Hammonds Layup Lifts Tigers Past Seminoles in ACC Opener


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TALAHASSEE, Fla. - Cliff Hammonds' layup with 3 seconds left lifted No. 23 Clemson to a 68-66 win over Florida State in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both schools on Wednesday night.

Vernon Hamilton, who led Clemson with 19 points, brought the ball up and fired a pass to Hammonds for the winner.

Clemson (15-0) remains one of the country's last three unbeaten major college teams, joining No. 16 Oregon and top-ranked UCLA, who both play Thursday night.

Florida State (12-3) had tied it with 6.5 seconds left on a tip-in by Ryan Reid. Al Thornton led the Seminoles with 19 points.

Both teams used similar defensive game plans, leaving their usual man-to-man defenses in favor of a zone; the idea being trying to keep a pair of athletic offenses under control. The move paid off, keeping the scoring down and limiting both teams to less than 50-percent shooting from the field - Clemson at 48 percent (30-of-63) and FSU at 46 percent (23-of-50).

The two squads were also bad from the 3-point line, the Tigers connecting on just 6-of-23 attempts and the Seminoles only 4-of-14.

Florida State kept the game close by dominating from the free throw line. Whereas Clemson only attempted five foul shots all night (making two), Florida State was 16-of-20 from the stripe (80 percent).

But in the end the Tigers made enough plays down the stretch to pull out a win in their first ACC road game for just the ninth time in 54 years.

K.C. Rivers had 16 points for Clemson, while James Mays added 14.

The Tigers return home Saturday afternoon, entertaining Georgia Tech.

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