By Staff Report.
CLEMSON, SC – The Clemson Lady Tigers used an 18-3 run to open the second half to pull away from a scrappy Presbyterian College club for a 61-49 win in Littlejohn Coliseum on Sunday. Clemson improves to 6-2 on the season, while the Blue Hose drop to 2-5.
It was the 350th win all-time in Littlejohn for the women’s basketball program, who now boasts a 350-138 (.717) record in home contests.
The Lady Tigers were able to take advantage of seven of their first eight games coming at home, as they went 6-1 during the stretch. They now break for finals, and get back into action on Dec. 12 and Dec. 15 at Samford and UAB, respectively.
The Tigers used a strong defensive effort to pull away, holding PC to only one field goal in the first 12 minutes of the second half. Clemson held its fifth opponent to fewer than 57 points, something they accomplished just four times in all of 2009-10.
Meanwhile, Clemson opened by hitting seven of their first ten shots in the half to take a 48-29 lead with 11 minutes to play.
“I thought we were getting some good looks,” said Itoro Coleman, who has led her team to a 6-2 record to open the season. “They just weren’t falling. I thought our bench came in and gave us a nice spark.”
Overall, Clemson’s bench was 10-21 from the floor, 2-3 from behind the arc, and made 12-13 from the line. They also had 15 rebounds and five steals.
Senior Kirstyn Wright was the key contributor in the sixth-player spot, leading all players with 18 points (5-8 FG, 2-3 3FG, 6-6 FT) and also a team-high six rebounds and four steals in 31 minutes.
As a whole, Clemson’s bench accounted for a season-high 34 points, as Chancie Dunn had six points, Quinyotta Pettaway had four points, four boards, and two blocks, and Lindsey Mason added four points and three blocks in 18 minutes.
Sthefany Thomas (4-13 FG, 3-8 3FG) struggled in the early going but hit her only shot attempt of the second half and added four steals on the afternoon on the way to 11 points, her sixth game of double-figure scoring this season.
Jasmine Tate also had 11 points, and made five of her seven free throw attempts. The senior also added six rebounds, below her season average of 9.1 per game.
The Tigers were excellent from the line overall, converting on 18-22 (.818) of their attempts, both season highs.
Defensively, Clemson held Presbyterian to .341 shooting and forced 24 turnovers on 13 steals. They turned those into 26 points, and although struggled from the field in the first half, regained their touch down the stretch.
“That’s very unique about Clemson Lady Tiger basketball,” said Coleman. “On any given night, anyone can step up. There’s not just one focal point.”
Clemson clung to a 28-26 lead at halftime after a tough shooting performance had them at 7-29 (.241) in the first half. The Tigers were able to knock down 11 of 13 from the line, led by Wright’s 6-6 performance. The Tigers had 11 offensive rebounds in the frame, and held the Blue Hose to only 17 shot attempts in 20 minutes.
By contrast, Clemson had only eight turnovers in each half, and held the Blue Hose to 6-24 (.250) from the field in the second half. The Tigers were 12-25, and had 10 of their 12 field goals in the paint in the half.