Story by Justin Mathis
After a tough road loss earlier in the week in Atlanta, Clemson looked to continue their trend of knocking off highly-ranked opponents at Littlejohn Coliseum against sixth-ranked Florida State, Saturday.
Clemson got off to a rough start, missing 12 of their first 20 shots from the field, due in part to the length of the Florida State lineup. The Tigers finished the first half with a 13 for 30 mark (43.3%), while the Seminoles made 16 of 26 shot attempts (61.5%).
In the second stanza, things started to change.
Just 20 seconds into the frame, the Seminoles took their biggest lead of the game, 42-32, on a three-pointer from Trent Forrest. Not long after that, the Tigers began to gradually chip away at the deficit. Enter John Newman.
By the 12 minute mark, Newman had scored seven of Clemson’s 17 second-half points. The Tigers also made up for their lack of length against Florida State by drawing six charges, tied for fourth-most in a single game in program history. The last time Clemson drew that many charges was January 11th, 1987, against North Carolina State.
With less than seven minutes remaining, Clemson began piecing together a rally. Consecutive layups by Khavon Moore cut FSU’s lead down to one, 56-55, with 5:41 left. Later, Tevin Mack curled off of a screen to the top of the key and drilled a triple, giving Clemson a 59-58 advantage with 1:43 remaining.
After Forrest gave FSU a one point lead with nine seconds to go, freshman guard Al-Amir Dawes took the inbounds pass, drove the full length of the court, and made a tough layup with one second left on the clock to give Clemson their third win over a top-six team at home this season.
This marks the first time that the Tigers have beaten three teams ranked in the top six since the 1979-80 campaign. Clemson improves to 15-13 (9-9 ACC), while Florida State falls to 24-5 (14-4 ACC).