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Clemson bids to climb out of basement

An 87-78 loss means FSU still runs the risk of an ACC tournament quarterfinal meeting with Duke or Maryland.

©Associated Press
February 24, 2002

CLEMSON, S.C. -- The only question left after Edward Scott's storybook game Saturday was whether Clemson and coach Larry Shyatt can live happily ever after.

The junior guard scored a career-high 36 as the Tigers beat Florida State 87-78. He didn't forget to run the offense, adding seven assists and eight rebounds.

Scott did all this on a sore knee with his high school coach watching from the stands.

"I wasn't trying to make all of this happen. I just wanted to play a good game," said Scott, who shot 12 of 15 from the field, including 5 of 6 from 3-point range, and 7 of 8 from the free-throw line.

Clemson can finish sixth in the ACC if the Tigers beat North Carolina at Chapel Hill for the first time ever and get a little help.

But Clemson, which has finished last in the league two years in a row, could end up in the basement, which would mean another date in the Thursday night play-in game at the conference tournament.

Scott thinks Clemson's better than that. So does Ray Henderson, who had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

"It's kind of the joke game," said Henderson, who thinks the game puts a team at an even bigger disadvantage, having to play the ACC's best the next night.

Florida State lost a chance to clinch sixth in the league and avoid Duke or Maryland in the ACC tournament quarterfinals.

Delvon Arrington had 20 points and seven assists for the Seminoles.

The contest was Clemson's last home game of the season, and the students serenaded coach Larry Shyatt with chants of "Larry, Larry" late in the game.

Shyatt's coaching future might be in jeopardy, as the Tigers have to beat North Carolina and win a game in the ACC tournament to avoid their third straight losing season. Shyatt has one season left on his contract.

The coach didn't address his future but noted the team doubled its ACC wins from last season after losing all-conference guard Will Solomon to the NBA.

FSU fell behind by as many as 19 points early in the second half but cut the deficit to 78-72 on Arrington's 3-pointer with 2:27 left.

On the next possession, Arrington stole the ball, then missed a long jumper on the fast break. The Seminoles had two chances to tip in the rebound but couldn't do it.

Scott hit 7 of 8 free throws in the last two minutes.

Chris Hobbs had 11 points and Jamar McKnight, in his last home game, added 10 for the Tigers.

Monte Cummings scored 13 and Anthony Richardson 12 for the Seminoles.

FSU took a 10-point lead nine minutes into the game. "We had some things going for us early," coach Steve Robinson said. "But Clemson didn't fold up."

Down 25-18 with seven minutes to go in the half, The Tigers went on a 23-4 run to take a 41-30 lead at the break.

Scott started the run with a 3-pointer and scored 12 of his 14 first-half points during the seven-minute stretch.

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