Clemson has won six of its last seven games
On a frigid and sluggish Saturday night in Clemson, the Lady Tigers found a way to stay warm in a 64-58 victory over Prairie View A&M Friday night.
The Lady Tigers’ secured their sixth victory in the last seven outings and improved to 8-3 on the season while the Panthers fell to 2-6 overall.
Clemson struggled to score in the first quarter with only six points in the first 10 minutes of play. The Lady Tigers shot 19-percent going just 3-for-16 from the floor and 0-for-5 from three-point range.
However, after a stern talking to from head coach Audra Smith, the Lady Tigers bounced back in the second quarter and never looked back.
Prairie View showed up ready to play jumping out to a 13-6 lead despite turning the ball over six times to start the game. The Panthers utilized a zone defense to their advantage perplexing the Tiger shooters at the start.
Smith gave credit to the Panthers for coming out strong, but was not pleased with the way her team responded.
“Prairie View came in on a mission, they came out fighting and that’s all you can do is get fired up and come out swinging. We didn’t respond well,” Smith said.
In the second period the Lady Tigers came back thanks to a 10-0 run to start the second quarter. They finished the period with a 32-21 lead at halftime, but the Panthers were not finished.
In the fourth quarter Prairie View stormed back to cut the Clemson lead that had been as great as 20 to a meager nine points with 8:12 to play, forcing Smith to call a timeout. The Panthers continued their push cutting Clemson’s lead to as thin as five late in the fourth quarter, but the Tigers responded to the late push by riding the hot hand of sophomore guard Jaia Alexander to close out the game.
Alexander came off the bench to command the Clemson attack leading the way with 22 points, six boards, two assists and three steals.
“She’s a scorer, she did a great job and made up for some turnovers” Smith said. “It doesn’t matter who starts the game it matters who finishes and she finished it.”
Clemson returns to action a week from Sunday in Littlejohn Coliseum as Jacksonville State comes to town for a 2 p.m. tip.