Reed scores 22 as Clemson defeats FSU for program-record 11th ACC win

by - Senior Writer -
Shelton Mitchell looks for room in the first half (Photo by Joshua S. Kelly, USAT)
Shelton Mitchell looks for room in the first half (Photo by Joshua S. Kelly, USAT)

CLEMSON – Clemson’s shot at a top-four seed in the ACC Tournament is still intact, thanks to a program-record 11th ACC win for No. 18 Clemson.

Marcquise Reed scored 22 points and the Tigers went on a 12-2 run over the last two minutes of regulation in defeating Florida St. 76-63 at Littlejohn Coliseum Wednesday night. With the win, the Tigers (22-7 overall and 11-6 in the ACC) are tied for third with North Carolina in the ACC standings.

Gabe DeVoe added 13 for the Tigers, while Shelton Mitchell and Elijah Thomas each added 11. Thomas had eight rebounds while Reed added seven. Reed also led the Tigers with five assists. The Tigers out-rebounded Florida St. 39-30. Clemson turned it over just nine times.

The win clinched the program’s sixth season in which the Tigers have posted at least 15 home victories. The Tigers also tied for the third-most home wins in a single season with 15 (79-80; 86-87; 10-11). In 2006-07 and 2013-14, three of the Tigers’ record 16 home wins came during postseason play in the NIT - so they achieved 13 in regular season play.

Clemson ran out to a 12-9 lead in the first six minutes, but FSU’s Phil Cofer started to drain 3-pointers from the corner and the ‘Noles went on a 10-0 run for a 19-12 lead. Four minutes later Mark Donnal hit a 3-pointer that brought Clemson to within two at 24-22, but FSU continued to play stingy defense and took a 29-25 lead with 2:52 to play in the half.

Fifteen seconds later DeVoe hit a 3-pointer that made it 29-28 and the Tigers took their first lead since 12-9 on a short shot in the lane by Elijah Thomas that made it 30-29. Two Reed free throws and another 3-pointer by Cofer made it 32-32with 29 seconds to play in the half, but Mitchell drained a long 3-pointer from the top of the key with two seconds left on the clock and the Tigers took a 35-32 lead into the half.

The teams spent the first 13 minutes of the second half trading baskets and the lead, with neither able to establish any breathing room. Clemson led 56-54 when Thomas hit a free throw, then ran the court and laid in an easy basket for a 59-54 lead. Thomas hit another free throw at the 5:01 mark and the Tigers had the biggest lead of the half at 60-54.

The Seminoles didn’t go quietly, however, and Cofer’s thunderous dunk with just under four minutes to play made it 62-58. Reed put the Tigers ahead 64-58 with a turnaround jumper in the lane, and Florida St. called a timeout with 3:06 to play. However, the ‘Noles came out of the timeout and Cofer buried another corner three – his fifth 3-pointer of the game – and it was 64-61 with 2:58 to play.

Thomas hit a free throw to put Clemson ahead 65-61, and Florida St. had several chances to score – including three free throws – and Mitchell made them pay with a 3-pointer from the left of the key with 1:22 to play as Clemson led 68-61, its largest lead of the game.

Florida St. missed the front end of a one-and-one on the offensive end and David Skara ripped down the rebound. Reed was fouled on the offensive end with 1:09 to play and he hit one free throw for a 69-61 lead. The Seminoles scored for the first time in over two minutes on a layup and called a timeout at the 53 second mark with Clemson ahead 69-63.

Skara hit the back end of two free throws and the Tigers held a 70-63 lead with 50 seconds on the game clock. The Seminoles missed a 3-pointer coming out of a timeout and DeVoe was fouled with 36.1 seconds remaining. He hit both free throws and the Clemson lead was 72-63. Reed stole the ball from Florida St., was fouled, hit both free throws and the game was effectively out of reach at 74-63 with 29.1 seconds to play.

Clemson plays at Syracuse Saturday at 2 p.m. The game is the final game in the regular season. The ACC Tournament, being held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

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