Local News

Florida St. 87, Clemson 85, OT

Posted March 3, 1999

— Most of the 23,895 fans at the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament who settled into their seats to watch No. 1 Duke probably called foul. And they wouldn't have been too far off.

Florida State and Clemson combined for 61 fouls and 36 turnovers Thursday night in a wild first-round tourney game that went into overtime before the Seminoles pulled out an 87-85 victory.

``We were having fun, we didn't care,'' Florida State's Terrell Baker said of the anxious crowd there to see the nation's top-ranked team. ``(Duke) has a very exciting team, I even like Duke.''

Baker was on the bench because he was one of five Florida State players to foul out, while Clemson lost three. But Adrian Crawford scored nine of his 20 points in overtime as Florida State rallied after blowing a 16-point second-half lead to beat the Tigers.

``I just felt like we'd grab a manager or send somebody to the locker room to put on a garnet and gold uniform,'' FSU coach Steve Robinson said of his club's foul trouble.

But Crawford said he never doubted the outcome.

``We knew we'd get it done because we're a bunch of warriors,'' he said.

The No. 8 seeded Seminoles (13-16) snapped a seven-game losing streak with the win and will now face second-seeded and No. 5 Maryland on Friday.

``I tell you what kept us up is Florida State pride,'' said point guard Delvon Arrington. ``We are happy we play for Florida State even though we have so many people put us down, like we don't belong in the ACC. But we want to go out there and compete against anybody.''

Florida State was up 67-51 with 7:10 left behind Baker's 28 points and seemingly in control of the game, but the Tigers (16-14) closed with a 20-4 run to send it into an extra five-minute period.

The Seminoles started the overtime with a dunk by Damous Anderson and a 3-pointer by Crawford to take a 76-71 lead, but had to hang on at the end despite leading by eight with 54.9 seconds left.

Terrell McIntyre, who finished with 28 points and 10 assists for Clemson, missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have given the Tigers the win.

Harold Jamison added 16 points and 20 rebounds for the Tigers. Jamison's rebound total was an ACC tourney record for a Clemson player and was three off the all-time tourney record of 23.

``Whenever we have failed in our attempts, it has been because of a combination of turnovers and missed free throws and this was no different,'' said Clemson coach Larry Shyatt. ``We had great effort at certain points, but unfortunately, tonight ended up being a microcosm of our season.''

Early on, seventh-seeded Clemson couldn't stop Baker, who was 1-for-9 from the field for two points in Florida State's humiliating 33-point loss to the Tigers on Feb. 14.

But he fouled out after going 10 for 16 from the field, along with four other Seminoles - who played the final 3:18 of overtime without their three top scorers.

The Seminoles, who started 5-2 in the ACC but had lost nine straight league games coming in, snapped a seven-game ACC tourney losing streak with the win.

``Finally we gave you something to write about other than Florida State has won just one game in this tournament,'' Robinson said to reporters after the game.

Baker's 28 points broke the single-game ACC tourney scoring mark for a Florida State player. That was previously held by Bob Sura, who had 24 points in a quarterfinal loss to North Carolina in 1994.

Florida State led 43-41 with 15:10 left before going on a 12-1 run. The 6-foot-5 Baker started the spurt with a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws, while Ron Hale added a 3-pointer and two free throws.

The lead grew to as many as 16 before the Tigers mounted their comeback.

Neither team led by more than five points in a first half filled with 21 combined turnovers - 13 by the Tigers.

Baker missed his first 3-point attempt of the game, but scored his team's first 11 points and finished with 19 in the first 20 minutes. His 18-foot baseline jumper 3.6 seconds before intermission gave the Seminoles a 32-31 lead.

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