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Young helps spark Clemson win

Photo by Scott Chancey

Photo by Scott Chancey

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Clemson's Andre Young was playing as close as he gets to his hometown on Sunday and put on quite a show for his friends and family.

The 5-foot-9 sophomore from Albany who starred at Deerfield-Windsor scored 12 points and teamed up with Clemson big-man Trevor Booker to spark the Tigers to a 53-50 come-from-behind win at Florida State.

It's an 80-mile drive for the Albany folks, who probably got their biggest thrill of the day when Young threw in a 45-footer from midcourt as the halftime buzzer sounded, pulling Clemson to with two points.

"The shot at halftime gave us some momentum," said Young, who managed to get a dozen tickets for family and friends.

And badly needed momentum at that.

The Tigers had just seven points in the first 16:32 before Booker's 3-point play cut Florida State's lead to 19-10.

Clemson didn't score in the first 6:43 until Booker hit a pair of free throws, while younger brother Devin Booker, celebrating his 19th birthday Sunday, got the Tigers' first field goal with a dunk two minutes later.

But it was Young's timely outside sniping that made the difference in the end. His 3-point basket gave the Tigers a 49-47 lead with 30 seconds left.

"I was just trying to find an opening," said Young, who finished with 12 points for Clemson (20-8, 8-6 Atlantic Coast Conference). The Tigers won despite shooting just 33.3 percent (17 of 51).

Young, who scored 19 points in Clemson's 77-67 win over the Seminoles on Feb. 10, hit a mid-range jumper with 1:12 left that pulled the Tigers to within 47-44 as they wiped out a six-point deficit in the final 3 minutes.

"We'll always remember this one," Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. "These are the kind of games you always remember. We let this one get away."

Trevor Booker finished with 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as the Tigers overcame an early 13-point deficit to sweep its season series with the Seminoles.

Booker keyed a 21-2 run midway through the game that got Clemson back into the game. Despite shooting only 23.1 percent in the first half and committing 12 turnovers, the Tigers trailed by just a pair at halftime.

Booker hit four straight free throws in the final 11 seconds and blocked a 3-point shot by the Seminoles' Deividas Dulkys with 5 seconds left that could have tied it.

"I knew he was going to shoot it," said Booker, who switched off his man to get to Dulkys, who had made two earlier 3-point shots. "I just tried to get my hands on the ball."

Hamilton wasn't surprised by Booker's performance.

"That just shows what kind of an athlete he is," Hamilton said. "He did a great job getting to Deividas."

Florida State (20-8, 8-6) didn't have a player in double figures. Ryan Reid, Derwin Kitchen and Michael Snaer each had eight points.

Florida State had a chance to tie the game with 14 seconds left, but Solomon Alabi missed a free throw after making his first to get the Seminoles with 49-48, setting up Booker's game-clinching free throws.

Booker made six of eight field goal tries and was seven of nine from the free throw line.

The Seminoles couldn't overcome a 21-2 Clemson run midway through the game keyed by the 6-foot-7 Booker, who recorded his eighth double-double of the season and 31st of his career.

Clemson took its first lead, 23-21, with 18:50 to go on Tanner Smith's layup after a Florida State turnover. The Tigers tied at 21-21 it one possession earlier on Booker's layup 19 seconds into the second half.

But it was a buzzer-beating shot by Young that recharged Clemson for the second half.

Clemson scored 12 of its first-half points in the final 3:39 after a horrendous start and closed out the half on a 13-2 run.