two-game skid with an 82-67 Atlantic Coast Conference victory over Clemson.
Prosser made some major changes in an attempt to shake up his club, which entered with losses in six of eight games. He left reserve Trent Strickland home and started freshman Kyle Visser and Vytas Danelius in place of the slumping Eric Williams and Taron Downey, respectively.
Wake Forest (14-6, 5-5 ACC) built a 32-25 halftime edge as Gray scored 16 points. Clemson never led in the second half, although it pulled within 51-48 with 10:31 to go on a pair of free throws by Olu Babalola.
Gray answered with a pair of 3-pointers around a basket by the Tigers' Chey Christie to trigger an 11-2 spurt. Jamaal Levy added two free throws and a dunk off an alley-oop feed from freshman Chris Paul before Williams' foul shot made it 62-50 with 7:51 left.
"Justin hit a couple of cold-blooded shots for us when we were threatened, as did Taron," Prosser said.
Clemson (9-12, 2-8) fell into a tie for last place in the ACC with Virginia. The Tigers have lost 11 of 12 against the Demon Deacons.
Paul scored 16 points and Levy added 12 for Wake Forest, which also ended a four-game road skid. Gray went 11-of-12 from the line as the Demon Deacons converted 28-of-35.
"Again, it was a good win for us and I'm proud of our players," Prosser said. "We've had a rough month and a half and had forgotten how much fun it is to win. We'll enjoy our ride home tonight."
The Demon Deacons shot a blistering 67 percent (14-of-21) in the second half and took their largest lead, 72-54, on two foul shots by Paul with 4:05 left. Paul was 9-of-10 at the line as Wake's starting backcourt combined for 22 free throws.
Babalola scored 22 points and Christie added 10 for Clemson, which struggled with its usual weaknesses - turnovers and foul shooting. The Tigers committed 20 miscues and converted 17-of-34 at the line.
"We have to make some free throws," Clemson coach Oliver Purnell said. "We're getting fouled and getting to the line and then we go 17-for-34."
Wake Forest held Clemson without a basket for 8 1/2 minutes in one first-half stretch, taking the lead for good at 15-8 after scoring 13 of 15 points in the surge.