Clemson Downs South Carolina, 65-46
Clemson, SC -- Nuria Forns scored 17 points, Amirah Leonard and Chrissy Floyd added 13 apiece, to lead Clemson to a 65-46 win over South Carolina in women's basketball action at Clemson's Littlejohn Coliseum Monday night.
The victory improved Clemson's record to 4-1, while South Carolina fell to 3-1. It was Clemson's fifth straight win over South Carolina in women's basketball and the 19th victory in the series in 23 games played at Littlejohn.
It was Clemson's third win in eight days over an SEC team. Earlier this week Clemson defeated Mississippi and Kentucky. Clemson is now 7-0 against rival South Carolina in head to head competition in all sports this year.
Forns made 7-12 shots from the field, including a pair of three-point goals, while Floyd made 5-8 shots in a reserve role. She also had eight rebounds in a productive 22 minutes by the freshman. Leonard, who was all-tournament at the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in Hartford over the weekend, had her 13 points in just 23 minutes. Starting center Erin Batth scored only two points, but the junior had 12 rebounds, five assists, three blocks and three steals. Datishella Byrd contributed nine points, seven rebounds and four steals in a fine all-around effort.
South Carolina had one player in double figures. Annie Lester scored 13 points and had five rebounds. Crishna Hill added eight, while Shaunzinski Gortman had seven points and seven rebounds.
Clemson shot just 39 percent from the field in the victory, but did hold South Carolina to 33.3 percent shooting. Clemson also shot a solid (14-20) 70 percent from the line to just 3-8 free throw shooting by the Lady Gamecocks. Clemson also forced 29 turnovers with 14 steals and won the rebound battle, 43-38.
Clemson broke open the game in the second 10 minutes of the game. With a 9-6 lead at the 10:20 mark of the first half, Clemson went on a 14-4 run over a five-minute period to take a 23-10 advantage at the 5:13 mark on a rebound goal by Byrd. The Lady Tigers held at 33-21 lead at intermission.
It was still a 10-point margin at 36-26 when Clemson scored 13 unanswered points. Clemson held the Gamecocks without a point for 8:49, holding South Carolina to 0-13 from the field during that time. Two free throws by Leonard with 7:30 left gave Clemson a 49-26 lead.
South Carolina cut the margin to 53-39 with 5:06 left on a three-point goal by reserve guard Kelly Morrone, but South Carolina could not get any closer. Clemson scored 10 points in a row, six by Floyd, to take a 63-39 lead. That was Clemson's largest lead of the game.
Clemson will next be in action at Furman on Wednesday evening.