CLEMSON, S.C. – In a matchup between two solid defensive teams, NC State, ranked second in the ACC and 28th in the nation in scoring defense, won the battle, defeating the Clemson women’s basketball team 62-41, in front of a great crowd of more than 1300 fans, on Sunday afternoon at Littlejohn Coliseum. With the loss, the Tigers fell to 11-11 (1-8 ACC), while the Wolfpack, receiving votes in last week’s AP poll, improved to 17-5 and 6-3 in ACC play.
The first quarter was a defensive battle. The Tigers held NC State to 26.7% from the field (4-for-15) and forced five turnovers in the quarter. The Wolfpack kept the Tigers to 21.4% (3-for-14), and led 11-7 at the end of the period.
NC State opened the second quarter making five of its first five baskets to open up a 22-9 lead three minutes in to the period, but Clemson fought right back. The defense held the Wolfpack to 1-for-10 the remainder of the quarter, and used back-to-back baskets by junior Danielle Edwards and sophomore Kobi Thornton in the final minute to cut the deficit eight points, 25-17, at halftime.
The Wolfpack extended the lead to 47-23 at the end of the third quarter, going on a 22-6 run in the period and holding the Tigers scoreless for the final five minutes of the period. Clemson never stopped fighting though, and outscored NC State 18-15 in the fourth quarter, partially thanks to freshman Jenise Strover, who came in off the bench to score six points and recorded three rebounds and two blocked shots.
Thornton finished the game with 12 points and eight rebounds, scoring in double figures for the fifth consecutive game. Edwards had a great all-around effort, with 10 points, five rebounds, four steals, two assists and two blocked shots.
Defensively, the Tigers held the Wolfpack nearly five points below their season average (67.6 points per game) in scoring. Clemson also forced 20 NC State turnovers, five more than the Pack’s season average in that category.
Clemson is in the midst of a stretch of three-straight home games, and will return to action on Thursday, Feb. 1 against Pittsburgh. The game between the Tigers and Panthers will tip off at 7 p.m. at Littlejohn Coliseum.