Dixon’s Career Day Lifts @ClemsonWBB Past Pitt
By: Clemson Athletic Communications
CLEMSON, SC - Junior Nikki Dixon posted career-highs of 29 points and 11 rebounds as Clemson topped Pittsburgh, 77-67, in Littlejohn Coliseum on Sunday in the first meeting between the programs as ACC foes. Clemson (9-8, 1-2 ACC) outrebounded the Panthers (9-8, 1-2 ACC) by 16 and scored 45 points in the second half in the victory, the first in conference play under Head Coach Audra Smith.
Junior Charmaine Tay added 11 points, seven rebounds, and four assists, while Kelly Gramlich scored 14 points, including the 100th three-pointer of her career, as she went 4-8 from behind the arc in the contest.
Reigning ACC Player of the Week Brianna Kiesel had 21 points for Pitt, but was just 5-13 from the floor in playing the full 40 minutes. However, Clemson held the Panthers to an 11-36 (.306) mark from the field in the second half.
The Tigers went to the line 30 times in the second half, and 35 times in the game, making 23.
Dixon was key for the Tigers, hitting 8-15 from the field, including 2-4 from deep, and also went 11-17 from the free throw line. She scored 12 in the first half and 17 in the second half in helping the Tigers emerge from an early seven-point deficit to lead by as many as 13 in the second half.
Nyilah Jamison-Myers had eight points and a season-high seven rebounds in the win, and asserted herself as the tallest player on the floor. She helped Clemson to a 46-30 advantage, and Clemson grabbed 35 of 43 available defensive rebounds.
Clemson actually started the game with a point guard and five wing players, forgoing a true post, in hopes of speeding up Pitt defensively.
The Tigers will play next at nationally ranked North Carolina on Thursday at 6 pm, where the Tigers won the most recent meeting in 2012 in Chapel Hill, 52-47. It was the fewest points by the Tar Heels at home in school history.
Player of the Game: Nikki Dixon - The junior wing had career-highs of 29 points and 11 rebounds, while going 8-15 from the field and getting to the line 17 times
Stat of the Game: +16 - Clemson finished the game with a 46-30 advantage on the glass, tied for the best mark of the season
- Kelly Gramlich made her 100th 3-pointer of her career in Sunday afternoon’s contest. Gramlich finished with four three-pointers and has 103 in her career. She is one of ten players in school history with 100 or more career three-pointers made.
- Charmaine Tay reached double-digits for the seventh time this season.Tay took a charge at 5:15 remaining in the first half. It was the second charge of her season and fourth of her career.
- Nikki Dixon scored her 900th point in a Tiger uniform with 15:15 remaining in the game. Dixon set a career-high in rebounds and points finishing with 11 rebounds and 29 points. It was her first double-double of her career.
- Dixon has scored 20+ points for the fourth time in the past five games. Her 29 points are the most by a Tiger since Kirstyn Wright had 29 points on November 14, 2010 against Charleston Southern.
- Nyilah Jamison-Myers had 7 rebounds, a season-high. Jamison-Myers also scored 8 points and was 3-6 from the floor.
- First ACC victory for head coach Audra Smith, who spent nine seasons at UAB prior to coming to Clemson.
- Clemson improved to 5-2 against Pittsburgh all-time, and has now won four in a row in the series. It was the first time the two teams have met as conference foes.
- Clemson held a 46-30 rebound advantage tying a season-high +16 differential set earlier this season against SC State.
- Tigers ended the first half on a 13-2 run, turning a seven-point deficit into a five point lead.
- Tiger defense held Pittsburgh to 1-13 shots to close the half. Pittsburgh scored just two points over the final 9:16 in the first half. The Panthers opened the second half 2-12 from the floor over the first 8:04, meaning they went just 3-23 during that 17+ minute stretch
- Pittsburgh had a 12-2 advantage in fast break points.
- Clemson had ten assists on eleven field goals in the second half.
- The Tigers set a season-high in free throws attempted with 35. Clemson finished with 23 makes (.657)
Head Coach Audra Smith Quotes:
“It was a great effort all the way around. We knew that their tallest player on the floor was going to be about six-feet tall, so that’s why we went with the smaller lineup. We tried to jump out and press and we thought that would rattle them. I was surprised we were able to rattle Georgia Tech and not Pitt, but we tried to go court-to-court and that didn't work, so then we settled down and mixed it up with some zone and some man.
I'm really proud of the ways the kids played. I wish we could have taken better care of the basketball, I wish we would have shot better from the free throw line. I promise you we are practicing free throws, we are working on free throws, we are doing everything. I like the stat line, everyone contributed.
I’m really happy for Nyilah Jamison-Myers. Seven rebounds and 8 points. Thats important for us. If we can have an inside presence to put up 8-10 points every night and grab some boards, then that's going to help us win the game. And of course, I know y’all are going to ask about Nikki - She continues to do the things we ask her to do. Which is what? Attack the basket. When she does that we are really hard to stop.