TALLAHASEE, Fla. -- K.J. McDaniels scored 26 points as Clemson defeated Florida State 53-49 on the road in Atlantic Coast Conference action Saturday afternoon.
The Tigers (14-6, 5-3) survived a slow-moving defensive battle in which both teams failed to shoot 40 percent from the floor most of the game.Jeron Blossomgame scored 10 points and Jordan Roper added eight for Clemson. McDaniels was one-point shy of his career high and his three 3-pointers tied the second-most he's hit all season."KJ was unbelievable tonight," Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. "He played at an exceptionally high level. I'm hoping that people in this league take notice of that."He's our best player. We try to put the ball in his hands to make plays."The Tigers finished shooting 43.2 percent from the floor after shooting 28.6 percent in the first half."Florida State, they're a great defensive team, they're a long team," McDaniels said. "I just had to find those open spots to get to and try to wedge my way through there."My shoot-around this morning was great. I felt like I had the right energy and I had so much confidence. I've always had good games in here. I like Florida State. I like their court. Just going out there being aggressive and playing as hard as I can for my team."Florida State (13-8, 4-5) dropped its third consecutive game as Okaro White was held to nine points. Ian Miller, who entered the game as the Seminoles' leading scorer, suffered a sprained ankle in the first half and did not return. Aaron Thomas scored a team-high 13 points while Florida State shot just 34 percent (16 of 47) from the floor.Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton was unsure about Miller's health and said the team will need more production from its big men. If Miller misses time, that's 13.3 points game each night."We're going to hope that he goes to church tomorrow and gets some divine intervention so he'll be able to give us some help on Wednesday," Hamilton said.Clemson hosts Georgia Tech on Tuesday as Florida State hosts Virginia Tech on Wednesday.