GREENSBORO, N.C. — Fueled by a career performance from senior Kobi Thornton, No. 14 seed Clemson beat 11th seeded Miami, 71-56, Wednesday in the first round of the ACC Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum.
With her final collegiate season on the line, Thornton came through in a major way, scoring a career-high 27 points on 12-of-16 shooting from the field. The senior, who also had seven rebounds, dominated in the first quarter, tallying 11 points while knocking down shot after shot.
She even made her second career 3-pointer in the early goings, while moving into 11th place on Clemson’s all-time scoring list and sixth place on the Tigers’ all-time rebounding list.
Amari Robinson played well, too, finishing with 16 points. She went 5-for-9 on field goal attempts and 4-for-4 on free throw attempts. Also of note, Kendall Spray tabbed nine points via a trio of 3-pointers and set the program record for the most 3-point shots made in a single season.
Showing out in the shooting department, Clemson shot 50.9 percent.
Miami (15-15), on the other hand, was limited to 31.7-percent shooting. The Tigers amassed 20 points off 14 Hurricane turnovers.
Additionally, Clemson (8-22) connected on seven 3-point attempts, netted 10-of-13 free throws and pulled down 35 rebounds. The Tigers nearly led from wire-to-wire, with Miami boasting a lead for just 59 seconds of play.
The Tigers came out firing in the first quarter, putting up 25 points, which is the highest first-quarter point total for Clemson all season. Clemson shot 58.8 percent from the floor in the opening period and sported a 25-15 advantage heading into the second quarter.
In the second period, the Tigers increased their lead to as many as 12 points, but Miami cut into Clemson’s lead late in the first half. At the intermission, the Hurricanes trailed the Tigers 37-33, and Miami went on to take its first lead of the evening at the 4:52 mark of the third quarter.
Trailing 41-39 at that point, Clemson responded quite emphatically, quickly manufacturing a 9-0 run to regain control of the game. The Tigers outscored the Hurricanes 16-3 over the final 3:53 of the third quarter for a 55-44 lead.
Clemson was able to stave off Miami the rest of the way, securing its 71-56 triumph and advancing to the next round of the ACC Tournament.
Clemson will return to the court for second-round ACC Tournament action on Thursday, as they take on sixth-seeded Boston College. Last Sunday, Clemson came up short to Boston College in a 70-68 battle at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson.
Thursday’s contest is scheduled to tip off at 8 p.m. and will air on a regional sports network (RSN).
–story courtesy Clemson Athletic Communications
–photo courtesy ACC Communications