Clemson (11-12, 1-9) shot an abysmal 23-percent from the field while turning the ball over 20 times in Thursday night’s 58-42 home loss to Pittsburgh (10-13, 2-8).
The Lady Tigers played well defensively forcing the opposition to turn the ball over 17 times.
However, the Panther zone stifled any offensive production from the Tigers leading to a long Thursday night.
Head coach Audra Smith was proud of the way her team rebounded and defended but said her team struggled to get the ball in the paint.
“We just couldn’t score it, that was the difference in the ball game,” said Smith. “I think we took too many threes when the zone freaked us out and kept us out of the paint,” she said.
In the first period Pittsburgh took advantage of nine Lady Tiger turnovers with 10 points off turnovers on the other end. The Panthers also shot better than 50% from the field taking an 18-10 lead into the second quarter.
No Clemson player scored greater than three points in the first half as it struggled to work the ball inside on a smothering Pitt defensive attack. Destiny Thomas knocked down a three pointer as the buzzer sounded cutting the deficit to 28-19 at halftime.
The Lady Tigers came storming out in the second half on a 9-0 run in 2:36 to tie the game at 28 with seven minutes to play in the third quarter. Clemson seemed to find itself offensively and was able to frazzle to Panther offense with a man look defensively.
Following the run Pitt held the Tigers scoreless for the next six minutes and extended its lead to as many as 12 heading into the final period with a 43-33 advantage.
The Panthers pulled away in the fourth quarter holding Clemson to just 9 points over a ten-minute span.
Sophomore Kobi Thornton is the only Tiger who scored more than five points on the evening as she finished with 15 points and 8 rebounds.
Clemson returns to action Sunday against Georgia Tech in Littlejohn at 2 p.m.