Clemson’s late bucket ends FSU’s upset bid

Florida State was seconds away from its first upset of a top-25 team this season. But on a day with some inspired performances by Seminoles newcomers, a Clemson veteran made the clinching play.

Chase Hunter drove up the lane and fouled, sinking the free throw attempt, with four seconds left to help No. 24 Clemson escape in an 82-81 win over Florida State on Saturday.

Matthew Cleveland scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half for Florida State (7-15, 5-6 ACC), which made a season-high 13 3-pointers. The Seminoles had made just 3 of 22 3-point shots in a lopsided home loss to #20 Miami on Tuesday.

“We challenged the guys to come out with that level of focus every game,” said FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton. “We haven’t had a consistent effort. A lot is that now we’re able to keep the guys a little fresher, we have some guys who maybe didn’t have experience at the start of the year, now we’re able to put them in the game.”

Hunter Tyson scored 27 points on 10-of-17 shooting for Clemson (18-4, 10-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), which ended an eight-game losing streak against Florida State.

Tyson made 6 of 12 shots from beyond the arc, playing the full 40 minutes. He has now made 50 triples on the season.

Caleb Mills and Darin Green Jr. each hit four 3-pointers for the Seminoles. Freshman forward Baba Miller had his best game, scoring 11 points and pulling down four rebounds in 20 minutes.

Chandler Jackson scored seven points and had two assists, playing a season-high 19 minutes.

“Jackson played with a lot more confidence tonight,” Hamilton said. “He actually played with the confidence he played with in high school. He was getting into the middle lane without hesitation. Now he’s shooting the jump shot with confidence. And this is a guy who hasn’t practiced for eight weeks because of a broken thumb. He’s showing a lot of growth, giving us good leadership on the pitch. I’m particularly pleased with his defense.”

Clemson won the rebounding advantage 38-27

Sola Adebisi joined the Seminoles in November and was used sparingly in some games. But the 6-foot-6, 190-pound junior walk-on proved invaluable in the first half. Playing due to the FSU foul, she had four points and pulled down two rebounds in just over five minutes.

Adebisi also likely saw playing time with Naheem McLeod not on the FSU bench.

Florida State plays NC State on Wednesday (9 p.m. on ACC Network).

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