TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - In the long history of Clemson's road futility in the
Atlantic Coast Conference, even veteran observers will be hard pressed to
find a loss that tops this one.
Anthony Richardson sank two free throws with 4 tenths of a second remaining
Tuesday night, lifting Florida State to a 60-59 victory over the Tigers. It
was how Richardson got to the free throw line that will have Clemson fans
grumbling for years to come.
Trailing 59-58 with :05.1 to play, Florida State inbounded the ball to Todd
Galloway, who drove to the right side of the basket and missed a short shot
attempt. Richardson rebounded the miss and started up with the follow, which
was blocked from behind by Sharrod Ford as time expired.
Or so it seemed.
As the Tigers were beginning to celebrate what they thought was a rare
conference road victory, official Larry Rose was in the process of calling
Ford for a foul on Richardson.
After huddling for nearly five minutes to review video of the play, Rose
ruled that the foul call came 4 tenths of a second ahead of the buzzer,
meaning Richardson was awarded two shots.
He sank one to tie the game at 59-59, then after a Clemson timeout, calmly
hit the game-winner.
The Tigers' desperation inbound pass was intercepted near the opposite
3-point line, sealing the team's latest debacle at the Leon County Civic
Center. Clemson has lost 10-of-12 games played in the facility, including all
five in Larry Shyatt's tenure as head coach.
Clemson is now 2-32 on the road in the ACC under Shyatt, and 58-267 all time
away from home in conference play.
The controversial ending capped a wild final few seconds of play Tuesday
It began with Chey Christie missing two free throws with :33 left and Clemson
ahead 57-56. Florida State immediately took advantage, getting a basket by
Trevor Harvey at :16.6 for a 58-57 lead.
Ed Scott took the inbound pass and drove the full length of the floor,
forcing an off-balance runner in traffic that missed. FSU's Tim Pickett
momentarily grabbed the rebound but lost it as he fell to the floor.
The ball rolled to the top of the key where Ford, lying prone on the ground,
tipped it forward to Chris Hobbs who hit an 8-foot leaner in the lane with
:05.1 to go, putting the Tigers ahead 59-58 and setting up the wild finish.
Despite the controversy at the end, Clemson (11-3, 1-3 ACC) began sealing its
fate much earlier with sloppy ball handling and poor free throw shooting. The
Tigers committed 19 turnovers - well above their season average of 12 - and
hit just 9-of-17 foul shots.
Olu Babalola led the Tigers in scoring with 12 points, followed by Shawan
Robinson with 11 - all in the first half - and Ford with 10. Scott was held
to nine points on 4-of-10 shooting.
Pickett led Florida State (10-6, 1-4) with 23 points, while Harvey finished
Babalola 5-8 2-3 12, Hobbs 1-2 3-4 5, Ford 4-6 3-5 11, Scott 4-14 0-0 9, Christie 1-8 1-5 4, Betko 1-1 0-0 3, Nagys 2-4 0-0 4, Robinson 4-5 0-0 11, Akingbala 0-0 0-0 0, Henderson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-48 9-17 59.
FLORIDA STATE (10-6)
Joiner 1-6 3-4 5, Richardson 5-12 2-3 12, Harvey 5-9 1-2 11, Johnson 0-4 0-0 0, Pickett 7-11 4-4 21, Galloway 1-3 0-2 3, Mathews 1-2 2-2 4, Waleskowski 2-4 0-0 4, Callier 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-51 12-17 60.
Halftime: Clemson 36-33.
3-Point goals: Clemson 6-16 (Babalola 0-1, Scott 1-5, Christie 1-4, Betko 1-1, Nagys 0-1, Robinson 3-4), FSU 4-13 (Joiner 0-1, Richardson 0-2, Johnson 0-2, Pickett 3-6, Galloway 1-2).
Fouled out: None.
Rebounds: Clemson 30 (Ford 8), FSU 29 (Joiner, Harvey, Galloway, Mathews 3).
Assists: Clemson 10 (Scott 6), FSU 11 (Joiner 4).
Total fouls: Clemson 17, FSU 18.