By Staff Report.
BIRMINGHAM, AL – Despite trailing by as many as 17 in the second half, Clemson had the ball with fewer than 20 seconds and a chance to win the game. In the end, The Lady Tigers’ three-point attempt fell just short, dropping Clemson (6-4) to a 67-64 defeat to UAB (6-3) in Birmingham on Wednesday night.
“We came out and executed so much better in the second half from every standpoint, and I was very happy to see that,” said Itoro Coleman. “We just need to come out and sustain it for forty minutes. I thought their press bothered us a little bit early, but we rebounded from that and had a chance to win down the stretch.”
The Tigers fell to 2-3 all-time against UAB, although it was the first meeting between the teams since 1987.
Clemson will play next on Saturday at 2:00 pm against Oakland in Littlejohn coliseum, before heading to the Bahamas Sunsplash Shootout for a pair of top-25 showdowns with #2/#3 Baylor and #24 Syracuse.
Kirstyn Wright led Clemson with 17 points, while Lindsey Mason had a season-high 11 points, with nine coming in the second half. Freshman Chancie Dunn had a career-high seven points, all in the second half, and Sthefany Thomas had eight in the second half as the Tigers cut a 17-point deficit all the way to two with 21.2 seconds to go.
Clemson won the battle on the boards, 42-34, and pulled down 25 on the offensive end, converting for 22 second-chance points. The Tiger bench also had a season-high 36 points.
UAB’s Jala Harris led all players with 23 points, while LaShaunda Pratt had 16 and Amber Jones had 14.
UAB looked as if they might run away with it when they took a 17-point (41-24) lead after a 7-0 run to start the second half. But Coleman’s Tigers refused to go away, going on a 23-11 run to cut the lead to five with 7:58 remaining on an and-one by Tate.
Again down five at 58-53 Clemson got the ball back to cut the deficit further, but Bryelle Smith was stripped and Lashonda Pratt took it in for two. Clemson struck back to cut the lead to four at 60-56 on a right-wing three from Dunn with 2:41 remaining. The teams traded free throws, but UAB took a 66-58 lead with 58.9 seconds remaining, looking to have the game sealed.
But a key three from Thomas with 35.3 seconds, a free throw from Wright, and a put-back off Wright’s miss by Tate closed the deficit all the way to 66-64. Clemson got the ball back but turned it over with 12.0 seconds. Jala Harris made her first but missed the second, giving Clemson one last possession trailing by three at 67-64.
Coleman called a timeout with 8.8 seconds remaining, but the Tigers couldn’t get the look they wanted, and a Smith three-pointer was short at the buzzer, capping a 67-64 UAB win.
Wright was a one-player-show in the first half, knocking in 14 of Clemson’s 24 points on 6-8 shooting (2-3 3FG). The rest of the team combined to shoot just .227 (5-22). The Blazers had it going from distance, nailing 7-11 from behind the arc, but only 6-18 from inside the arc. Clemson had 12 offensive rebounds in the frame, but were only able to convert them for six points.
UAB come out firing in the first half, nailing five of their first six three-point attempts in the first eight minutes to take a 19-8 lead. They stretched it to as many as 14 at 29-14 with just under six minutes. Clemson closed it to ten at 34-24 just before halftime.