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FSU routs Clemson, wins fourth straight

Balsa Koprivica has his first career double double and the Seminoles put the game away early.
Florida State forward RaiQuan Gray enjoys last week's victory over North Carolina, part of a four-game winning streak.
Florida State forward RaiQuan Gray enjoys last week's victory over North Carolina, part of a four-game winning streak. [ MARK WALLHEISER | AP ]
Published Jan. 24

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State had two weeks to stew on a Dec. 29 loss at Clemson when its season was interrupted by coronavirus protocols, and the Seminoles took the chance to evaluate and fine-tune.

They’re certainly rolling now, winning four straight games — three of them by double figures.

Balsa Koprivica had 13 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double double and FSU pulled away early to rout No. 20 Clemson 80-61 on Saturday.

Sardaar Calhoun added a season-best 13 points for FSU (9-2, 5-1 ACC). Calhoun, a junior college transfer, made 4 of 5 3-pointers.

“We’re better than what we were playing before,” said RaiQuan Gray, who had 11 points. “We feel that we’re the best team in the country and we want to go out each night and prove it. Just marking everybody off the list. Next up. That’s our mentality going forward.”

John Newman scored 12 for Clemson (9-4, 3-4), which has dropped three straight games.

FSU used a 15-2 run early in the first half to take a 24-9 lead. The Seminoles prevented dribble drives, a big factor in Clemson’s win over them in December, and led 42-24 at the half.

“I think just in general we’ve been working a lot on help-side defense,” said Koprivica, a 7-foot-1 sophomore center. “That was one of our weaknesses. It’s starting to show a little bit more each and every game.”

In the first half, Clemson had more turnovers (seven) than made shots (4 of 24). The Tigers were 14 of 16 from the free-throw line, helping to keep them in the game early before the Seminoles poured it on in the second half. FSU led by 38 with 11:20 left.

FSU shot 29 of 60 (48.3 percent) from the field and 12 of 28 (42.9 percent) on 3-pointers.

Clemson shot 17 of 56 (30.4 percent) from the field and 5 of 30 (16.7 percent) on 3-pointers.

FSU next hosts Miami on Wednesday.