TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Tim Pickett scored 16 points - 15 in the first half - to lead Florida State to a 65-52 victory over Clemson Saturday afternoon at the Leon Co. Civic Center.
The loss was Clemson's (9-13, 2-9 ACC) third straight and seventh in their last eight games. For Florida State, it's 17th win of the season keeps alive its hopes for an NCAA tournament bid in March.
The Tigers trailed by as many as 12 points in the second half, and found themselves down 48-38 before a quick six-point spurt - including four straight by Lamar Rice - cut the margin to four.
But moments later Chris Hobbs was called for a foul trying to defend in the low post, his fourth personal of the game. When Hobbs let official Karl Hess know he was unhappy with the call, Hess slapped the Clemson senior with a technical foul, which also counted as a personal foul, forcing Hobbs from the game.
Though Florida State didn't take immediate advantage of the situation - Pickett hit just one of the two technical free throws and the Seminoles turned the ball over on the ensuing possession - Clemson never seemed to recover it's offensive poise.
The Seminoles pulled away from there, improving to 17-8 on the season and 5-5 in the league.
Pickett was the only Seminole in double figures. Alexander Johnson added nine.
Ford topped Clemson with 15 points, while Shawan Robinson added nine.
The Tigers trailed 35-26 at the break which, considering FSU's quick start and their own offensive woes, wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been.
Pickett scored the game's first eight points almost before the team bus doors closed, and the Seminoles built an early double-digit lead. A quick spurt helped the Tigers pull to within four near the midway point of the half, but ultimately Clemson's poor shooting (37 percent) kept it from getting over the hump and allowed the Seminoles to rebuild part of the lead.
Pickett finished the half with 15 points, while Ford reached the break with 11.
Dan Scott covers Clemson University for the Seneca Daily Journal/Clemson Messenger. He also hosts SportsTalk from 9 a.m.-Noon, Monday-Friday, on WCCP-Fm, 104.9. Click here for Dan Scott's SportsTalk discussion board.