Tigers fall to 1-4 in ACC action with loss at FSU

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Clemson went cold again from beyond the arc to fall behind in the second half. (USA TODAY Sports-Glenn Bell)
Clemson went cold again from beyond the arc to fall behind in the second half. (USA TODAY Sports-Glenn Bell)

Florida State snapped its three-game ACC losing streak at Clemson’s expense Tuesday night in Tallahassee.

The Tigers led by as much nine points and held the edge well into the second half, but Leonard Hamilton’s Seminoles jumped on top with a 13-0 run and didn’t let up to send the Tigers home with a 77-68 loss.

Clemson dropped to 1-4 in ACC action and 11-7 overall. Florida State, which came in ranked as high as No. 23 by the Coaches Poll, improved to 14-5 and 2-4 in the conference.

Both teams had success shooting in the first half, with the Tigers getting a tip-in at the buzzer from Aamir Simms for a six-point edge.

Simms put the Tigers in position for the late-half surge with 15 points in the first period, knocking down 3-of-4 from beyond the perimeter. Simms finished with a game-high 18 points with five rebounds.

After an over 3-minute scoring drought, Clemson came out of a timeout with a 11-0 run in the first half and finished the period on a 6-0 run, hitting 50 percent on 2s (12-24) and 3s (4-8). Florida State stayed within range by knocking down 7-of-14 3-pointers.

Both sides cooled off from beyond the arc to start the second half, going 0-for-5 combined through the second media timeout, but then the Seminoles found their stroke. FSU hit three 3-pointers in a row to take its first lead in nearly 19 minutes of game-time with just over 8 to go.

After the Seminoles extended their lead to as much as eight points, Clemson fought back - timely buckets from Marcquise Reed and Simms cutting into the deficit and David Skara scoring his first points with 4:14 to go on a 3-pointer, making it a 3-point game.

Clemson would miss its final four shots of the game, however, as FSU answered the mini-run by outscoring Clemson 12-3 into the final seconds. After the 50 percent shooting start, Clemson made 1-of-9 3-pointers in the second half.

Mfiondu Kabengele led the Seminoles with 17 points and five rebounds. Thomas posted his fifth double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds, as well as five assists. Reed scored nine of his 13 points in the second half.

Clemson stays on the road with a trip to No. 21 NC State on Saturday (2 p.m./ACC Network).

Game notes: Elijah Thomas notched his fifth double-double of the season and the 16th of his career … Clemson moves to 12-4 overall when Thomas posts a double-double … Thomas also dished out a career-best five assists … he had previously posted three helpers on seven occasions … with 11 rebounds, Elijah Thomas now has 526 for his Clemson career – just 78 shy of cracking the top 25 in Clemson history … Marcquise Reed scored 13 points for his 56th double-figure scoring game of his career … Reed is 14 double-figure scoring games shy of tying for 16th all-time in program history … with his 13 points, Reed now owns 1,171 career points and ties Randy Mahaffey (1964-67) for 28th on the all-time list … Aamir Simms’ 18 points marked his ninth double-digit scoring game of the season and his second-highest offensive output of the year.

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