Tigers' Florida woes continue against 'Noles

Clemson's Trevor Booker gets a shot off against Florida State's Julian Vaughn.
Clemson's Trevor Booker gets a shot off against Florida State's Julian Vaughn.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- For a while Tuesday, it looked like Florida State's Toney Douglas and Jason Rich might outscore Clemson by themselves.

Douglas scored 23 points and Rich 22 to lead Florida State to a 64-55 win, knocking the Tigers out of a third-place tie in the ACC.

Florida State (15-12, 4-8 ACC) made six of its first eight shots to take an early 17-6 lead that it built to 35-17 at halftime, shooting 61.9 percent in the half, with Douglas and Rich combining for 23 by the break.

Clemson, meanwhile, was equally cold -- connecting on just three of its first 16 attempts.

Clemson (19-7, 7-5) came into the game leading the ACC with a 39.9 team shooting percentage from 3-point distance, but went 3-for-27 from long range, missing 18 of its first 19.

"We did some things good tonight to kind of get them out of their rhythm," Rich said.

But Clemson still managed to almost catch up, pulling to within 47-43 with 4:39 left on Demontez Stitt's 3-pointer, but Rich and Douglas countered with six unanswered points to get Florida State's lead back to 10 points with 3:02 left.

"I'm not real sure the game was a thing of beauty," Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. "They turned the heat up and we were able to hang on."

Clemson coach Oliver Purnell said the Florida State guards were the difference.

"They made some big baskets to hold us off," Purnell said. "Douglas was awfully good. Rich was awfully good. We really couldn't guard them."

And Purnell's team didn't shoot well either, hitting just 30 percent from the field and were troubled as well at the free throw line, making 12-of-23.

Cliff Hammonds led Clemson with 13 points, Trevor Booker added 12 and K.C. Rivers 10.

"We were obviously energized in the second half and played with a sense of urgency but we got down too far," Purnell said.

The loss dropped Clemson into fourth place in the ACC, a half game back of Maryland, which is 7-4, and a half game ahead of fifth place Wake Forest, which is 6-5 in league play.

Clemson won its first meeting of the season with Florida State, 97-85 in double overtime on its home floor.

"Down the stretch we held onto the ball, put it in our hands and made plays," said Rich.

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