CLEMSON, S.C. - The Seminoles traveled to Clemson looking to add a resume building victory, but instead left with their backs against the wall. Florida State fell 77-67 to the Tigers in a game in which it never led.
"I thought Clemson played with a lot more of a sense of urgency," Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton said. "I thought Clemson did a very good job being patient with the ball."
Luke Loucks led the Seminoles (17-7, 5-5 ACC) with 15 points, 13 of which came in the second half. Right behind him was Solomon Alabi with 14 points and freshman Michael Snaer with 10 points in the loss. As a team, the Seminoles shot just 22-for-58 (37.9%) from the field and 6-for-22 (27.3%) from the three-point range.
Florida State began the game scoring just eight points in the first 12:49. Despite the lack of offense, FSU trailed just 13-10 with 7:10 remaining in the first half following a Solomon Alabi jumper.
"We were 1-for-11 from the floor and five of those were within three or four feet of the basket," Hamilton said of FSU's offensive woes in the opening minutes. "We couldn't get any of them to fall."
The Seminoles kept it close for a while, but a 15-6 Clemson run over the final three minutes of the half put the Tigers up 37-24 headed into the locker room.
"I have to give them credit, they scrambled us with the full court press but I thought we had good looks that just didn't fall," Hamilton said. "We can't get easy missed opportunities back and they were able to take advantage of their easy opportunities."
"We let their press beat us up," Loucks added. "We were taking the first shot after the first pass, and that is what Clemson likes to do to you, they like to get all up on you and speed you up."
Florida State closed the gap to as little as eight points with 26.8 seconds left in the game, but weren't able to muster a comeback as the Tigers hit their free throws down the stretch.
"I think it sucks the energy out of you when you hit a shot and they come right back down and answer you," Senior forward Ryan Reid said. "We just have to keep digging and get stops, but we weren't making shots and we didn't make enough stops."
For the Tigers (17-7, 5-5 ACC), David Potter and Andre Young each had career highs of 19 points. Young added five assists for the Tigers, regularly breaking down the Seminoles' defense with dribble penetration and creating easy scoring opportunities for his teammates.
"I just thought that Young did a very good job of using his ball screens in the first half and I didn't think we did a very good job of defending them even though we worked on it all week," Hamilton said.
Florida State returns to action this Sunday at home against Boston College at 7:30 p.m.