CLEMSON WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

WBB sports_basketball
Photo courtesy: ACC Digital Network
Photo courtesy: ACC Digital Network

Clemson drops heartbreaker to Notre Dame


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CLEMSON, S.C. - Ten different Tigers scored to help the Clemson women’s basketball team battle until the final seconds against No. 7 Notre Dame before falling 57-54 on Thursday night in Littlejohn Coliseum. The Tigers move to 12-8 overall and 3-5 in ACC play, while the Fighting Irish improve to 15-2 overall and 6-1 in the ACC.

Graduate Brie Perpignan and senior Amari Robinson were the lone Tigers to hit double digits with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Perpignan knocked down four baskets, including three three pointers, while Robinson knocked down five baskets and brought down a team-high eight rebounds. Freshman Ruby Whitehorn led the Tigers on defense with four steals, while Daisha Bradford finished with four points, seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and one block.

The Tigers took the lead in the first quarter with Robinson, Whitehorn and Bradford sinking crucial jump shots and converting fast break opportunities to help Clemson maintain a 12-8 lead after the first. The Tigers were able to turn the Irish over seven times in the opening frame.

Robinson and Perpignan kept the momentum going to open the second quarter to push Clemson’s lead to nine. ND closed the gap with a 6-0 scoring run before Eno Iyang, Ale’jah Douglas and Makayla Elmore opened things back up to an eight-point lead. In the final 1:30 of play in the half, the Fighting Irish went on a 7-2 run to cut the Tigers’ lead to three at 29-26 at halftime.

Notre Dame broke open a five-point lead to start the third quarter, before the Tigers were able to cut it to one on threes from Douglas and Madi Ott. The teams continued to trade buckets until two free throws by Hank at the end of the quarter tied the game at 44 heading into the final 10 minutes.

Clemson took a three-point lead behind Perpignan’s second three of the day, before Notre Dame capitalized at the free throw line to take a six-point lead with just 30 seconds to go. Perpignan drained her third three with 11 seconds left to cut the lead in half, before the Tigers forced the Irish’s 17th turnover of the evening to get the ball back. Clemson had a good look at a three with five seconds to go, and another opportunity at the buzzer, but couldn’t get either to fall.

Notre Dame capitalized on second-chance opportunities after grabbing 17 offensive rebounds and picking up 21 points off forced turnovers. Olivia Miles (20 points, eight assists) and Maddy Westbeld (15 points, three steals) led the Fighting Irish offensively.

Clemson is back in action on Sunday, traveling to Boston College for the Tigers’ third road trip in four games. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on ACCNX.

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