for this game

Florida State holds off Clemson

Mar 1, 2009 - 1:04 AM TALLAHASSEE, Florida (Ticker) -- Toney Douglas scored 23 points and No. 25 Florida State withstood a huge comeback in a 73-66 victory over 13th-ranked Clemson in the Atlantic Coast Conference on Saturday.

Chris Singleton and Derwin Kitchen added 10 points apiece for the Seminoles (22-7, 9-5 ACC), who completed a season sweep of the Tigers, having posted a 65-61 victory at Clemson three weeks ago.

The Seminoles remained in contention for a first-round bye in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament. They are tied for third place with Wake Forest, one game ahead of Clemson.

"We are just playing for a higher seed in the ACC tournament," Douglas said. "We already know we are going to the NCAA Tournament."

Florida State led by 17 points early in the second half and held a 61-48 advantage with 6 1/2 minutes to play before Clemson (22-6, 8-6) came storming back.

Terrence Oglesby hit a pair of 3-pointers and Raymond Sykes scored four points in a 12-2 run as the Tigers pulled within 63-60 with 3:20 to play.

"Clemson is a very difficult team to prepare for because they put pressure on you all the time," Tigers coach Leonard Hamilton said. "It started to wear on us. We couldn't get it across halfcourt and they were able to cut down the lead and put the game in doubt in the late stages in the game."

Clemson's harassing full-court press unnerved the Seminoles, who went more than four minutes without a field goal.

But Douglas sandwiched four free throws around a basket by Singleton to push the lead back to 69-60 with 50 seconds left to quell the comeback.

"We just had to keep our composure," Douglas said. "I wasn't getting nervous. I was just trying to get the ball. ... Honestly I am exhausted, I am tired, and I probably would have cried if we would have lost that game because we played so hard and played so good especially on the defensive end."

K.C. Rivers connected from the arc with 23 seconds to play, cutting the margin to 71-66 and giving the Tigers a pulse.

Again Douglas stepped up, blocking a shot by Demontez Stitt with 11 seconds to go before capping the victory with a pair of free throws.

Rivers scored 17 points to lead Clemson, which connected on 12-of-27 from the arc.

Trailing 13-11, Florida State used a 14-0 run to seize control of the game. Deividas Dulkys, Kitchen and Douglas each buried 3-pointers in the surge as the Seminoles took a 39-27 halftime lead.

"They have all the pieces for a good team," Clemson coach Oliver Purnell said of Florida State. "They've got size, they got shooting, they got a great guard. They are very good."

Florida State's lead peaked at 44-27 in the opening 80 seconds of the second half on a 3-pointer by Singleton, but Rivers and Oglesby each connected on three 3-pointers to rally the Tigers.

Oglesby and Sykes joined Rivers in double figures with 12 and 10 points, respectively, while Trevor Booker added eight and 11 rebounds.