GREENSBORO, N.C. — A three-point attempt from Weronika Hipp was off the mark as the final buzzer sounded, and Clemson came up short to Georgia Tech in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament on Friday. After Destiny Thomas tallied a clutch steal with 16 seconds remaining, the Tigers had an opportunity to tie the Yellow Jackets on the final possession, but Clemson ultimately fell 60-57 at Greensboro Coliseum.
The Tigers (11-13) shot 40.7 from the floor, and the Yellow Jackets (15-7) accrued a field goal percentage of 46.3. Clemson made three shots from beyond the arc and corralled 32 rebounds, while Georgia Tech was successful on seven 3-point attempts and secured 34 boards. Defensively, the Tigers forced 15 turnovers, thanks in large part to their 12 steals. Also of note, Clemson scored 30 points in the paint and outscored Georgia Tech 12-0 in bench points.
Senior leader Delicia Washington commandeered the Tigers with a game-high 24 points. She made 11 shots from the field and also hauled in six rebounds. Amari Robinson was credited with a team-leading seven rebounds to go along with her 14 points. Thomas dished out four assists and collected three steals, and Hannah Hank chipped in seven points. Georgia Tech’s Kierra Fletcher scored a team-best 21 points, and Lorela Cubaj, who scored 12 points for the Yellow Jackets, led all rebounders with 18 boards.
Kendall Spray stole the ball on the opening possession, leading to a jumper by Gabby Elliott that put Clemson on the board. At the 4:17 mark of the first quarter, Spray sank a go-ahead 3-pointer, giving the Tigers an 11-9 lead. Not long after that, Washington drained a stepback jumper after faking out her defender. The first period ended with the scored tied 15-15, but the Tigers quickly swung the momentum in their favor with an 8-0 run to begin the second quarter. The Yellow Jackets proceeded to battled back and entered the intermission leading 33-28.
A second-chance opportunity made possible via an offensive board by Spray resulted in Hank knocking down a trey at the 6:43 mark of the third quarter. Nique Cherry poured in a putback layup the next time down the floor, cutting the Yellow Jackets’ lead down to two. Georgia Tech closed out the final 3:28 of the period on a 12-5 run, though, and sported a 50-41 advantage at the start of the fourth quarter.
The Tigers once again began a quarter with an 8-0 run, pulling within one point of the Yellow Jackets when Spray netted a jump shot with 6:46 remaining. However, Clemson was never able to take the lead down the stretch, and, following a Georgia Tech turnover, Hipp’s aforementioned 3-point attempt at the buzzer did not go down. As a result, the Yellow Jackets won 60-57 and eliminated the Tigers from the ACC Tournament.
—photo and story courtesy of Clemson Athletics Communications