Roper’s hot streak leads Clemson over Florida State 84-75
GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Clemson’s Jordan Roper was just the latest guard to take advantage of Florida State’s sketchy perimeter defense.
Roper made 7 of 10 3-pointers and scored 23 points to lead the Tigers (8-6, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) to an 84-75 win over the Seminoles on Saturday.
Florida State (10-3, 0-1) has been scorched from outside before. Brian Bernardi went 6 of 8 on 3s for Hofstra in an 82-77 loss for the Seminoles, and Virginia Commonwealth’s Melvin Johnson was 8 of 14 from behind the arc in Florida State’s 76-71 win.
“It was a good day, just making shots,” said Roper, whose seven 3s were a career high.
Clemson jumped to a 12-2 lead and was ahead for nearly the entire game. But Florida State tied it at 54 after Devon Bookert was fouled on a 3, making the shot and the free throw.
The Tigers then went on a 14-5 run that included Roper’s final 3 of the game. They also hit their free throws, missing just five of their 27 second-half foul shots.
The win was especially important for Clemson, who plays all five of the ACC’s Top 25 teams in its first seven league games.
“We just wanted to come out tonight and show we could play with those teams,” Roper said.
Malik Beasley, one of the two freshman starts for the Seminoles, led Florida State with 23 points. Bookert added 21 points, shooting 6 of 9 on 3-pointers.
Florida State was trying for its first seven-game winning streak since its ACC championship season four years ago and its best start in six seasons. But the Seminoles led for just over a minute late in the first half, and only tied the game once in the final 20 minutes.
Freshman Dwayne Bacon, who has scored 20 or more in four straight games including the game-winner Tuesday night against Florida, had 10 points. He missed his first seven shots and ended the game shooting 5 of 16.
“Clemson did all the little things,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. “The dirty work — all the loose balls, knocking down shots when they were available.”
Sidy Djitte added 14 points for Clemson, including making 8 of his 10 free throws, as Florida State started fouling early. The junior also had nine rebounds.
Florida State: The Seminoles have lost six of their last seven ACC openers. The only win was in 2013 at Clemson. ... Bookert’s 21 points was a season high.
Clemson: The Tigers are the first home team to win in the series in five games ... Roper played all 40 minutes for the second game in a row.
Clemson played a good amount of zone on Saturday and the young Seminoles seemed confused at times on how to break it down, especially as they fell behind 10 points early in the first half and missed six of their first seven shots to open the second half.
Hamilton had to call a timeout early in both halves to get his team back on the same page.
“The zone created a lot of indecision in our youngsters,” said Hamilton, who was playing four freshmen at one point in the game.
It wasn’t from the football title game, at least not yet. Clemson’s basketball team lost 51-50 to Alabama on Dec. 13, and Tigers coach Brad Brownell said that defeat has stayed with his team through a six-point loss to South Carolina, a 23-point defeat against Georgia and an 11-point loss to North Carolina.
“Hopefully this gives the guys a little bit of confidence,” Brownell said.
Florida State hosts No. 7 North Carolina on Monday.
Clemson is at Syracuse on Tuesday.