20-Year Nole Anniversary: Richardson’s Last-Second FTs Lift FSU Hoops Past Clemson, 60-59
Phil Coale/Associated Press photo

20-Year Nole Anniversary: Richardson’s Last-Second FTs Lift FSU Hoops Past Clemson, 60-59

During the Steve Robinson era and into the early parts of head coach Leonard Hamilton’s tenure at Florida State, ACC wins were hard to come by.

On this day 20 years ago, however, the Seminoles made it happen, thanks to Anthony Richardson. Richardson knocked down a pair of free throws with less than a second to play to lift FSU to a thrilling 60-59 win over Clemson.

FSU trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half at the Leon County Civic Center on Jan. 21, 2003. The Seminoles, however, closed the first half on a 10-1 run to draw to within three at the break.

Neither team led by more than five in the second half. Tim Pickett led FSU with a game-high 21 points and four steals, but a late turnover of his own looked as though it would cost the Seminoles. After Trevor Harvey’s jumper gave FSU a 58-57 lead, Pickett secured the defensive rebound off a Clemson miss, but the ball was stolen by Olu Babalola and converted by Chris Hobbs for the go-ahead basket for the Tigers with 12 seconds left.

Following a miss by FSU guard Nate Johnson, however, Richardson was able to secure the rebound for FSU. As the buzzer sounded, Richardson was fouled. Officials ruled the foul occurred with 0.4 seconds remaining.

Trailing 59-58, Richardson sank both free throws to give the Seminoles the lead and eventual victory. Richardson finished with 12 points and six rebounds. Harvey added 11 points. Babalola paced Clemson with 12 points.

Tallahassee Democrat cover from Jan. 22, 2003

Postgame and box score:
NoleFan.org

In Hamilton’s first season, FSU finished 14-15 and just 4-12 in ACC play. Its closest win and first ACC victory from that season came courtesy of a couple of late free throws on this day two decades ago.

Mike Ferguson is the lead writer for Double Fries No Slaw. Be sure to follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeWFerguson. Follow all of Mike’s work by liking his Facebook page.

Mike Ferguson

Mike Ferguson is the lead writer for Double Fries No Slaw and has more than 10 years of experience in online and print journalism. Mike graduated from Florida State University in 2009 and has had his work featured at numerous prominent publications such as Fox Sports, the Associated Press, Athlon Sports, Yahoo Sports and Sports Illustrated among others. Prior to joining Double Fries No Slaw, Mike was the founder and editor of The Daily Nole. He also serves as the managing editor for Fifth Quarter and is a contributor for Athlon Sports, Fish Stripes and Orlando Pinstriped Post. Mike and his wife Jennifer reside in Haines City, Fla. and have two daughters.

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