The Clemson Tigers men’s basketball team defeated the No. 6 Florida State Seminoles by a score of 70-69 on Saturday afternoon. With the win, the Tigers moved to 14-13 overall and 8-9 in the ACC.
The game was a battle throughout, with neither team being able to establish a secure lead. The Seminoles seemed to have the edge into the second half, but the Tigers never allowed them to pull away. A John Newman layup with 14:10 remaining in the second half brought the Tigers even with the Seminoles heading into the game’s final stretch.
After more back and forth action, Clemson guard Tevin Mack hit a go-ahead three with just 1:44 remaining on the clock. With 16 seconds remaining in the game, Florida State inbounded the ball down 68-67. Seminole guard Trent Forest notched what appeared to be a game-winning layup with eight seconds remaining in the game. Without hesitation, Clemson guard Al-Amir Dawes took the inbound pass for the Tigers and took off down the court. Dawes hoisted up a layup with just a second remaining and watched it fall to give the Tigers a hard fought win.
Dawes and Newman paced the Tigers in points with 18 each while Mack and Clyde Trapp tallied nine and eight points respectively. The Tigers shot a solid 48% from the field, including 30% from three, a massive uptick from their 10% three-point shooting against Georgia Tech on Feb. 25.
The win over the No.6 Seminoles added another chapter to what has been the definition of a rollercoaster season for the Tigers. The victory marked the Tigers’ third win over a top six team, their most since 1980. Despite the impressive wins against high ranking ACC teams, losses to Wake Forest, Notre Dame and most recently Georgia Tech have the Tigers on the outside looking in for the NCAA tournament.
The Tigers will likely have to win their remaining regular season games and make a deep run in the ACC tournament if they have any chance of making it back to the NCAA tournament.
Clemson will be back in action again on March 4 on the road before wrapping up the regular season at home against Georgia Tech on March 6.