MBB: Clemson 53 FSU 49 Final
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Behind an incredible all-around performance from junior forward K.J. McDaniels, Clemson grabbed its third ACC road win of the season Saturday at Florida State, 53-49. The win improved Clemson’s record to 14-6 overall, 5-3 in the ACC. The Tigers surpassed their win total from 2012-13 and matched their ACC win total as well. Florida State fell to 13-8 overall, 4-5 in the ACC.
McDaniels willed his team to the win Saturday. The Birmingham, AL native posted a game-high 26 points – just one shy of his career-high – to lead Clemson’s offensive efforts. Defensively, he anchored the team with three blocked shots, none more important than a two-handed swat after committing a turnover inside the final minute of play to help preserve the win. He added seven rebounds, three assists and a steal in 37 minutes.
Jaron Blossomgame added 10 points, all in the second half, for the Tigers. Clemson shot 56.5 percent after a first half that saw it struggle to just 17 points. Clemson trailed by three at intermission.
Clemson made its first two shots but suffered a string of missed threes and turnovers as it went over seven minutes without a field goal. But the Tigers fought through it and took a 14-12 lead on back-to-back threes from Roper and McDaniels. Clemson went cold after that, as its final basket of the half came at the 6:08 mark. Florida State got a pair of baskets by Okaro White and Robert Gilchrist in the final two minutes to push the ‘Noles to a 20-17 edge at half. The Tigers shot 29 percent and committed 11 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes.
McDaniels and Blossomgame came out tough and hungry in the second half. McDaniels scored 10 of Clemson’s first 12 points out of the locker room. After FSU’s Aaron Thomas scored back to back buckets, Clemson responded with eight straight points which included a three and one-handed dunk by Blossomgame. An emphatic block and ensuing left side three by McDaniels pushed Clemson’s edge to 37-30 to prompt an FSU timeout with 7:38 remaining.
A three originally ruled a two originally by Jordan Roper was corrected during the final media timeout, giving Clemson a 44-37 lead with just over three minutes to play. FSU began fouling to lengthen the game, but Clemson made just enough plays to stave off a Seminole rally. The ‘Noles had just one player in double figures, Aaron Thomas.
The Tigers return home for the first time since Jan. 18. Clemson will face Georgia Tech on Tuesday in a game that tips off at 8 p.m. from Littlejohn Coliseum.
· Clemson snapped a two-game losing skid with a 53-49 victory on the road Saturday at Florida State.
· The Tigers surpassed last season’s win total by achieving their 14th overall victory Saturday. Clemson also matched last season’s ACC win total with five.
· Clemson is 5-3 through eight ACC games, its best record after eight conference games since the 2008-09 team also started 5-3 in league play.
· Clemson now has three ACC road wins, just the ninth time in 61 seasons the Tiger program has had three or more in a single season.
· Clemson broke the Seminoles’ five-game winning streak in the series; it was the Tigers’ first win since a 79-59 victory at home in 2011-12.
· The win was Clemson’s first in Tallahassee since the 2009-10 team won 53-50. That was also Clemson’s last halftime deficit overcome for victory in an ACC road game.
· Clemson overcame a halftime deficit for the third time this season to achieve victory.
· Clemson held Florida State to 49 points Saturday, improving the Tigers to 26-2 all-time under Head Coach Brad Brownell when limiting the opponent to 50 or less.
· The Tigers are 7-0 this season when holding the opponent to 50 points or less.
· Clemson is now 2-0 on the road against ACC teams when wearing purple uniforms. The Tigers won at Virginia Tech last month in purple.
· Clemson moved to 11-2 on the season when winning the rebound margin. The Tigers were +4 against the taller Seminoles.
· The Tigers committed 17 turnovers Saturday and totaled 35 in two regular season games against Florida State.
· Clemson’s top 10 NCAA three-point percentage defense has been outstanding in the regular season against Florida State. The Seminoles were just 1-for-8 Saturday and 2-for-19 this season from behind the arc against Clemson.
· Prior to Saturday, the Tigers had been 0-74 in ACC road games against teams that had beaten them by more than four points in Clemson earlier in the season.
· K.J. McDaniels led all scorers Saturday with 26 points, the second-highest scoring game of his career trailing only the 27 he had at Arkansas earlier this season.
· McDaniels reached double figures for the 18th time in 20 games this season.
· McDaniels now has eight 20-point games on the season.
· The 6-foot-6 junior blocked three shots on Saturday, upping his ACC-high total to 53 for the season.
· McDaniels tied his career-high with three assists against Florida State.
· McDaniels went 3-of-6 from three Saturday; it was the most threes in a game for McDaniels since the Davidson game on Nov. 22.
· McDaniels matched career-highs for both field goals made (9) and attempted (18) Saturday.
· Jaron Blossomgame made his first three-pointer since the Duke game on Jan. 11, a second half look from the right wing.
· Blossomgame finished the game with 10 points, all in the second half. It was the second multi-three game of his career.
· Jordan Roper made multiple three-point goals against the Seminoles, the first time since Jan. 4 against Boston College the sophomore made more than one from behind the arc.
· Clemson is 4-0 this season when Roper makes multiple three-pointers.
· Sidy Djitte and Ibrahim Djambo both took their first career charges in the first half.
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