Nick Honor scored all 13 of his points in the second half, as Clemson rallied to knock off No. 18 Florida State, 77-67, Tuesday at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson.
“Great team win I couldn’t be more proud and pleased with our guys,” Clemson head coach Brad Brownell said. “We had a great second half, we outrebounded them, beat them on the free throw line.
“We settled into the game and did a lot more of what we wanted to do in the second half.”
With the game tied at 54 with 7:50 to play, Honor sparked a 12-3 run to give the Tigers control of the game. Clemson took a nine-point lead, 66-57, with 5:11 to play on the play of Nick Honor.
“I challenged him in a huddle,” Brownell said. “He made a bad play in the early middle part of the second half and did the same thing in the first half with penetration. I kind of went after him and he responded.
“I thought he was a little frustrated and sulking a little bit and not doing what we talk about. He responded like a champ and did everything you want a player to. He looked inside and said I’ll show you. Al-Amir Dawes did what you want him to do and put his arm around him and picked him up.”
At one point in the Clemson run, Honor scored seven of the nine points and forced a turnover.
“Ideally, the plan is not to start so slow. But I just continue to stay with it,” Honor said after the game.
Clemson (7-1, 1-1) was also led by Clyde Trapp’s 15 points and six rebounds, while Al-Amir Dawes scored 11 points and was 3-of-6 from three-point range. Aamir Sims added eight points and 11 rebounds.
“We have a lot of guys who can compete at a high level. Everybody bought into playing ten or eleven guys and I think everybody can see that,” Trapp said.
The Tigers outrebounded FSU 49-35 and had a 30-27 edge off of offensive rebounds. They had a 14-8 edge on second half points.
The Seminoles (5-2, 1-1 ACC) led 34-29 at the break. They shot 44 percent from the field in the opening half, while the Tigers shot just 26 percent. FSU’s largest lead in the first 20 minutes was nine points, 34-25, with 1:44 to play in the half.
“It feels really good, obviously, they did this last year and it was a lot more exciting,” Honor said. “This year, you don’t get the full experience. But we stayed hungry, did not worry about the rankings and anybody can get beat on any night.”
Clemson stayed in the game by forcing 11 turnovers in the half.
The Tigers will play at Miami on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.