ACC Basketball: Florida State 65, Clemson 61
CLEMSON, S.C. ó The only ones rushing Littlejohn Coliseum’s court after this one were the joyous Florida State Seminoles.
Two nights after No. 10 Clemson throttled Duke 74-47 and touched off a wild, orange-clad celebration, the Tigers let a 19-point second-half lead slip away in the Seminoles’ 65-61 victory Saturday night.
Toney Douglas had 23 points, including 12 in Florida State’s 23-4 run the final 9 minutes. When it ended, the Tigers (19-3, 5-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) and a sold-out crowd walked away in disbelief over what they watched.
“We just didn’t keep our foot on the gas pedal,” Clemson senior K.C. Rivers said. “Wednesday night, we kept our foot on the gas pedal. We seen (Duke) getting weak, we took advantage of it.
“Tonight, we didn’t do that,” Rivers added. “We seen them getting weak, we let them back in it. We gave them life.”
Douglas, who came in as the ACC’s third-leading scorer, looked way off his game, held to six points in the first half and knocked around by Clemson’s swarming defense.
However, he kept telling his teammates they were too good to miss shots as often as they were ó the Seminoles shot 30 percent in the first half ó when Clemson built its lead.
Douglas preached offensive patience and defensive tenacity. “We got to score on offense eventually. We’ve got to score and stop, score and stop,” Douglas said. “That was our gameplan.”
It couldn’t have worked any better as Florida State won at Clemson for the first time since 2001 after seven straight losses.
Number eight looked inevitable.
The Tigers were still flying high after the Duke win and had pushed their way to a 44-25 lead with 15 minutes to go. Florida State (18-5, 5-3) gave Clemson something the Blue Devils couldn’t, though: a second-half fight.
The Tigers were still ahead 57-42 on Trevor Booker’s 3-pointer with 9 minutes left when Douglas and the Seminoles got going.