BY: John Mamola
Clemson junior forward KJ McDaniels was a one-man show in Tallahassee as the Clemson Tigers stole a big road victory over Florida State on Saturday afternoon 53-49. McDaniels’ 26 points led the Tigers to their first victory over FSU in the last six meetings and the loss is even more deflating for the Noles’ NCAA tournament chances.
The two teams could barely light up the scoreboard in the first half as both teams struggled mightily from the field. McDaniels carried the load for the Tigers while the Noles top scorers couldn’t buy a basket as the teams headed to the half with a 20-17 lead for Clemson.
The Noles scoring attack took a hit in the first half as FSU senior guard Ian Miller, who leads the team averaging 13.3 points per game, left the game after twisting his ankle on a layup attempt and did not return.
That left the door open for Clemson and McDaniels as the Tigers leading scorer filled the bucket with ten of Clemson’s first twelve points to start the second half. McDaniels finished the game as the game’s leading scorer (26), but also led the game in rebounds (7) and added three assists.
The Seminoles have dropped four of their last five games with just over a month of the regular season remaining. FSU will host Virginia Tech on Wednesday night for a late night battle at 9:00pm.