Clemson-The Clemson Tigers ratcheted up the defense as PJ Hall shined from the free-throw line to hold on for a 75-69 win over Florida State Wednesday night at Littlejohn Coliseum. Clemson improves to 12-9 overall and 4-6 in the ACC as the Seminoles fall to 13-8 and 6-5.
Hall hit four free throws in the final two minutes of the game as he signaled to the crowd for more energy and more noise from the free-throw line. The Seminoles lost the ball out of bounds on the ensuing possession and turned it over as they failed to inbound the ball on the baseline. Hall promptly blocked the Seminoles’ shot on the next trip down the court before heading to the line for his third and fourth free throws.
Hall led Clemson scorers with 15 points and seven rebounds, while Nick Honor and Chase Honor added 12 apiece and Naz Bohannon added 11. Caleb Mills led the Seminoles with 16 points. Clemson shot 52-percent from the field and 40-percent from three, while Florida State shot 48-percent and 32-percent, respectively. The Tigers made 15-of-21 from the free-throw line.
Clemson got off to a hot start and opened up a 20-12 lead over Florida State after back-to-back threes by Alex Hemenway and Nick Honor with just over 11 minutes to play in the opening half. However, the Seminoles found success getting to the basket and tied the game at 30-30 with four-plus minutes to play in the half, but Clemson went on a 15-6 run capped off with an Honor jumper at the end of the half to give the Tigers a 45-36 lead.
The Tigers came opened a 55-43 lead after a pair of Hall dunks and Hunter free throws, forcing Florida St. to call a timeout with 15:20 to play. The Seminoles battled back to cut Clemson’s lead to 62-58, but Hall answered the call with back-to-back layups to give Clemson a little bit of breathing room with a 65-58 lead with under nine minutes to play.
Clemson went over three minutes with a bucket, allowing the Seminoles to cut the lead to 67-64 with 6:22 to play. After cutting Clemson’s lead to three, Florida State. had a nearly three-minute scoring drought of its own before Caleb Mills hit a jumper and a free throw on the ensuing possession to make it a 69-67 Clemson advantage with 2:25 to play.
Starting forward Hunter Tyson left the game in the first half with a shoulder injury. Coach Brad Brownell said Tyson will be evaluated Thursday morning for a possible broken clavicle.
Clemson travels to Georgia Tech for a Saturday night match-up with the Yellow Jackets at 6 p.m. The contest will be televised on ESPN or ESPN2.
Story by Nikki Hood