DALLAS, TX - The Clemson Lady Tigers lost to the Montana State Bobcats, 58-52, on Friday night at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX in their first game of the Hoops for a Cure Classic. Clemson (0-4) chiseled a 19-point second half deficit to just four with 32.6 seconds to play, but the Bobcats (3-0) hung on for the victory.
Clemson will play SIU-Edwardsville on Saturday at 6:00 PM EST in Moody Coliseum in the consolation game, while the Bobcats will play SMU at 8:00 PM EST in the Championship game. Clemson's game will be available live on ClemsonTigers.com or streamed online on WCCPFM.com.
Freshman Danaejah Grant, Clemson's leading scorer entering the game, scored 15 in the second half on her way to a career-high 21 points and nine rebounds, hitting 7-12 from the floor. She scored ten of Clemson's final 17 points in the game, nearly leading the Lady Tigers all the way back.
Nikki Dixon and Jonquel Jones each had eight points, and Dixon was able to get to the free throw line ten times in the second half alone. Jones also added eight rebounds and a pair of blocked shots.
Defensively, Clemson held the Bobcats to .298 shooting, including just 7-25 in the second half, but Kalli Durham had 23 points for the Bobcats to lead all players in the contest.
With 6:46 to play, MSU held a 51-35 lead after a pair of Durham freebies. Grant responded with seven points during a 9-0 Clemson run that closed the gap to 51-44 with 3:50 to play. Latisha Adams scored her only bucket of the game with 3:40 to play to slow the run, and put the Bobcats up nine.
However, Dixon hit a free throw one of two from the line, Aisha Turner hit a floater, and Dixon hit a long two-pointer with 34.6 seconds to play to cut it to 53-49. The Bobcats were clutch from the line down the stretch, hitting five of six attempts in the final 32 seconds to hold Clemson at bay, despite three more points from Grant, whose final bucket came on a driving layup with 18.7 to play.
Clemson's 14-2 run was sparked by defense, as the Lady Tigers held the Bobcats without a field goal for a 7:43 span immediately following an Itoro Coleman timeout when MSU took a 35-16 lead two minutes into the second half.
Clemson struggled to get anything going offensively in the game's opening minutes, starting 1-15 from the floor. The defense was effective however, in holding the Bobcats to .313 shooting in the half.