March 4, 2012
Snaer set a new career high with 23 points while connecting on five of his seven 3-point attempts. He also went over 1,000 points for his career.
The Seminoles tied the school record for most ACC wins at home with seven.
FSU tied the school record for most wins ACC wins in a season with 12. The 1992-94 team also had 12 league wins.
Florida State got a boost in bench scoring because Snaer was replaced in the starting lineup by Peterson for senior day. FSU’s bench scored 39.
The ‘Noles were on fire from 3-point range, sinking 11 of their 19 shots from that distance for a 57.9 percentage.
By: Brandon Mellor, Seminoles.com Senior Writer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — It’s record and accomplishments speak for themselves and its conference-tournament seeding was already locked in, but the No. 22 Florida State men’s basketball team still had something to accomplish against Clemson.
FSU wanted a win for its six seniors playing in their final game at the Donald L. Tucker Center and to match the school record for most Atlantic Coast Conference victories in a season. The Seminoles probably wanted to enact a little payback for a 20-point loss at Clemson in January that threatened to derail its ACC schedule before it ever got started, too.
And in a 80-72 win, Florida State (21-9, 12-4 ACC) accomplished all three of those goals as it capped off the 2011-12 regular season Sunday.
But it almost slipped away.
FSU led by 16 at halftime and maintained a double-digit lead throughout much of the second half. But because of their ability to grab offensive rebounds and register second-chance points, the Tigers (16-14, 9-9) eventually chipped FSU’s lead to just 75-72 with 30 seconds left.
Fittingly, though, the ‘Noles closed the door on any successful Clemson comeback by doing what it did so well all day in the final half-minute: making baskets. Michael Snaer hit both of his free-throw attempts and Luke Loucks made three of his four while the defense stymied Clemson to preserve the win.
“I am just glad we won,” said Loucks, one of those six FSU seniors. “It would be a terrible feeling to walk out of that gym one last time with a loss so it was a great day.”
James also had 11 rebounds and sophomore Ian Miller added 11 points thanks to a 3-for-6 mark from 3-point range.
For as much as the trio of seniors and the one rising-star youngster did, Snaer had the game of his career. The junior scored a career-high 23 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the field and a 5-for-7 mark from long distance.
He also eclipsed 1,000 points for his career.
“That’s a tremendous accomplishment for a junior,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said.
Snaer’s impressive shooting was a theme for the Seminoles Sunday — in particular the first half.
FSU shot 64 percent from the field and 72.7 percent from 3-point land in the opening period. The team finished the game with a more realistic but-still-potent 50 percent overall shooting mark.
Florida State’s offensive prowess ultimately helped offset Clemson’s resiliency. Both teams finished tied in rebounds with 37 but the Tigers had 17 offensive boards and scored 18 second-chance points.
“When they shoot the ball like they did tonight they are very hard to beat,” Clemson coach Brad Brownell said.
Added James, when asked if that was the best FSU had played in a first half all season: “Pretty close to it. We were clicking on all cylinders in the first half.”
Senior Jeff Peterson started in place of Snaer as part of a senior-day recognition but that didn’t stop the latter from filling up the box score early.
Snaer hit four of FSU’s eight 3-pointers in an opening half that saw the Seminoles shoot 64 percent from the field and build a 49-33 lead. The ‘Noles’ 49 points were their third-highest first-half output all season.
FSU would finish with 11 3-pointers — one away from tying its season high.
Florida State earned a guaranteed No. 3 seed last week and will now play Friday at 9 p.m. in the second round of the ACC Tournament in Atlanta, Ga. at Phillips Arena.