Photo Credit to Sefton Ipock of the “Orange & White”
The Clemson Tigers men’s basketball team earned a hard fought ACC road win in their 53-49 victory over the Florida State Seminoles. On the day before the Super Bowl, the Tigers went into halftime trailing the Seminoles in a football-esque score of 17-20. However, the continued stellar play of KJ McDaniels along with contributions from Jaron Blossomgame led the Tigers to victory. McDaniels finished with 26 points and 7 rebounds. His biggest rebound, however, came in a very unconventional way. Late in the second half, McDaniels blocked an FSU layup attempt, and then grabbed the ball in mid air to maintain Clemson’s lead and momentum. “KJ was unbelievable tonight. He played at an exceptionally high level.” said Coach Brad Brownell after the game. The Tigers made a few changes going into the game in an attempt to break the two game losing streak they where on heading into Tallahassee. The first one was giving guard Adonis Filer his fifth career start, but first of the season. The second was that the Tigers wore their purple road uniforms for the second time this season. The Tigers previously had worn this set in a January 15th victory in Blacksburg, Virginia over the Hokies of Virginia Tech. The Tigers previously lost to the Seminoles on January 9th, 48 hours before their upset of the Duke Blue Devils, before a raucous crowd in Clemson. Clemson not only avenged that loss, but also broke a 5 game losing streak in the Tucker Center. Clemson retains there ranking as number one in points aloud per game. They also move to 14-6, with a 5-3 conference record, putting the Tigers at the fifth spot in the ACC standings. By winning their fourteenth game Saturday, the Tigers surpasses last season’s win total of thirteen. The Seminoles drop to 13-8, with a 4-5 ACC record. They are the tenth in the ACC. Clemson returns to action Tuesday night at 8:00 PM, as they return home to face an injury-riddled Georgia Tech squad, who is 3-6 in conference play after earning a victory Saturday over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. If Clemson were to beat the Yellow Jackets, this would mark Clemson’s five-hundreth win in Littlejohn Coliseum. Ironically, the Tiger’s first game in Littlejohn was a 76-72 victory over Georgia Tech on November 30, 1968. After the game with Georgia Tech, the Tigers will play #2 Syracuse in the Syracuse’s home court, the Carrier Dome. The Carrier Dome was the sight of a 49-14 victory for the Clemson football team during this past season.