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Seminoles and Tigers tangle in ACC affair

Sun 4th, March 2012

Tallahassee, FL (Sports Network) - The 22nd-ranked Florida State Seminoles will close out their season as they host the Clemson Tigers at the Donald L. Tucker Center for an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup.

Clemson will be looking to sweep the season series with the Seminoles after it earned dominated Florida State to pick up a 79-59 victory in the first matchup on Jan. 7. The Seminoles will be protecting their 30-28 lead in the all-time series.

The Tigers have won five of their last six games to improve to 16-13 overall with an 8-7 mark in ACC action. Clemson is tied for fifth-place in the league standings with Virginia and NC State after its 58-56 victory over Virginia Tech on Thursday. Coach Brad Brownell will need his team to improve its outside and free-throw shooting before the ACC Tournament, as it went 0-of-10 from beyond the arc and converted only 14-of-25 from the charity stripe in their win over the Hokies. Clemson is a very good team defensively, as they average just 59.7 ppg, which is the second best allowed average in the ACC.

Clemson will look to the trio of Andre Young, Tanner Smith, and Devin Booker to guide it to its fourth straight victory. Young is leading the team with 13.2 ppg. The senior guard finished with 10 points his last time out. Smith led the team with 14 points including the game-winning foul shots on Thursday in the win over Virginia Tech. Booker is adding 10.7 points and a team-high 6.9 boards per game to provide inside toughness.

Florida State ended its two-game losing steak on Thursday as it downed the Virginia Cavaliers, 63-60, with yet another buzzer beating three-pointer. Head coach Leonard Hamilton's team has locked up third place in the ACC regardless of the outcome in today's game. FSU struggled with its outside shooting during its two-game losing streak, as it made just 9-of-38 from beyond the arc and only 21-of-38 from the foul line during the two-game span. The Seminoles bounced back and drained 7-of-16 from deep, including a top-ten game-winner by Ian Miller, versus Virginia on Thursday. The Seminoles are outscoring their opponents by an average of 7.6 ppg this season.

The Seminoles are led by Michael Snaer. The junior shooting guard leads the team with 13.8 ppg after he was held to 12 points by Virginia on Thursday. Most coaches would love to have a guy like Snaer on their team in the final minutes of games as he has been clutch this season, draining game- winning three- pointers to help FSU defeat Duke and Virginia Tech. However, the Cavaliers suspected Snaer would be getting the ball in the final seconds of their tied up contest. With Snaer being denied the ball, Ian Miller launched a contested three-pointer which dropped in and gave FSU much needed momentum as it nears the ACC Tournament. Bernard James, Okara White, and Bernard Gibson all play vital roles for FSU as well. James is grabbing 8.2 boards per game.

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