CLEMSON, SC - The Clemson women's basketball team fell to No. 14/19 South Carolina, 68-43, on Wednesday night in Littlejohn Coliseum. The Tigers (1-3) dropped their fourth in a row to the Gamecocks (5-0), but still hold a 33-26 lead in the all-time series.
The game pitted college teammates Dawn Staley and Audra Smith against one another as head coaches for the first time. The two played together at Virginia for four seasons from 1988-92, going to three Final Fours and two National Championship games.
Junior guard Chelsea Lindsay scored all of her team-high 12 points in the second half, going 5-10 from the floor and burying a pair of three-pointers. She also had three assists, two rebounds, and a steal in playing all but 1:22 of game time . Charmaine Tay tied her career-high with 11 points, and also added five boards and a pair of assists.
Clemson had a season-low 11 turnovers, but struggled to a 14-48 (.292) mark from the field, and went into halftime trailing 27-15 after going just 3-23 from the field in half. However, the Tigers showed fight in dealing with some adversity.
Leading scorer Nikki Dixon went down just 1:28 into the game and did not return to the contest. The Tigers hung around and attacked the rim, going to the line 14 times in the first half, as all seven fouls drawn were shooting fouls.
South Carolina's post play gave Clemson trouble, as they outscored the Tigers, 40-10, in the paint, and outrebounded the Tigers, 49-27.
The Tigers will travel to Tampa for their next contest on Sunday at 2:00 pm in the Sun Dome against USF.
Player of the Game: Chelsea Lindsay - Matched a career-high with 12 points (5-10 FG, 2-3 3FG) and added three assists and a pair of rebounds
Stat of the Game: .310 - That is the shooting percentage improvement from the first half (.130) to the second half (.440). Clemson hit 11-25 from the floor and three of five three-point attempts
- Clemson had 8 points from the bench and only 7 from the starters in the first half, but in the second half the starters tallied 23 points, while the benched collected 5.
- Clemson's defense held South Carolina to 68 points, 16.0 below their season average.
- The Tigers held South Carolina leading scorer, Elem Ibiam to 10 points, four below her season average.
- South Carolina shot 25% from 3 point range and their season average is 34%.
- Clemson shot 44% (11-25) in the second half, the Tigers' third-highest shooting percentage in a half this season.
- Clemson had a season-low 11 turnovers, its fewest since having ten against Miami on Feb. 8, 2013.
- Charmaine Tay set a career high in points (11) and a new career high in field goal attempts with 15.
- Chelsea Lindsay tied career high with 12 points and tied her season high in assists with 3. She also added two three-pointers, a new career-best.
- Kelly Gramlich set a season high in rebounds with 5.
Head Coach Audra Smith Quotes:
"I can't be more proud of this bunch than I am right now. We're shorthanded without having [Quinyotta] Pettaway, Nikki [Dixon] getting hurt the first play of the game, and then Paige Mosley going back down after we just got her back. There wasn't much we could do. I just told them to keep battling and keep fighting, because once Carolina got comfortable in our zone and they were just so much bigger than we were, we had to inch out and guard the three-point shot, and then they started lobbing it up.
"This was a tough tough match-up, but I am really proud of my kids. They didn't back down. They fought hard. They stuck to the game plan. We executed well. We didn't finish, but they ran the plays exactly the way I told them too, we just didn't make shots, but again we were shorthanded. We might be small in number, but we're big in heart."