March 8, 2001
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Larry Shyatt Will SolomonTonyStockman Mar. 8, 2001
By DAVID DROSCHAK AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA – Will Solomon had an off night, but Clemson’s leading scorer sank a go-head 3-pointer with 1:45 left and the Tigers went on to beat Florida State 66-64 Thursday night in the opening game of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
Solomon, third in the ACC in scoring, was 3-for-14 from the field before his key shot, which advanced the ninth-seeded Tigers (12-18) into Friday’s quarterfinals against No. 6 North Carolina.
Clemson upset the then No. 1-ranked Tar Heels on Feb. 18 – the team’s only victory in 13 games prior to its win over the No. 8 seeded Seminoles (9-21).
Florida State was led by Antwuan Dixon, who had a career high 23 points, including eight in a span of 2:15 that rallied the Seminoles from an eight-point deficit to a 62-61 lead with 2:49 left.
But Solomon sank the key 3-pointer, then grabbed the rebound on the other end on Florida State’s next miss.
The Seminoles still had a chance to tie or take the lead in the final seconds, but Adrian Crawford missed a 3-pointer and the ball rolled out of bounds off Dixon, whose previous scoring best was 17 points earlier this season.
Edward Scott, a key player in the second half for the Tigers, sank two free throws with 9.9 seconds left to seal the victory.
The win broke the Tigers’ streak of 27 consecutive ACC tournament losses when seeded lower than their opponents.
Meanwhile, Florida State ended its season with a school record 21 losses, the 1951-52 team went 5-20.
Ray Henderson had 15 points and eight rebounds for Clemson.
The Seminoles fell behind by seven early and lost leading scorer Delvon Arrington 4:44 into the game as he picked up three quick fouls.
But Florida State got hot without its point guard, going on a 19-7 run as the Tigers went more than six minutes without a basket and finished the first half shooting 30 percent.
A crowd of 22,193 watched the first ACC tournament game held in the Georgia Dome. More than 40,000 are expected for Friday’s four quarterfinal games.
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