SUNRISE — Marcquise Reed threw a 75-foot pass to Elijah Thomas for a dunk that put Clemson ahead to stay with 37 seconds left, and the Tigers rallied from a 12-point deficit in the second half Saturday to beat No. 22 Florida 71-69 in the Orange Bowl Classic.
With Clemson trailing 68-67, Reed rebounded KeVaughn Allen’s missed 3-pointer and threw a football-style pass from one free-throw lane to the other, hitting Thomas on the run for an easy score.
"We didn’t sprint back the way we were supposed to," Gators guard Jalen Hudson said. Thomas "leaked out before anybody had secured the rebound, which was a risky play for him, but it ended up going in their favor."
Florida coach Mike White said the designated safety on defense blew his assignment.
"In the locker room, the guy whose job it was raised his hand and said, ‘Coach, my bad,’?" White said. "I’d rather not say who that is.’"
Clemson (9-1) beat a ranked team for the eighth time in school history and continued its best start since 2008. Florida (6-4) lost for the fourth time in the past five games.
The Tigers won despite having a point taken off the scoreboard with four seconds left. Thomas’ free throw put Clemson ahead 70-68, but the point was wiped out when the officials realized it was Reed who had been fouled.
Reed then made two free throws to help seal the win.
’NOLES LOSE FIRST: Mitchell Solomon scored on a tip-in with six seconds left, then took a game-clinching charge at the other end, ad Oklahoma State knocked No. 19 Florida State from the unbeaten ranks, winning 71-70 in the Orange Bowl Classic. "We’re in a conference where you can’t get caught up in streaks, because nobody in the ACC is going to go undefeated," FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. "It doesn’t happen. (Today) we played against a team that played a little better than us." Oklahoma State (8-2) ended a streak of seven losses against ranked teams since February. FSU (9-1) missed a chance to match its best start ever.
NO. 2 MICH. ST. 86, OAKLAND (MICH.) 73: Cassius Winston scored 19, and the host Spartans (10-1) went on a late 12-2 run to hold off the upset-minded Golden Grizzlies in Detroit.
OKLA. 91, NO. 3 WICHITA ST. 83: Freshman guard Trae Young, the nation’s leading scorer, had 29 points and 10 assists as the visiting Sooners (8-1) upset the Shockers (8-2).
NO. 6 MIAMI 59, GW 50: Dewan Huell scored 15, Lonnie Walker IV had 13 and the visiting Hurricanes (9-0) ripped off 13 of the game’s first 15 points on their way to a 21-point lead over George Washington.
NO. 8 KENTUCKY 93, VA. TECH 86: Former Tampa Catholic standout Kevin Knox scored 21, Hamidou Diallo had 20 including a big 3 with 50 seconds left, and the host Wildcats (9-1) won their seventh straight and hit a season-high 11 3-pointers.
NO. 10 XAVIER 68, ETSU 66: Trevon Bluiett’s jumper with 6.3 seconds left completed a rally from a 22-point second-half deficit for the host Musketeers (10-1), who overcame a season-worst 38 percent shooting performance against East Tennessee State.
INDIANA 80, NO. 18 N.D. 77, OT: Juwan Morgan scored 19 of his career-high 34 in the last 81/2 minutes, helping the Hoosiers (6-5) erase an eight-point deficit and beat the Irish (8-3) in the annual Crossroads Classic in Indianapolis.
WOMEN: Naomi Davenport scored 20 as No. 10 West Virginia (10-1) beat visiting Radford 75-55.
VOLLEYBALL: Nebraska beat Florida three sets to one in Kansas City, Mo., for its fifth national title. The Cornhuskers denied the Gators their first.