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'Noles Come Up Short Against Clemson, 53-49
Courtesy: Seminoles.com
Release: 02/01/2014
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Feb. 1, 2014

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) -- The Florida State men's basketball team lost Ian Miller to a first-half injury and then lost to Clemson, 53-49, Saturday at the Donald L. Tucker Center.

The Seminoles (13-8, 4-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) have now lost three games in a row. The setback was just the second loss of the year on their home floor.

In addition to being without Miller, the team's leading scorer who missed the entire second half with an injury, FSU couldn't come up with an answer for Tigers (14-6, 5-3) star K.J. McDaniels, who nearly matched half his team's point total by himself. McDaniels finished with 26 points on 50 percent shooting while also adding seven rebounds, three assists and three blocks.

Clemson shot 43 percent from the floor as a team and grabbed 25 offensive rebounds that helped them overcome a paltry first half in which they went into the break down 20-17 to the `Noles.

"Clemson did a very good job of controlling the tempo," FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. "I think we got lulled into playing the game at their pace."

For Florida State, the home team couldn't find its shooting touch. The Seminoles were held to just 34 percent shooting from the field and a 1-for-8 clip from behind the 3-point line, FSU actually outscored Clemson in the paint, 28-20, and had 13 points off 17 forced turnovers but ultimately it wasn't enough.

Aaron Thomas led the way with 13 points while Okaro White and Montay Brandon each added nine points. Devon Bookert finished with six points. Miller finisihed with two in his limited action.

"When Ian went out, it really challenged our rotation," Hamilton said, before adding that the early prognosis of Miller's injury was that he had a sprained ankle. "We thought that [Miller] would be able to continue to play but those ankles have the tendancy to get sore as time goes on and he wasn't able to come back in the second half."

The `Noles turned the ball over just 11 times.

Thomas' 3-pointer trimmed a double-digits Clemson advantage to 51-44 with 1:36 left on the game clock and then Bookert made it a 51-47 score on two free throws at the :18 mark. After a Jordan Roper dunk put Clemson back up six, Thomas got those points back on two free throws with eight seconds remaining in the game.

FSU forced a turnover five seconds later but Thomas' 3-pointer attempt rimmed out as time expired. "

"[Clemson] was patient tonight and got into the lane," Hamilton said. "... I thought they did a good job all night of getting [in the lane] and getting the ball kicked out."

Next for FSU is a home game against Virginia Tech Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 9 p.m.

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