Tallahassee turn-around
Trevor Booker
CUTigers.com
Posted Feb 28, 2010


Clemson rode the momentum of Andre Young’s half-court buzzer beater at the end of the first-half to beat Florida State 53-50 on Sunday night at the Donald L. Tucker Center.

With the win, Clemson sweeps Florida State for the first-time in regular season play. The Tigers improve to 20-8 (8-6 in ACC) while the Seminoles drop to 20-8 (8-6 in ACC). Both teams are tied with Wake Forest and Virginia Tech for third-place as the conference wraps up regular season play this week.

It’s the first-time in school history that Clemson has at least eight ACC wins for three consecutive seasons.

After nearly eight minutes into the game, Clemson finally made a shot from the field, courtesy of a Devin Booker dunk. With less than five minutes to play in the first half, Clemson trailed 19-6 and made just two of the first 18 shots from the field.

“It’s tough when your offense sputters, not to get down on yourself,” said coach Oliver Purnell.

“That’s happened to our team sometimes this year, and it happens to a lot of good teams. Our guys didn’t get down and stayed in a defensive mindset.”

It’s the second time this season Clemson has shot 33 percent from the field in a game. Florida State was held to 38 percent shooting from the field and 33 percent from behind the 3-point line. The Tigers forced 20 turnovers, 11 were steals.

“I’m just so proud of our guys, after losing their way against Maryland defensively and trying to have a short-term memory, in not an easy place to recover,” Purnell said. “We came down here with the mindset of staying on the defensive end of the floor.”

Trailing 21-19 at halftime, Clemson scored the first eight points of the second half before Florida State came back to lead at the 11:40 mark. Down by as many as six, the Tigers closed the game with an 11-3 run.

Trevor Booker scored a game-high 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds while Young came off the bench to score 12. No Florida State players scored in double-figures.

“You’re just proud of your guys. You can’t get anything going offensively, you’re playing against a physically, defensive team on their home court—a good team that’s playing well,” Purnell said. “You just kind of hang in there and put yourself in a position to where the pressure flips on them a little bit.”

The win also makes Booker and David Potter the winningest seniors class in Clemson history.

“It’s great, particularly because we have senior night coming up, and we get to honor them for that great accomplishment, as well as being seniors,” Purnell said.

Clemson hosts Georgia Tech at 8 p.m. on Tuesday night before going back on the road to close at Wake Forest on Sunday.


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 -by CUTigers.com  Feb 28, 2010
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