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Baseline Breakdown: FSU prevails in overtime to top No. 11 Clemson

Trent Forrest’s career night propels the Seminoles to victory.

NCAA Basketball: Clemson at Florida State Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

Florida State trailed by as many as 18 against the Tigers, but a second half run saw the Seminoles force overtime and hang on for a win with NCAA Tournament implications. Here’s how.

Above the Rim:

  • The comeback. The fact that the Seminoles came back from 18 points down to win the game the way they did is a remarkable thing. Florida State looked downright awful in the first half, and they’ll remember both the struggles and the adjustments they made in this game for the rest of the season.
  • Defense, defense, defense. The Seminoles forced a turnover once every minute in the waking moments of the second half, and it guided them to a 15-2 run over that stretch. The defensive improvement from first half to second allowed FSU to get back into the game.
  • Florida State’s semi-resurgence in the first half showed that it was not going to let the game get too out of hand early. It seemed as if nothing was going to fall for the Seminoles when they were down 13-3, but FSU maintained some form of composure and eventually fought it back to as low as a a five-point deficit before Clemson closed the half with fire.
  • Trent Forrest was clutch. One of the few ‘Noles able to break Clemson down off the dribble, he displayed exceptionally good scoring ability once he got into the paint.
  • Phil Cofer had a second half to remember. 8-8 from the floor, all 17 of his total points, and 4 rebounds. Not sure if Leonard Hamilton could’ve gotten more out of him this season than he already has.

Court Level:

  • Trent Forrest delivered on a highly contested finish that sent the game to overtime, and that wasn’t even his best shot of the game. In the overtime period, he lost his defender on a spin move and finished an acrobatic take to give his team the lead in overtime. He applied pressure in the backcourt for much of the game, pestering Clemson’s guards and forcing turnovers and had a volleyball-like spike block in overtime. On the other side of the ball, he made his shots count, scoring a season-high 16 points. He also distributed the ball well on a night when the primary ball handlers were plagued by turnovers.
  • Terance Mann showed signs of life in the first half, matching his previous two games combined scoring totals. Despite a quiet night, the team’s leading scorer was efficient and provided energy plays – two and-ones – that the crowd fed off of. He also had a huge steal on a Clemson inbound in the final minutes.
  • Phil Cofer had that hot hand tonight. He erupted in the second half for 17 crucial points on 8-9 shooting. Late in the second half he drained a fading jumper to tie the game up and minutes later splashed a three-pointer to keep the ’Noles within reach. His production was greatly missed in the first half as he is known for his quick starts and has been producing at a high clip as of late.
  • Braian Angola had more turnovers than points at the half and saw his shooting struggles continue. The Seminoles’ second leading scorer has failed to reach his season average of 14 in the past four games and is shooting a paltry 16% from the field. His lack of production was reflected in his minutes total— 23 with the overtime period. He managed just ten points on 13 shots and turned the ball over five times. To his credit, he had some huge moments in the final minutes of regulation and in overtime, doing all the little things that seniors should do to pick up wins.

Post Game:

Clemson head coach Brad Brownell:

Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton:

Phil Cofer:

Looking Ahead:

The Seminoles have a home matchup against the Pittsburgh Panthers Sunday afternoon. Pittsburgh comes in riding a 14-game losing streak and have yet to win a conference game in 2018. On Tuesday night, the Panthers lost to Boston College by 23 points, extending their winless streak against ACC foes (0-14). This is the only regular season meeting between FSU and Pittsburgh.