By Staff Report.
BIRMINGHAM, AL – The Samford Bulldogs (6-2) used a 7-0 run in the second half to pull away from Clemson (6-3), 58-48, on Sunday afternoon in the Pate Hanna Center. Shaniqua Pauldo had 14 points to lead Clemson, but the Tigers were just 3-20 from behind the arc after entering the game ranked ninth in the country in three-point field goal percentage.
It was the seventh time Clemson has held an opponent below 60 points on the season, and the Tigers only allowed 37.3 percent shooting from the Bulldogs.
“We kept them under 60 points, and that is one of our goals,” said head coach Itoro Coleman. “Defense is something I’ve been harping on since I’ve got here. I thought we did a really good job of guarding them. We held them to only 58 points, and I feel like that gave us a chance to win. On the offensive end, we just couldn’t seem to buy a bucket.”
The Bulldogs nailed eight threes in the game, and were a perfect 12-12 from the line, which helped them separate form a Clemson club that had 18 offensive rebounds, and only turned the ball over ten times.
“We went into halftime down by three, only one possession. I thought we came out and executed, and got some easy baskets. We missed some and they came down and got some. It was close down the stretch. We were able to get the shots we wanted down the stretch, but they just didn’t go down.”
The Lady Tigers had a 30-14 advantage in points in the paint, but were only able to manage nine points off 14 Samford turnovers, while the Bulldogs capitalized on Clemson’s mistakes with 13 points on ten turnovers.
The Tigers also struggled getting to the line, as they shot only two free throws in the game, a pair by Sthefany Thomas with 4:51 to play in the game. Thomas had 12 points, but hit only 5-18 from the field and 1-9 from behind the arc.
Birmingham native Jasmine Tate had 11 rebounds, including five on the offensive end. Freshman Kelia Shelton also had six rebounds, including five on the offensive glass. But, the Tigers shot 22-70 for the game in the contest, and after cutting an 11-point deficit to six at 54-48, with 51.9 seconds remaining, the Bulldogs hit four free throws to ice the game.
Samford took a 24-21 lead into halftime after both teams struggled shooting from the floor in the half. The Tigers shot 10-31 in the half, , but only hit 1-8 from behind the arc despite several going most of the way down and popping out.
Shaniqua Pauldo led all players with nine points, including Clemson University s only three-point make. Tate led all players with six rebounds, while also picking up two steals and blocking one shot.
Samford hit 10-29 from the floor, including 4-9 from behind the arc, and had seven players score. The Bulldogs also had an assist on every basket, a product of their Princeton-style offense.
Neither team attempted a free throw, as the Bulldogs committed just one foul in the frame, while the Tigers picked up seven, three of them of the offensive variety.
The opening minutes of the second half were in stark contrast to the first half, with the teams combining to go -8 in the first three minutes of the frame before both teams went scoreless over the next three minutes. A Thomas layup brought Clemson to within two at 35-33, but a 7-0 Bulldog run pushed the lead out to nine, a cushion from which the Lady Tigers could not recover.
Clemson will stay in town and play UAB on Wednesday at 8:00 pm eastern in Birmingham.
“We have to have two good practices. UAB is a good team,” said Coleman. “It will be a change in gear. Samford likes to play half court, but UAB likes to get out and push the ball. We’ll get in some scouting and good practices and be ready to go on Wednesday. “