Xavier Rathan-Mayes scores 15 but Florida State falls at home to Clemson
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- It might have been ugly, but Clemson coach Brad Brownell had no complaints. None.
He rather enjoyed the tussle as his Tigers outlasted Florida State 62-56 in spite of some less-than-stellar free-throw shooting in the game's waning moments.
"Anytime we play those guys it's just a street fight," Brownell said after watching his club win its fourth straight since losing at home to the Seminoles by four points just 16 days ago. "Sometimes it's whoever makes a couple of plays at some point in the game."
Or, perhaps, fewer mistakes.
Florida State committed 17 turnovers and Clemson made the Seminoles pay, outscoring them 16-2 on those miscues.
"We're playing with a little more confidence," Brownell said. "Some of this is just belief. You have to believe in yourself and your teammates."
Clemson (14-8, 6-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) has also defeated Wake Forest, North Carolina State and Boston College since losing to the Seminoles 59-55 on Jan. 19.
Florida State closed to 58-56 with 29 seconds left on a pair of free throws by Devon Bookert, but Josh Smith countered with a pair of his own four seconds later and teammate Roper added two with 13.6 seconds left to secure the Clemson win.
Xavier Rathan-Mayes led the Seminoles in scoring with 15 points while 7-3 Boris Bojanovsky added 13 points and 10 rebounds to earn his second double-double of the season.
Florida State (12-11, 4-6) led by six points in the opening few minutes, but succumbed to poor shooting and turnovers.
Clemson outscored the Seminoles 18-6 over the last 10:46 of the opening half to take a 27-21 lead at the break. The Tigers held Florida State scoreless for seven minutes and allowed just two baskets in the final 9:12.
Clemson polished off a 24-8 run to build its first double-digit lead at 33-23 early in the second half.
"They made the plays that we did not," Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. "We don't have many more coupons to use. They are running short."
The Seminoles visit Virginia Tech on Saturday and then return home to host Duke next Monday night.
The Tigers benefited from a 16-2 advantage on points off Seminole turnovers.
Blossomgame scored 12 of his points in the second half, but missed four free throws in the waning moments that allowed the game to get close.
"You've played well and you'd like to close it out with good free-throw shooting and ice the game," Brownell said. "But we did anything but that and had to fight our way through it."
Bojanovsky had a big second half for Florida State with nine points and nine rebounds to help the Seminoles claim a 37-34 rebound advantage. He entered the game averaging just 3.6 rebounds in ACC play.
"He was emotionally invested in the game tonight," Hamilton said.
Clemson warmed up some in the second half and finished the evening shooting 40.4 percent from the field while Florida State struggled again, connecting on 35.7 percent of its tries and going just 4-of-14 from 3-point distance.
Both teams shot poorly in the opening half with Clemson hitting on 37.5 percent of its tries to Florida State's 34.6.
Clemson: The Tigers return home next Tuesday to host No. 10 Notre Dame.
Florida State: The Seminoles closed out a three-game home stand with the loss to Clemson. Their next home game is Monday against No. 4 Duke.
A 9 o'clock start on a rainy Wednesday night resulted in a lot of empty seats at the 12,000-seat Civic Center, which appeared to have been half full.
Clemson visits Miami at 6:30 Sunday.
Florida State at Virginia Tech at 3:00 on Saturday.