GREENSBORO, N.C., March 13 (UPI) -- Tim Pickett scored 22 points and Nate Johnson added 18 Thursday night as Florida State dumped Clemson, 72-61, in the play-in game of the ACC Tournament.
With the win, the Seminoles (14-14), who trailed by six points at halftime, advanced to the quarterfinals Friday against top-seeded Wake Forest, the league's regular-season champion.
Johnson went 4-of-5 on three-pointers for the Seminoles, who are the ninth seed in the tournament after finishing last in the league in the regular season.
They outscored Clemson, 42-25, in the second half, and did themselves proud defensively after entering the contest ranked ninth in the country in field goal defense and second in the ACC in scoring defense.
"Two different halves," said Clemson Coach Larry Shyatt. "Two different games. I think they beat us in every phase of the game in the second half."
"The most important progress I think we've made with this team is this team believes," said Coach Leonard Hamilton. "They actually believe we're capable of beating anybody. That is a monumental accomplishment in itself. You don't see any quit in these guys."
Pickett also added 12 rebounds, and the Seminoles shot 51.1 percent from the floor.
"We just wanted to show we weren't ready to go hom," Pickett said. "Who knows? We could go through this ACC Tournament and be in the NCAA Tournament. I'm not going to stop my goals and my dreams. I've always dreamed of playing in the NCAA Tournament, so I'm just going to do whatever I can do."
Shawn Robinson had 14 points and Edward Scott, the Tigers' best scoring threat, was held to 11. Clemson, which shot just 37.9 percent, finished its season at 15-13, and still has a shot at the postseason in the National Invitation Tournament after finishing over .500.
"We care about it," said forward Sharrod Ford. "It's not where we want to be, but we definitely want to keep playing."
Even so, the Tigers performed under the cloud surrounding the future of Shyatt, whose job was in jeopardy even before the game.
Shyatt has had no comment.
In Friday's other games, it will be North Carolina State against Georgia Tech, reigning national champion Maryland against North Carolina, and defending tournament champion Duke against Virginia.