Florida State upsets No.11 Clemson in Overtime Thriller

Alec Chessari, Correspondent (@AlecChessariFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) The Florida State Seminoles men’s basketball team (18-8, 7-7) kept it sweet on Valentines Day by overcoming an 18-point deficit against the No.11 Clemson Tigers (20-5, 9-4) in overtime to win 81-79.

The Seminoles started off sluggish turning the ball over on their first three possessions. The Tigers made sure to take advantage by turning those turnovers into points and gaining an early 10-3 lead with 15:25 remaining in the first half.

“Several of our turnovers were them (Clemson) playing good defense, but about six or seven of those turnovers were just poor decisions we had made” Seminoles head coach Leonard Hamilton said.

Turnovers looked to plague the Seminoles early in the first half with the Tigers scoring 16 points off the Seminoles turnovers.

The Tigers led at half 41-29 behind there 48 percent shooting (13-27) and 44 percent shooting behind the arc (7-16).  Tigers guard Marcquise Reed led all scorers with 14 points in the first half.

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In the second half, the Seminoles came out with a bang led by Phil Cofer’s 17 points.  Cofer was held to only two shots in 15-minutes in the first half and didn’t manage to score.  In the second half, he shot 8-11.

“Trent is an extremely talented player with a high basketball IQ and is extremely competitive as well,” Hamilton said.

Trent Forrest played 31 hard fought minutes off the bench for the Seminoles, shooting 7-11 from the field, nailing two big free throws late in the game and coming up with a block in overtime to secure the win.

“If you all had not said anything I wouldn’t have even known, we are in the middle of an unbelievable conference race right now,” Hamilton said.

While Hamilton is happy to win the overtime thriller against the Tigers, he managed to pick up his 500th win and 300th win at Florida State.  Hamilton is more focused on his team playing better defensively and executing more efficiently.

The Seminoles currently hold the ninth spot in the ACC and look to stay above .500 in conference play when they take on the Pittsburgh Panthers at home on Feb. 18 at 6 p.m.