No. 18 Florida State fell short in their road opener, dropping a 77-67 contest in Littlejohn Coliseum against Clemson Tuesday evening. The Seminoles move to 5-2 (1-1 ACC) on the season and the Tigers are now 7-1 (1-1 ACC). Tuesday’s game against Clemson marked the start of an 18-game stretch for Florida State against ACC opponents.
Freshman Scottie Barnes led the way for Florida State, scoring 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting. The Seminoles shot 6-for-9 at the free throw line, while the Tigers finished 24-for-33 and 15-for-22 in the second half.
The Seminoles led at the break, 34-29, but Clemson outscored the Noles by 15 in the second half. Clemson led the final seven minutes of the game behind 15 points from Clyde Trapp, the game’s leading scorer.
Senior RayQuan Evans scored a career-high nine points for Florida State, all in the first half.
The Seminoles led by as many as nine points in the opening period when M.J. Walker connected on a three-pointer with 1:41 remaining, giving FSU a 34-25 lead. Walked finished with 11 points, three assists and three rebounds.
After a dunk from Balsa Koprivica to start the second half, Clemson went on an 8-0 run to retake the lead, 37-36. The teams traded buckets and the lead over the next six minutes, when Clemson took a 53-52 lead.
The closest Florida State would get over the final 10 minutes was on a Koprivica field goal with 7:50 remaining to tie the game at 54-54. The sophomore from Belgrade, Serbia, scored eight points and a career-high nine rebounds.
Clemson guard Nick Honor hit a three-pointer to break the tie and begin a 9-2 Clemson run that would keep FSU at arm’s reach the rest of the night. Honor had 13 points for the Tigers.
Barnes ended the night with a team-high of 14 points and five assists. Barnes, a freshman from West Palm Beach, has had at least four assists in five games this season. He is now averaging 12.2 points and 3.8 assists in his last four games.
Redshirt junior RaiQuan Gray led the team in steals with three total. Gray also had three rebounds on the night.
Walker reached double-figure points for the sixth time this season. After making both free throws against the Tigers, Walker is now 37-for-40 (.925) from the charity stripe this year.
Florida State will return back to the Donald L. Tucker Center on Saturday, January 2 for their third ACC game of the season against No. 20 Duke. The game is at 8:00 p.m. and will be aired on ESPN2.