Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

CLEMSON 53, FLORIDA STATE 48; 'Noles' Roadblock Offense Struggles in 17th Consecutive ACC Road Loss

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

CLEMSON 53, FLORIDA STATE 48; 'Noles' Roadblock Offense Struggles in 17th Consecutive ACC Road Loss

Article excerpt

Byline: Bob Thomas, The Times-Union

CLEMSON, S.C. -- Clemson ended a six-game Atlantic Coast Conference losing streak with a 53-48 victory over Florida State Tuesday night, while extending the Seminoles' long stretch of bad road.

The victory was the Tigers' first in league play since beating the Seminoles last Feb. 22 at Littlejohn Coliseum, where they have won three consecutive games against Florida State.

The Seminoles have now lost 17 consecutive ACC road games, dating back to a 2001 win at Clemson. It was also their third consecutive loss of the season.

Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton elected not to play junior forward Diego Romero, whose eligibility was restored by the NCAA on Monday. Romero dressed for the game but sat at the far end of the bench.

"I'm not going to talk to him until I get back home," said Hamilton, who will sit down with Romero today before coming to a decision on whether he will play this season or redshirt. "It would be selfish for us to rush him into a decision."

Clemson (8-6, 1-2) won despite not scoring a field goal over the final 4 minutes, 24 seconds, and making only 9-of-17 free throws down the stretch. Chey Christie's consecutive free throws with 13 seconds to play sealed the victory.

That was more than enough to overcome a struggling FSU offense. The Seminoles (12-3, 1-2) went 7:25 between field goals in the second half, shortly after Tim Pickett's 3-pointer gave them a 30-29 lead. That was their first lead since going up 7-5 at 14:10 of the opening half on a Pickett layup. FSU went 5:09 without a field goal; a span eclipsed by a 5:41 stretch later in the half.

The Seminoles trailed 27-19 at the break.

"It was all about defense," first-year coach Oliver Purnell said after collecting his first conference victory.

It had to be. …

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