Georgia Tech (8-6, 1-2 ACC) defeated the Lady Tigers for seventh straight time in the series, although the Tigers do have a 42-27 lead in all-time meetings.
"We didn't put two halves together," said Head Coach Itoro Coleman. "In the first half, Georgia Tech shot the three-ball well. We knew that wasn't going to last. I think we were only down by eight points, which was good. We knew it was going to be important for us to win the first four-minute timeout, and we didn't. We dug ourselves a hole, and we weren't able to dig our way out of it."
Tech was 6-10 from long-range in the first half, tying their highest number of threes made for a game. They finished 8-17 (.471) in the game overall. In the last two games, Tiger opponents have hit 18-39 (.461) from deep over the past two games. Entering that stretch, Clemson was leading the ACC in three-point percentage defense at .240.
Clemson committed just 14 turnovers in the contest, but allowed the Georgia Tech pressure to force them into more long-distance shots. Additionally, the Tech defense made life difficult for the Clemson offense under the basket, holding Clemson to a 9-26 (.346) mark inside the arc and a .353 percentage overall in the first half, and .300 in the second half.
Atlanta-area native Aisha Turner added a career-best 13 points (4-8 FG, 3-6 3FG, 2-3 FT), and also added five assists in 31 minutes for the Tigers.
Dixon scored in double-figures for the ninth straight game, and is averaging 19.3 points per game in three ACC games. It was her fifth career game with 20 or more points, and the fourth this season. She also had five rebounds, three assists, three steals, and a pair of blocks.
Pettaway has now tallied 43 rebounds in three league games (14.3 per game) en route to her third double-double in four games, and eighth of hr career. It was the fifth time this season she's recorded double-figures in rebounding as well, and is the second-best effort behind her 18 boards against North Carolina last week.
The teams traded hoops early in the first half, with the game staying within four points for the first 10:13 before a Sydney Wallace jumper gave the Jackets a 19-14 lead. Clemson chiseled the deficit to two on a Pettaway lay-in with 4:37 to play, and trailed just 36-32 1:30 before halftime. After Marshall hit a layup, she picked Turner's pocket before the half and led the fast break to give Tech the 40-32 edge heading into halftime.
Clemson quickly knocked the lead down to five after Charmaine Tay hit a free throw with 17:41 to play. With Clemson trailing by ten, 53-43 with 13:22 left, Georgia Tech went on an 11-0 run over the next two-plus minutes to stretch their lead to 21.
The Lady Tigers weren't able to get closer than 14 the rest of the way, and the Jackets scored the final eight points of the game for the final 81-59 margin.
Clemson returns to action on Thursday as they head to Durham to play No. 3 Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium.