Clemson reached its 15th home win of the season and its record 11th ACC win on Wednesday night with a 76-63 victory over Florida State in its home finale at Littlejohn Coliseum.
The Tigers marched back from an eight-point deficit in the first half and never looked back, holding a lead for over 21 minutes. Florida State kept the contest tight but Marcquise Reed and Gabe Devoe hit key shots and free-throws in the last two minutes to put the game away.
While the win was special for many reasons, none were greater than it being the last home game for Devoe, Donte Grantham and graduate student Mark Donnal.
“It’s a great feeling to get the win and go 15-1 at home. It was a special year in Littlejohn,” Devoe said afterward. “This year has been special for us. We just continue to fight and win close games and being able to set a record.”
Although they have a couple days to rest and celebrate, Devoe said the Tigers are ready to take on the tough tests the next several weeks hold in store for them.
“It’s been great to be a part of history, but we just keep focusing on winning our games and hope everything plays out,” he said.
Devoe was not the only one pleased with the way the Tigers closed the regular season at home. Clemson head coach Brad Brownell was more than happy with the way his team persevered through injuries this year to set a program record for ACC wins in a season.
“A terrific end to our season here at Littlejohn,” he said. “I couldn’t be prouder of our guys. I’m super happy for our seniors. For us to win our last home game here was a lot of fun for us.”
The record is extremely important for a school that is regularly in the basement of ACC basketball and could be a stepping stone for the program to gradually ascend to a team that frequently makes the NCAA Tournament.
“It’s something that players will remember for a long time and it’s good to talk about,” he said. “Hopefully, it’s a record that will be broken again. It’s significant for Clemson Basketball because we don’t have as much tradition as some other places. There’s opportunity to build and that is what this team has done.”
While it was Brownell’s goal to get his seniors their last win in Littlejohn, it made it even more special to see Devoe, a four-year player at Clemson, have the special season that he did.
“You’re always happy for guys who develop through your program,” said Brownell. “Gabe was a very good high school player, not your typical guy we get who is recruited under the radar. He came in here a talented guy who just had to refine some things and he’s done that. There’s no question that we don’t come close to what we’ve done if he doesn’t elevate his play.”
The Tigers look to extend their wins in the ACC to 12 in their last regular season game of the season at Syracuse this Saturday at 2 p.m.