By Staff Report.
COLUMBIA, SC – The Clemson Lady Tigers fell, 73-59, to the South Carolina Gamecocks in Columbia on Thursday night. The loss dropped the Tigers to 2-1 on the season, while South Carolina improved to 2-1 and broke a two-game losing streak to Clemson. The Gamecocks denied
Clemson its first 3-0 start since the 1998-99 season, Itoro Coleman’s senior season.
Coleman was not in attendance for the first road game of the season, but is still eyeing a late-February return.
South Carolina took advantage of 24 Clemson turnovers, converting them for 28 points in the contest compared to Clemson’s ten. Kirstyn Wright followed up her 29 point effort with 20 points for Clemson, and also added seven rebounds for the third straight game. Shaniqua Pauldo
added 14 points, and Sthefany Thomas had 11 to complete Clemson’s double-figure scorers.
Jasmine Tate had 11 rebounds for the second straight game to lead all players, and she finished just two points shy of a double-double. Bryelle Smith had seven assists for Clemson, her third straight game of six or more.
The Tigers couldn’t overcome a career-high 30 points from Ieasia Walker, who was the only Gamecock in double-figures. It was the first time Clemson allowed 30 points to an opposing player since last season’s 94-92 double overtime win against South Carolina, when Kelsey
Bone netted 32.
South Carolina went on a 9-0 run after the under-eight-minute timeout to take an eight point lead, and the tigers couldn’t get closer than seven the rest of the night.
Clemson went into halftime trailing, 32-22, after 11 turnovers and 30.8 shooting percentage led to a 14-2 South Carolina advantage in points off turnovers and a 10-0 advantage in the fast break
Ieasia Walker carried the Gamecocks in the first half, scoring 18 points on 8-12 from the field. Carolina had just one assist on 15 baskets, constantly using dribble penetration to knock down mid-range shots.
The teams traded hoops for most of the second half, combining for 78 points in the half. Pauldo had ten in the second half despite foul trouble, and Wright had 11 of her 20 in the second frame.
The Tigers return to action on Sunday as they take on Kennsaw State at 2:00 pm in Littlejohn Coliseum.