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Clemson shuts down No. 22 FSU

Jan 30, 2011 - 12:23 AM Clemson, SC (Sports Network) - Jerai Grant scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds, as Clemson stifled 22nd-ranked Florida State, 62-44, at Littlejohn Coliseum.

Demontez Stitt added 12 points and six assists for the Tigers (15-6, 4-3 ACC), who have won their last two games.

Clemson made only 39 percent of its shots and turned the ball over 17 times, but benefited from its defense, which limited Florida State (15-6, 5-2) to 33 percent shooting and forced 22 turnovers.

"That was a terrific performance by our guys," Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. "I thought our energy level was as good as it's been all year for 40 minutes. We knew we were going to have to play outstanding defense because Florida State is very difficult to score against. It helped us that we got off to a good start. I think we showed maturity and growth as a team being able to weather a couple of offensive lulls of our own to stick to it for 40 minutes of outstanding defense."

No player scored in double digits for the Seminoles, who had won their last four games, including a victory over then-No. 1 Duke on January 12.

Florida State's offense struggled early, scoring just six points through the first eight-plus minutes. Clemson, on the other hand, made a lot of shots early on.

Its first three makes were three-pointers, including two from Devin Booker, who later recorded a three-point play to make it a 20-6 contest. Cory Stanton followed with two free throws to complete the Tigers' game-opening burst with 12 minutes left.

"Clemson immediately got us on our heels," Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. "They came out red hot in the first half and we could never really recover. They just applied the defensive pressure in the beginning and that really bothered us. When we couldn't handle the pressure, we started shooting the ball a lot quicker than we normally do."

Both teams continued to struggle on the offensive end, particularly Clemson, which went into halftime with a 27-18 advantage.

But Stitt opened the second half with a layup and three-pointer, and Tanner Smith added a trey for a 35-18 advantage. The eight-point run helped Clemson solidify its lead, not just for the points difference, but because those were the only points scored for the first 4 1/2 minutes of the second half.

Florida State got off to another slow start in the second period, scoring just two points through the first seven minutes.

That allowed the Tigers to take complete control, and Andre Young's three- pointer with seven minutes remaining capped a 10-0 run and gave Clemson a 54-27 lead. The Tigers cruised to the finish from there.

Game Notes

Chris Singleton and Bernard James both scored eight points to lead FSU...The Seminoles shot 4-of-17 from three-point range...Clemson made 16-of-20 free throws.