The OP Stat of the Game: FSU, no double-digit scorers
It looked like the Tigers were going to slide from the second half of the MD loss. It looked like the Tigers were going to best, or worse (?) their 12 point Duke performance. It looked like the team was in the midst of another late-season collapse.
It looked like all these things and worse, but Andre "the Little Giant" Young kept the Tigers close in the first half with a half court shot to go to the half and a late game 3PT shot to give the Tigers the lead. Andre was playing close to home (Albany, GA) and played like he was in his hometown. He stepped up when necessary.
And Trevor Booker came up huge in the end with the block. I think everyone on the Clemson team knew where the ball was going, but it was Booker who got the block. The block went with his 19 pts and 11 rebounds. No one on FSU scored, nor rebounded in double figures.
Looking at the statistics it would seem that the Tigers lost this game.
They shot 33.3% FG (17-51) and 22.2% 3PT (4-18) and 78.9% FT (15-19). Numbers wise, the 15-19, including Booker's 4-4 stretch in the final minutes, saved us, 53-50.
But, it was bigger than that. The Tigers put in an all out solid 2nd half performance. The biggest win in this game, beyond the W itself, it the psychological mountain the team climbed and the storm they weathered to do so.
OP said, “I'm proud of our guys because of their toughness and their defensive effort. Our defense kept us in the game.”
Yes, that is true. Booker's block to end the game sealed the deal- which is something we haven't been able to do since, um, I'm at a loss here, maybe ever.
If the Tigers can bottle the psychology of this win, they should be able to finish strong against GT and Wake.
Yes, the Tigers control their own destiny, as Booker said, but the FSU/Wake game on 3/2 is big as well. We own the FSU tiebreaker, but VT plays NCSU, and finishes against GT.
Some of that new math might be needed to figure out the myriad possibilities for the Tigers to get the first round ACC bye with at least a fourth place finish. If you can figure it out, do so.
Up next, Senior Night. Let's send off Trevor Booker in style.