The Florida State hoops squad got a badly needed victory tonight, beating the Clemson Tigers 77-68 in a much needed ACC win for the Seminoles. The ’Noles improved to 14-5 and 2-4 in conference play with the win.
Heading into tonight’s matchup against the Tigers, Florida State was desperately in need of a win to snap out of its 3-game losing streak and in order to avoid a 1-5 start in ACC play before playing at Miami on Sunday. The schedule was against Florida State, which faced a Clemson team that had six days to prepare in comparison to Florida State’s one day “off.” The Seminoles were also without veteran forward Phil Cofer, as he is still recovering from a foot injury that kept him sidelined during the first 9 games of the season.
As the first half came to a close, the ’Noles tied the game up at 35, but after a 6-0 run by the Tigers, Florida State would enter the second half trailing, 41-35. While the Seminoles were shooting well from beyond the arc, going 7-14 in the first half, they were not doing too well elsewhere.
With just under 10 minutes left in contention, the Seminoles’ dynamic appeared to change and after going on a 9-0 run to take the lead, 59-55, Florida State had an impressive second half of basketball. David Nichols led a group of seven different Seminoles to hit 3-pointers tonight with 12 of his 16 points coming from beyond the arc. Florida State ended the game shooting 10-22, 45.5 percent from three.
Mfiondu Kabengele was a force to be reckoned with once again, leading Florida State off the bench with 17 points. He has now averaged 19 points and 6 rebounds in his last four games. Another key number for Kabengele, who often finds himself in foul trouble off then bench: two. Kabengele was whistled for just a pair of personal fouls in 25 minutes on the court.
But the real key to FSU’s 15-point second-half advantage was the ’Nole defense, which held the Tigers to a scant 27 points after the break. Florida State played an efficient game, offensively, turning the ball over just eight times all night, while making more free throws (17) than Clemson shot (14). And FSU hit its freebies at an 81% clip.
Tune in on Sunday, as the Seminoles face the Hurricanes at 6:00 pm.