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FSU Gets Their Revenge Against Clemson: 3 Game-Changing Plays

Florida State could’ve and should’ve won by a lot more than 19, but do you think I’m going to complain about it? Absolutely not. FSU dominated this one from beginning to end. They led at halftime 42-24 then continued to cruise to an 80-61 win. If not for an 11-0 run by Clemson against the walk-ons, FSU absolutely could’ve won by 30+.

The only way Clemson could score was from the free throw line, in what was again a one-sided affair from the officials. Clemson is one of the worst teams in the country at drawing fouls and getting to the free throw line, yet in two games against Florida State have shot 59 free throws. They’ve played 13 games, yet 31.9% of all of their free throw attempts have come against FSU. Insane. Today alone, they were 22-26, and drew 23 fouls compared to just 14 for Florida State.

With the win, FSU moves to 9-2 overall and 5-1 in conference, while Clemson falls to 9-4 and 3-4 in conference. The final score is even more impressive when you consider RaiQuan Gray only played about 3 minutes in the first half after picking up two quick fouls, MJ Walker missed a big portion after going out in the second half with concussion-like symptoms, and Anthony Polite missed a second straight game with a shoulder injury. FSU’s depth is finally showing itself.

Before we get to the plays, some box score notes.

We already talked about the free throw and foul disparity, but Florida State dominated every other aspect of this game. FG% (48.3% to 30.4%), 3PT% (42.9% to 16.7%), Rebounds (41 to 32), Assists (17-6), Second Chance PTS (10-9), Bench PTS (39-25), PTS in the Paint (30-20), Fast Break Points (6-0), and Blocks (7-1).

Balsa Koprivica continued his impressive play as of late with 13 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 blocks; his first career double-double. He has been so, so good since coming back from the COVID pause. Having a 7’1″ guy that can dribble the ball up the floor in a pinch because of a press is a huge advantage for Florida State, and he was active all day underneath the basket.

Sardaar Calhoun finished with a Florida State career high with 13 points, going 4/5 from behind the 3-point line. He’s giving himself a case for some more playing time, and his ability to quick fire from 3 is something that can’t be overstated, and it gives even more spacing to the offense.

Despite the limited minutes, RaiQuan Gray continued his hot streak with 11 points and 3 rebounds. He’s just playing with so much confidence this season, and it’s amazing what confidence can do for a player.

Before going out, MJ Walker added 10 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists. His health will be something to monitor going forward.

For Clemson, John Newman III was their leading scorer with 12 points, followed by Hunter Tyson with 9 points. Their 3 leading scorers heading into the game, Aamir Simms, Al-Amir Dawes, and Nick Honor, combined for just 18 points on a combined 19 shots. All of Honor’s points came from the free throw line. FSU’s defense was superb for pretty much the entire game.

Onto the plays.

Play 1

Scenario: 16:34 Remaining in the First Half, FSU Gets a Steal in Transition

I’ve watched this play a few times, and I still have absolutely no idea how Aamir Simms loses this ball, I think it hits off of his knee, but somehow it ends up right in the hands of Malik Osborne who dumps it off to Balsa Koprivica for an easy slam.

This is the last time the game was ever this close, and opened up a 16-3 run for the ‘Noles over the next 7 minutes.

Play 2

Scenario: MALIK OSBORNE GIMME THAT

This block…. ABSURD.

Disrespectful in all of the best ways. Osborne is finally starting to play like he did last season, and the better he gets, the better the overall team gets. His energy is still infectious.

Play 3

Scenario: 15:56 Remaining in the Second Half, FSU Enters Half Court

This is just beautiful ball movement from two players that have been in the program for four seasons and know each other really well.

First of all, great block by Koprivica, and again the offensive skillset to be able to take a couple of controlled dribbles as they enter transition.

Just a great two man game between RaiQuan Gray and Wyatt Wilkes, who use shot fakes and crisp passes to create an open look from 3.

Florida State is back at it Wednesday night at home against a beaten down and battered Miami team.


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