A Must Win Tonight

Larry Shyatt and the Clemson Tigers will enter tonight's game in Tallahassee with an 11-2 record overall and 1-2 mark in conference play. With upcoming games against Wake Forest and Maryland, it goes without saying that tonight's contest is a "must win" on the road.

Coming off an impressive one-point win over the Virginia Cavaliers Saturday afternoon at Littlejohn Coliseum, the Tigers will now enter the heart of their Atlantic Coast Conference schedule this evening in Tallahassee.

Unfortunately, that's win things usually begin to go south for Clemson basketball.

Last year, the Tigers bolted out to a 2-1 start in conference play, only to go on an 8-game losing streak and all but eliminate any hopes of a postseason berth of any kind.

Florida State would actually send the Tigers to their 4th consecutive loss in that streak. The Seminoles would end that game on a 14-3 run to turn a 60-54 Clemson lead into a 68-63 loss.

It marked the fourth consecutive defeat for the Tigers at Leon County Civic Center in Tallahassee.

Simply put, if this year is going to be any different than the previous 4 of the Larry Shyatt era, the Tigers have to find a way to win this game tonight.

Florida State comes into tonight's contest sporting a 9-6 record, with impressive wins over Iowa and Miami (Fla) this season. The Noles also battled #7 Florida to the end in a one-point loss back in early December.

First year coach Leonard Hamilton, formerly of the Miami Hurricanes, has done a good job in helping make the Seminoles competitive again, even though their 0-4 record in conference play may not show it.

Florida State is led in scoring by shooting guard Tim Pickett with 17.6 points a game and center Trevor Harvey ranks first on the team in the rebounding with 5.6 boards.

For the Tigers, Edward Scott continues to lead the team in scoring at 17.8 points per game, while starting center Sharrod Ford leads the way on the boards averging 7.6 rebounds per contest.

Tip off is set for 7:00 PM and the game will be televised on Raycom Sports.

The Tigers have not won a game in Tallahassee since 1998. Led by Greg Buckner, Terrell McIntyre and company, Clemson cruised to a 78-49 win over the Seminoles that year.

Florida State leads the all-time series between these two schools, 21-16. However, the Noles hold a commanding lead in Tallahassee, winning 11 out of the 14 games played there.

The last four games played at Florida State have seen the Tigers lose by combined 18 total points, including last season's 5-point defeat. The Tigers blew a 6-point lead late in the game last season to allow the Noles to escape with the win.

The Tigers played FSU three times last season, winning at Littlejohn Coliseum and losing on the road and in the ACC Tournament play-in game. This year, it looks as though the Noles may be a lock for that game again, as FSU sits comfortably at the bottom of the ACC with an 0-4 record.

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