That was a straight-up beatdown. Clemson grabbed command early in the game, jumping out to a 22-6 lead, and never looked back. FSU was able to cut the lead to 27-18 at the half, but Clemson came out of the locker room with focus and energy and quickly extend that lead. The Tigers would eventually take their biggest lead of the game, 54-27, with 6 minutes left in the game. That's right, Clemson held FSU to 27 points over the first 34 minutes. It was a combination of great defense by us and terrible offense by FSU.
The statistics are astounding. FSU had an unbelievably bad assist to turnover ratio of 1:3, with 7 assists and 21 turnovers. 15 of those turnovers came in the first half, which allowed Clemson to go 8 minutes without a field goal and still hold a commanding lead going into the locker room. To lead by 9 at halftime after going over 8 minutes without a field goal is a testament to the defensive performance. Our guys were aggressive in their traps and hedges and even better in their rotations. Don't let FSU's ineptitude on offense completely fool you because we put on a clinic defensively.
FSU did not have a single player finish in double figures. Chris SIngleton and Bernard James led FSU, finishing with 8 points a piece. 6 of Singleton's points came on two garbage time 3-pointers. In fact, FSU needed three garbage time 3-pointers to get over the 40 point mark.
Offensively Jerai Grant and Demontez Stitt led the way with 14 and 12 points, respectively. Grant provided the play of the game with a posterizing dunk on Chris Singleton's head. The game was already in hand at that point, but it was a great exclamation point on a great win.
It wasn't always pretty, as many games that involve FSU are not, but we were able to pick up a crucial conference win. The crowd was very lively, especially for a noon game. It seems as though people are rallying around the blue collar work ethic of this team. This team isn't as talented as some teams of past years, but they hustle their tails off. Brian Narcisse epitomizes that blue collar work ethic. He has done everything Brad Brownell has asked him to do. He isn't the most talented player, but he has filled in more than admirably while Tanner Smith has been fighting through his knee injury. He rebounds, hustles to loose balls, plays good defense, and blocks shots. Everything you want from a role player.
Clemson's next two games are on the road against UVA and Georgia Tech. This team has proved it can win at home, but now needs to prove it can carry the same energy on the road.