ClemsonWBB wins a defensive struggle 41-39
CLEMSON, SC - The Clemson women’s basketball team won its second straight game and evened up its record to 3-3 with a 41-39 victory over Radford (2-4) in Littlejohn Coliseum. The 41 points were the fewest by Clemson in a win in school history, but the defensive effort was most impressive, as the Tigers held Radford without a point for a 9:36 stretch of game time.
The Tigers held Radford to 15-55 (.273) form the field, the second time this season Clemson has held an opponent below .300. The Tigers also outrebounded the Highlanders, 41-30, blocked five shots, and had eight steals.
Junior Kelly Gramlich hit four threes to finish with a game-high 12 points. It was her second straight game hitting four three-pointers, as she went 4-7 in the win at South Florida. Charmaine Tay added eight points and a game-high nine rebounds in 32 minutes, and her jumper with 1:48 to play was key in the win.
Nikki Dixon had four points, seven rebounds, four assists, and a steal in 20 minutes after missing the USF game with an ankle injury. She was held scoreless for the first 39:28 of game time, but went 4-4 from the line in the final seconds to help to ice the game. Quinyotta Pettaway finished with nine points, eight rebounds, two assists, and two steals in her first game back after missing four contests.
Clemson shot .372 in the game, but were hampered by 23 turnovers, which is equal to the two previous games combined, with 11 against South Carolina and 12 at USF. However, Radford was only able to turn those into 12 points, while Clemson converted 15 Highlander turnovers for 19 points.
After going into halftime with a 19-18 lead, the Tigers clung to a two-point lead for most of the half before an Ayana Avery three-pointer gave the Highlanders a 30-29 lead with 7:45 to play. Chancie Dunn answered with a layup before Rachel Ross took the lead back with 6:29 to play.
That’s when Gramlich, who struggled from the floor, drilled a three with 3:28 to play to give Clemson a 34-32 lead for good.
The Tigers will break for Thanksgiving and get back to work on Friday as they prepare to take on North Florida at 2 p.m. on Sunday in Littlejohn Coliseum.
Player of the Game: Kelly Gramlich - The junior knocked down four threes, all of which either gave the Tigers the lead or the tie. Her shot with 3:28 to play gave Clemson the lead for good
Stat of the Game: 41 - Clemson scored just 41 points, yet won the game. It was the fewest points scored by Clemson in a win in school history
Coach Audra Smith Quotes:
“We talked after the USF game about this being a trap game, because it’s the day before Thanksgiving. I didn’t want them to take Radford lightly, and I thought we came in still on a high from the win at South Florida. It’s hard to come down from a win like that and play a couple days later. We knew that Radford would come in fighting, scratching, and clawing. If weren’t ready to defend and really get out there and control the game and the tempo, then it would become a dogfight, and that’s what we got.”
“I came in at halftime and got on them, and tried to pump them up. I wanted to stay positive, and to coach them through it because I knew we could come out on top. I knew it would be ugly, but we thought we could pull it out. With Kelly making those threes and Dixon knocking down those free throws, that was big for us.”
With her 4 three-pointers tonight, Kelly Gramlich now has 8 three-pointers in her last two games. She led the way for the Tigers with 12 points.
Quinyotta Pettaway had 9 points and 8 rebounds off the bench for the Tigers.
Chelsea Lindsay was subbed out of the game in the first half for the first time in two games, after picking up her second foul. She played all 40 minutes against South Florida and 39 minutes against South Carolina in the game before that.
Nikki Dixon was held scoreless from the floor (0-4) but made all 4 free throw attempts, each coming in the final 0:32 of the game.
Clemson held Radford to 27.3% shooting in the game.
Both teams shot 21.1% from three tonight, 4-19.
17 of Clemson’s 19 first half points were off the bench. That bench outscored Radford’s 25-6 in the game.
Clemson held Radford scoreless for a period of 9:36 over a stretch spanning the end of the first half and the start of the second half.
The 39 points given up by the Tigers is the fewest allowed since Virginia Tech scored 37 January 31 of last season. That was also the last time the Tigers scored in the 40s and won (47).
The 41 points scored by the Tigers is the fewest in a win in school history.