TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida State's Deividas Dulkys doesn't worry about how many shots he misses. He just keeps shooting.
And it paid off Sunday night when Dulkys shook off a chilly start and hit three critical 3-point baskets in the second half to lead the Seminoles to a 75-69 victory over Clemson in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams.
Dulkys led the Seminoles with 17 points, 13 coming in the second half. His 3-point basket with 3:36 to go gave Florida State a 62-61 lead and another with 1:06 left put the Seminoles up 69-65.
Dulkys was 2 for 7 in the first half and 0 for 3 from long range.
``The next one goes in,' Dulkys said. ``That's the way I approach the game.'
He hit 3 of 4 from long range in the second half, all three baskets at clutch times.
``He's confident at this stage of his career that the next one is going in,' Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. ``That's the difference between a freshman and a junior.'
Florida State (7-2) hit six straight free throws in the final 38 seconds to seal the victory.
``I think tonight was a sign that we are moving in the right direction,' Hamilton said.
Dulkys didn't play in Florida State's last game, a 60-38 win over Hartford, after losing a fingernail on his non-shooting left hand in practice.
Chris Singleton added 13 points for the Seminoles while senior guard Derwin Kitchen chipped in with nine points, nine rebounds and seven assists.
Demontez Stitt led Clemson with 18 points. Tanner Smith added 13 points, Jerai Grant 12 and Andre Young 11 for the Tigers.
Clemson (5-4) led 34-28 at halftime and still had a six-point lead at 57-51 with 7:24 remaining.
``We had a chance to win this game and just didn't get it done,' first-year Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. ``We gave up too many easy baskets in the second half.'
The score was tied four times and the lead changed hands on 10 occasions, the last one at 62-61 on the Dulkys shot.
Dulkys was on Brownell's mind before the game.
``He's a good player,' Brownell said. ``He was a concern of mine going in.'
Florida State regained the lead for the first time in 17 minutes when Dulkys 3-point basket with 15:31 left.
Florida State shot 43.5 percent (27 of 62) after a 51.6 percent second half (16 of 31) while Clemson hit 40.7 percent of its shots (22 of 54) despite Milton Jennings 0-for-10 performance.
The Seminoles got a big boost from its bench with Okara White and Bernard James scoring nine points each.
Neither team shot well in the first half. Clemson hit 37.5 percent (12 of 32).
Florida State, which connected on only 35.5 percent of his field goal tries in the half (11 for 31), jumped to an 8-2 lead to start the game but then trailed by as many as eight points just before the halftime break.
The Associated Press News Service
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