Clemson Men's Basketball: Tigers take care of Seminoles, 74-63

Bench leads Tigers to 9th ACC win
Feb 21, 2024; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Clemson Tigers forward RJ Godfrey (10) dribbles against the
Feb 21, 2024; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Clemson Tigers forward RJ Godfrey (10) dribbles against the / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

For most of Saturday's ACC contest between Clemson Men's Basketball and Florida State, the Seminoles managed to hang around, without really threatening the Tigers.

That was due in large part to foul trouble for Clemson big men P.J. Hall and Ian Schieffelin, but that foul trouble also opened up an opportunity that R.J. Godfrey took full advantage of in his 22 minutes of playing time.

While Joe Girard spent most of the final minutes at the free throw line on his way to 24 points and Chase Hunter weaved his way through the Seminole defense for 16, Godfrey did yeoman's work inside with Hall and Schieffelin limited.

The 6'8 sophomore went 4 of 5 from the field and a perfect 4 of 4 from the line to finish with 12 points while adding 6 rebounds.

His physical presence alone set the tone and let the Seminoles know that despite the absence of Hall the Tigers were still formidable inside and the Tigers held their own with 32 points in the paint on the evening.

Hall was limited to 7 points in 16 minutes, but his and one with 4:31 left after Florida State cut the lead to 5 was a huge point in the game.

Clemson was sloppy at times, turning the ball over 15 times, many unforced, and allowed an offensively challenged Seminole team to stay within striking distance until the final minutes.

The Tigers were able to outrebound Florida State thanks in large part to 11 boards each from Schieffelin and Jack Clark, but the Seminoles did record 15 offensive rebounds which is concerning.

Clemson shot 44% from the field and 27% from three-point range, with Girard connecting on 4 of 11 from long distance.

Clemson Men's Basketball eyes double-bye in ACC Tournament

The Tigers are now 19-8 on the season and 9-7 in the ACC and wake up at No. 24 in the NET Rankings, with a 4-3 mark against Quad 1 teams, for whatever that's worth.

The Bracketology over at ESPN has them solidly in the NCAA Tournament and as of Friday projected Brad Brownell's team as a 5 seed.

Of more immediate concern is earning a double bye in the ACC Tournament, which yesterday's win aided greatly, but three of the final four opponents are also in a race for the double bye, meaning the Tigers control their own destiny.

Clemson will likely be favored in three of the final four, with a road game at Wake Forest in the regular season finale being the exception.

First up though, the Tigers host a hot Pittsburgh team that has won 8 of their last 10, including wins over Wake Forest, N.C. State in Raleigh and Virginia in Charlottesville.

Clemson beat Pittsburgh by a 79-70 score on December 3 in the ACC opener for both teams.

The game is scheduled for Tuesday, February 27 at 7 p.m. on the ACC Network.