Florida State, which has won eight consecutive games, opens its 16th season of Atlantic Coast Conference basketball as it plays host to No. 18 Clemson on Wednesday Jan. 3 at 7 p.m. in the Donald L. Tucker Center. The Seminoles have won each of their games since defeating No. 4/4 Florida (70-66) on Dec. 3 at home. Florida State is 9-0 at home, 2-2 in true road games and 1-0 in its only neutral site game of the 2006-07 regular season. The Seminoles have made playing at home in the Donald L. Tucker Center a difficult chore for opposing teams since Leonard Hamilton's arrival as their head coach. Florida State has a 23-3 record (.885 winning percentage) in the last two seasons and has eight wins over ranked teams during the first five years of the Hamilton-era in games played at the Tucker Center. The Seminoles' game against Clemson is their first of 16 consecutive conference games to close out the 2006-07 regular season. Following Wednesday's game against Clemson the Seminoles travel to play at No. 2/2 North Carolina on Sunday (Jan. 7, 7:00 p.m.) and at Georgia Tech (Jan. 13, 6:00 p.m.) before returning home to play host to Virginia Tech (Jan. 17, 7:00 p.m.).
THORNTON CONTINUES TO PLAY AS ONE OF THE NATION'S TOP PLAYERS
Displaying his incredible versatility, All-America, National and ACC Player of the Year candidate Al Thornton is the only player in the ACC who ranks in the league's top 10 in scoring (8th, 16.1 ppg), blocked shots (10th, 1.43 bpg), field goal percentage (5th, .549) and free throw shooting percentage (5th, .822). Thornton has proven that he is one of the ACC's top shooters as the only player to rank in the top 10 in both the field goal and free throw shooting percentage categories. He is also the only player in the ACC who has scored in double figures in all of his teams' games during the 2006-07 season.
SEMINOLES STREAKING INTO THEIR ACC OPENER AGAINST CLEMSON…
…Florida State has won eight consecutive games entering Wednesday's game against Clemson. The Seminoles have won each of their games since defeating Florida at home exactly one month ago;
…Florida State has won each of its nine home games this season and is 9-0 at the Donald L. Tucker Center;
…Florida State has won 15 consecutive regular season home games entering Wednesday's game against Clemson. The Seminoles' current streak began with a 69-59 victory over Clemson on Feb. 1, 2006;
…Florida State has defeated two consecutive ranked opponents at home in the Donald L. Tucker Center. The Seminoles defeated No. 1/1 Duke (79-74) on March 1, 2006 and beat No. 4/4 Florida (70-66) on Dec. 3, 2006;
…Florida State has won five consecutive ACC games at home in a streak that dates to a 69-59 win over Clemson on Feb. 1, 2006. The Seminoles have defeated – in succession – Clemson, Georgia Tech, Virginia, Maryland and Duke to close out their home conference schedule last season
LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Clemson and win its ninth consecutive game. The Seminoles have won all eight of their games since a 70-66 victory over No. 4/4 Florida (Dec. 3). The Seminoles were undefeated in the month of December (7-0) for the second consecutive season;
…Defeat Clemson and win its ACC season-opener for the third time in five conference openers under fifth-year Head Coach Leonard Hamilton.
FLORIDA STATE'S BEST RECORDS AFTER 14 GAMES
Florida State enters Wednesday's game against Clemson with a 12-2 record. It marks the eighth time in school history the Seminoles have won at least 12 of their first 14 games of a single season and is only one win short of tying the school record for the best 14-game start in school history (13-1 under Pat Kennedy to begin the 1988-89 season). The Seminoles have won at least 12 of their first 14 games of a season for the second time during the Hamilton-era after beginning the 2003-04 season with a 12-2 record. Florida State is 12-2 after 14 games for the second time in the last four seasons.
FLORIDA STATE PLAYING FOR NINTH CONSECUTIVE WIN VS. CLEMSON
Florida State enters Wednesday's game against Clemson looking to win its ninth consecutive game. Since the beginning of the 1988 season, the Seminoles have earned six winning streaks of eight or more games. The longest winning streak in school history, 11 games, came during the 1969-70 season.
FLORIDA STATE VS. RANKED TEAMS
Florida State enters Wednesday's game against Clemson with eight wins over nationally ranked opponents during the first five years of the Leonard Hamilton era in Tallahassee. Included in those eight wins by Hamilton-coached teams are victories over No. 1 ranked Duke (79-74, March 1, 2006), No. 3 ranked Wake Forest (91-83 in overtime, Jan. 18, 2005) and a victory over the No. 5 ranked Blue Devils during the 2002-03 season (75-70, Feb. 2, 2003). The Seminoles have four wins over top-five teams at home in the Donald L. Tucker Center.
HAMILTON MAKING A POINT OF BEATING RANKED TEAMS
Fifth-year Florida State Head Coach Leonard Hamilton has defeated eight ranked teams during his first five seasons in Tallahassee. His next victory over a ranked team would make him Florida State's winningest coach against ranked teams during the first five-years of his tenure in Tallahassee. Steve Robinson also defeated eight ranked teams during his first five seasons at Florida State.
FLORIDA STATE AGAINST A RANKED CLEMSON TEAM
Florida State is 3-1 and has won two consecutive games against Clemson when the Tigers have entered the game as a ranked team. The Seminoles are 2-1 at home and won their most recent match-up against a ranked Clemson team on Jan. 12, 1999 – a 70-64 victory over No. 25 Clemson in Tallahassee.
FLORIDA STATE VS. CLEMSON – THE LAST GAME
Al Thornton scored 15 points as Florida State broke open a close game with a 14-0 run in the second half and then held off Clemson for a 69-59 victory on Feb. 1, 2006 in the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee. Jason Rich added 13 points and Alexander Johnson had 12 as Seminoles surpassed the 12 games they won all last season by increasing their overall records to 13-5. They evened their Atlantic Coast Conference mark at 4-4. Julius Powell led Clemson with 14 points while Akin Akingbala had 13 and Vernon Hamilton scored 11. Referees called 43 personal fouls 26 on Clemson and 17 on Florida State and Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton drew a technical. The Tigers hit 13 of 18 free throws and the Seminoles 29 of 35. Both teams had 20 turnovers. The Seminoles outscored the Tigers 40 to 28 in the paint and both teams were cold from outside the three-point line. Florida State missed all nine of its three-point attempts while Clemson hit four of 21. Thornton gave Florida State a 5-4 lead with a three-point play and the Seminoles never trailed again although Clemson tied the score once during a ragged first half and twice in the second half. The Seminoles broke the final 49-49 tie by scoring 14 unanswered points. Clemson was unable to get closer than 10 the rest of the way.
Conference play tips off tonight
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