By: Associated Press
February 19, 2019
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) -- Mfiondu Kabengele had 19 points and 11 rebounds and No. 16 Florida State set a program record with its eighth consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference victory in a 77-64 win over Clemson on Tuesday night.
The Seminoles (21-5, 9-4 ACC) had not won this many consecutive league games since joining the conference before the 1991-92 season. They won 11 straight Metro Conference games in 1977-78.
Florida State used its size, strength and speed to keep the run going against the Tigers, holding on after seeing an 18-point edge cut to 59-52 with eight minutes left. That's as close as Clemson (15-11, 5-8) would get in dropping its third in a row and getting swept by Florida State for the second time in three seasons.
Kabengele led the way on both sides of the ball. He hit nine-of-13 from the field, blocked two shots, and his rebounds were a season high.
Then again, Clemson had trouble stopping much of anything Florida State did around the basket. The Seminoles' starting center in 7'4" Christ Koumadje went 4-of-6 shooting for 10 points with seven rebounds and a pair of blocks.
Florida State's month long run of success began with a 77-68 win over Clemson in Tallahassee on Jan. 22 and doesn't show any signs of ending; especially if the Seminoles keep playing like this.
The Seminoles took control after Clemson closed to 23-21 on Marcquise Reed's three-pointer with 6:18 left in the half. Florida State then went on a 15-2 surge the rest of the half with Kabengele hitting three buckets and Walker landing a 3-pointer.
When Trent Forrest got his off-balance push shot on a drive to the basket to go right before the buzzer sounded, Florida State went to the locker room ahead 38-23. The lead grew as large as 18.
Forrest finished with 14 points.
Reed had 20 points to lead Clemson.
The Seminoles' offense was relentless with guard Trent Forrest and Terance Mann pushing the ball at the basket where their bigger teammates like Kabengele and Koumadje took control. It's a formula that works well in the postseason where Florida State reached the NCAA's round of eight last year.
The Tigers came into the season ranked and with high expectations after their NCAA Tournament run to the Sweet 16 a year ago. But the team of four senior starters appeared way out of synch in this one. Clemson has had two three-game losing streaks in ACC play and may have to do something remarkable for make another appearance in the Big Dance.
Florida State ends a three-game road swing at North Carolina on Saturday.