Clemson students and fans showed up Thursday night to see what all the excitement was surround the women’s basketball program.
The Lady Tigers put up a good fight but couldn’t control turnovers and fouls in a 101-63 home loss to No. 5 Notre Dame. The Irish shot 18-of-29 from the charity stripe on 21 fouls while fouling the Tigers just nine times, they shot one-of-five from the foul line.
The Fighting Irish finishes with five scorers in double-figures and utilized their depth to pull away in the second half. Arike Ogunbowaleled the way with 23 points for Notre Dame while Marina Mabrey added 22.
Before halftime Clemson cut its deficit to as few as seven, down 44-37 with 2:05 left in the second quarter but, in the second half the Irish outscored the Tigers 52-26. The Lady Tigers turned the ball over 27 times and lost the rebound margin by seven.
Clemson head coach Amanda Butler was disappointed with the outcome but knew it would take a perfect game with perfect effort to beat the Irish.
“We got beat by a very good team and it was going to take us being 100% us with an added measure of toughness and focus Notre Dame took away from us,” Butler said. “We had a disappointing effort with our transition defense, and we aren’t going to dwell on this game very long,” she said.
In the first quarter Clemson (14-7, 5-3 ACC) scored first before surrendering 18 straight and finding itself in a hole early. But, it did not give up working its way back within nine with 3:02 remaining in the period and finished down 32-18.
The second quarter was the best for the Lady Tigers, who went on a 9-0 run over 2:28 to get the game to seven points before the Irish pulled away over the final two minutes of the half and entered the locker room up 49-37.
Notre Dame (20-2, 7-1 ACC) pulled away in the third quarter outscoring the Tigers 34-13 and it didn’t get any better for the home team in the fourth. The Irish showed why they are ranked in the top-10 nationally cruising to a 101-63 victory over Clemson.
Senior Aliyah Collier led the way for the Lady Tigers with a season high 22 points. She entered the game off the bench shooting nine-of-17 from the field including four-of-six from three-point range.
Butler was proud of Collier’s performance and expected nothing less from one of her senior leaders.
“Not surprising to see her go 4-6, there has been a lot of extra work outside of practice,” Collier said. “Not just on the court but going above and beyond like you expect from a senior, very proud of her effort tonight,” she said.
Clemson returns to action Saturday in Littlejohn Coliseum hosting No. 3 Louisville (20-1, 7-1 ACC) in another ACC contest.