Mills, Evans return but FSU out rebounded in loss at Clemson

Florida State received a jolt of energy with the return of Caleb Mills and RayQuan Evans. But the Seminoles miss having Malik Osborne, lost Naheem McLeod to injury and saw Clemson pull down critical rebounds.

Mills scored 16 points on 6 of 11 shooting and Evans added 11 points but Clemson handed FSU a third straight loss, 75-69 on Wednesday night.

John Butler Jr. added nine points on 4 of 10 shooting and three rebounds, playing near his hometown of Greenville, S.C. But the Seminoles (13-8, 6-5 ACC) were outrebounded 37-24 and pulled down just five offensive rebounds on 28 missed shots.

“We got to find a way,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. “We were a little shorthanded. That means that someone has to step up and rebound better. Those guys are not coming back this year. It’s a little more challenging. We have to get better at rebounding. We’ve normally been one of the better rebounding teams around. I think we only got two offensive rebounds in the first half.”

Still, FSU had its chances and shot 26 of 54 (48.1 percent) from the floor with only nine turnovers.

Evans (mourning brother’s death) and Mills (tonsillitis) returned to the court after missing practice time, with Evans watching Saturday’s game from the bench and Mills being limited due to a lack of energy in the loss to Virginia Tech. On Wednesday night, Evans played 26 minutes and scored 11 points on 4 of 8 shooting, while Mills played 31 minutes.

McLeod played just two minutes due to a hand injury, going to the locker room midway through the first half. Walk-on forward Harrison Prieto played significant minutes, scoring five points and pulling down two rebounds in 16 minutes.

Clemson was 12th in Division I at 3-point shooting, second in the ACC to Virginia Tech. The Tigers made 6 of 15 (40 percent) of their shots from beyond the arc and 27 of 52 (51.9 percent) from the floor. 

Matthew Cleveland had eight points, while Anthony Polite added five points and a team-leading five rebounds.

PJ Hall scored 15 points on 5 of 7 shooting at Clemson (12-9, 4-6). The Tigers also had 10 offensive rebounds.

Injury update

Hamilton said postgame that McLeod broke a finger and is “probably out six to eight weeks.” McLeod’s injury, coupled with Malik Osborne’s season-ending ankle surgery, limits FSU’s options at forward and center.

Box score

The FSU-Clemson box score can be viewed here.

Up next

FSU plays host to Wake Forest on Saturday at noon (Bally Sports regional networks). George McCloud’s jersey will be hung from the rafters at halftime. There will also be a reunion of more than 70 former players on Friday night and Saturday morning.