Seminoles Pull Away From Tigers In Second Half

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Al Thornton scored 15 points as Florida State broke open a close game with a 14-0 run in the second half and then held off Clemson for a rugged 69-59 victory Wednesday night.

Thornton, Florida State's season scoring leader with a 17.7 average going into the game, showed no ill effects from a knee bruise he suffered Sunday when Miami held him scoreless as the Hurricanes won in overtime.

Jason Rich added 13 points and Alexander Johnson had 12 as Seminoles surpassed the 12 games they won all last season by increasing their overall records to 13-5. They evened their Atlantic Coast Conference mark at 4-4.

Julius Powell led Clemson (14-7, 3-5) with 14 points while Akin Akingbala had 13 and Vernon Hamilton scored 11.

Referees called 43 personal fouls - 26 on Clemson and 17 on Florida State - and Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton drew a technical. The Tigers hit 13 of 18 free throws and the Seminoles 29 of 35. Both teams had 20 turnovers.

The Seminoles outscored the Tigers 40 to 28 in the paint and both teams were cold from outside the three-point line. Florida State missed all nine of its three-point attempts while Clemson hit four of 21.

Thornton gave Florida State a 5-4 lead with a three-point play and the Seminoles never trailed again although Clemson tied the score once during a ragged first half and twice in the second half.

The Seminoles broke the final 49-49 tie by scoring 14 unanswered points. Clemson was unable to get closer than 10 the rest of the way.

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