AUBURN, Ala. - Winners of four in a row before Wednesday night's game at Auburn, the Florida State men's basketball team won't be taking a handful of consecutive victories with them into conference play.
Florida State opens conference play at Clemson.
After falling to the Tigers, 78-72, the Seminoles now begin their Atlantic Coast Conference schedule Saturday at 4 p.m. at Clemson.
The game at Auburn Arena saw Florida State (8-5) generate a 12-point first-half advantage but the Tigers (6-7) clawed back to within one at 36-35 by halftime and then grabbed their first lead since the 15:29 mark of the first period less than two minutes into the second half.
It was a lead the hosts wouldn't relinquish primarily because of a huge discrepancy in free throw opportunities and FSU's struggles to protect the basketball.
While the Tigers went to the free-throw line 41 times and made 28 of those attempts, the Seminoles managed just 15 trips to the charity stripe and connected on only seven of them. Michael Snaer and Terrence Shannon finished the game with four fouls apiece and Okaro White fouled out before the contest's conclusion.
The 'Noles also had 20 turnovers to the Tigers' nine. Auburn finished with 11 steals.
Snaer led the way offensively with 18 points to go along with his 12 rebounds and Terry Whisnant II had a strong game with 16 points on 4-of-8 shooting from 3-point range. White and Devon Bookert added eight points apiece.
Frankie Sullivan's 24 points and Allen Payne's 17 paced Auburn.
The Seminoles started the game 10-of-16 shooting from the field but made just 18 of their next 42 shots over the course of the game. Still, FSU shot a respectable 48.2 percent from the field compared to Auburn's 34.9 percent. The Tigers' ability to generate offense at the free-throw likne ultimately proved to be the difference.
Auburn finished with 42 rebounds and Florida State grabbed 40.