Clemson holds on for win at Florida State

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Photo by Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
Photo by Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson overcame an early deficit, foul trouble from its big men and deplorable second half free throw shooting in avenging a home loss late last month in beating Florida St. 62-56 at the Tucker Center in Tallahassee Wednesday night.

Clemson improves to 14-8 overall, 6-4 in the ACC while Florida St. falls to 12-11 overall and 4-6 in the ACC. Clemson also has a four-game winning streak.

“We were really ready tonight,” said Head Coach Brad Brownell. “I thought we played well during the middle part of the game and hung in there at the end. We gave them plenty of chances, but Josh (Smith) came up big in the end for us.”

At one point down the stretch the Tigers were 9-for-19 from the free throw line in the second and missed seven of eight as the game drew to a close. The Tigers finished 19-of-30 from the line, and were led in scoring by Jaron BlossomgameJaron Blossomgame
RS So. Forward
#5 6-7, 215
Alpharetta, GA

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’s 14 points. Donte GranthamDonte Grantham
Fr. Forward
#15 6-8, 205
Martinsburg, WV

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and Jordan RoperJordan Roper
Jr. Guard
#20 6-0, 165
Columbia, SC

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each added 13.

Clemson kept a working margin throughout much of the second half, but a few missed free throws and a made 3-pointer by Devon Bookert made it 57-51 with just 53 seconds remaining on the game clock. The Tigers had 14-of-20 free throws to that point, but Jordan Roper missed one of two free throws and Clemson led 58-52.

The ‘Noles got another bucket to make it 58-53 and Brad Brownell called a timeout with 40 seconds to play, but Blossomgame missed two critical free throws. Xavier Rathan-Mayes’ 3-point attempt was no good, but Rod HallRod Hall
Sr. Guard
#12 6-1, 205
Augusta, GA

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was whistled for a foul and the Noles had life. However, he missed two of his free throw attempts and the Tigers led 58-54 with just over 30 seconds to play.

Blossomgame then missed two free throws again – making it just one for their last eight – and free throws by Bookert made it 58-56 with 26 seconds to play.

Josh SmithJosh Smith
Jr. Forward
#33 6-8, 245
Charlotte, NC

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then hit what turned out to be two huge free throws for a 60-56 lead with 25 seconds remaining, FSU missed a shot in the lane and Roper was fouled with 13.6 seconds to play. Roper hit both foul shots for a 62-56 lead, and FSU was unable to score again.

The Tigers closed out the first half with a 10-0 run. The ‘Noles led 17-12 at one point and held a 21-17 lead with just over three minutes left in the half before the 10-0 run gave the Tigers a 27-21 lead at intermission.

The Tigers got the win despite another empty effort from center Landry, who scored just one point and fouled out while playing just seven minutes. Nnoko picked up two early fouls in the first half, a foul in the first 90 seconds of the second half and never recovered.

Clemson returns to action Sunday with a 5:30 p.m. tipoff at Miami.

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