TALLAHASSEE, FLA. — A fourth consecutive game of at least 20 points from Jaron Blossomgame was not enough for Clemson as it fell at Florida State on Saturday, 76-65. The loss dropped the Tigers to 13-8 on the season, 6-3 in the ACC. Florida State improved to 14-7 and 4-5 in league play.
Blossomgame shrugged off a tough opening half and posted 20 of his game-high 22 points in the second frame. He made all nine of his free throw attempts, part of 81 percent shooting for the Tigers at the charity stripe. Clemson shot just 33 percent overall and made only 6-23 from three, while committing a season-high 18 turnovers. Florida State took advantage, shooting 48 percent overall and 58 percent after halftime. Dwayne Bacon led the Seminoles with 21 points.
Clemson made four straight shots early to take a 10-5 lead, only to see the Seminoles jump right back in front. The ‘Noles would stretch their biggest cushion to six points at 22-16 on two Xavier Rathan-Mayes free throws. Clemson inched back in it, with Gabe DeVoe knocking down an important three and following with an easy layup to cut the deficit to one at 22-21.
FSU threatened to bust out a big lead at halftime, but Roper was having none of it. The Tiger senior buried a wing three and then followed by weaving through traffic for a layup that cut the deficit to 32-28, where it stayed for intermission. Legend Robertin, who has not played since the North Carolina game on December 30, played five minutes due to foul trouble with Clemson’s top two centers. He responded with a dunk and a blocked shot in the opening frame.
Clemson actually took a brief lead in the early stages of the second half, 41-39, when Sidy Djitte put back a miss. But that put the ‘Noles on a 17-7 run over the next several minutes, highlighted by plenty of baskets in transition. Clemson’s turnover and long-range shooting woes continued and the Tigers never truly threatened again.
The Tigers stay on the road next week, traveling to Winston-Salem for a Tuesday matchup with Wake Forest. The Tigers and Demon Deacons tip off at 8 p.m. in Lawrence Joel Coliseum.
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