Dec. 6, 2009
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CLEMSON, SC – The Clemson women’s basketball team defeated Charleston Southern(4-4), 104-52, on Sunday afternoon in Littlejohn Coliseum. The Tigers (6-3) put on pressure throughout the game, holding the nation’s leading three-point shooting team to 5-19 shooting, including 0-10 in the second half. The Tigers bench was outstanding, accounting for 60 points on 64.7% shooting.
Charleston Southern was coming off a nine-point loss at #4 North Carolina, in which their 17 made three-pointers set a single-game record for most three pointers allowed by any Tar Heel team.
Clemson, however, was up to the challenge defensively, especially in the second half. After conceding a basket with 18:00 to Ali Schwagmeyer, Clemson held the Buccaneers without a field goal for a full 12:00 of game time. Schwagmeyer led the Buccaneers with 15 points on 6-8 shooting.
“It was one of the best team efforts I’ve seen since I’ve been here both offensively and defensively,” said Head Coach Cristy McKinney. “Defensively we didn’t let them get those threes during the second half and offensively we found the open player. We really delivered, especially second half.”
Lele Hardy had 19 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and three steals to lead the Tigers in 24 productive minutes. Kirstyn Wright followed her 22-point performance with eight points, a team-high six assists, and five rebounds.
Clemson entered the half with a slim nine-point advantage, after allowing the Buccaneers to shoot 12-20 in the half, including 5-9 from three-point range. The second half was much different, as the stifling Tiger defense held CSU to 4-23 (.174) shooting and 13 turnovers in the second half, while out-rebounding the Buccaneers, 29-13. The Tigers only allowed four offensive boards in the game, while registering 17 of their own.
Holding a 50-39 advantage after the Schwagmeyer layup with 18:00 remaining, the Tigers went on a 17-0 run to take a 67-39 lead. The Tigers stretched it from there, going on a 37-15 run to close out the game.
The 52-point margin of victory was the largest under Cristy McKinney and the most points scored by Clemson since March 25, 1995, a 107-66 win over East Tennessee State. It was the first time Clemson has hit 100 points since 2003 against South Carolina, and the first time in regulation since a 101-59 win against Wofford, on Nov. 20, 1998.
Clemson got an outstanding effort across the board, holding the Buccaneers to 4-23 shooting in the second half, and forcing 27 turnovers, while only allowing conceding five assists. The Tigers turned those into 40 points.
The Tiger bench had 60 points overall, as April Parker (12), Sthefany Thomas (12), Bryelle Smith (10) all hit double figures. Smith also added five rebounds and five assists in her 16 minutes of play. Morgan McMinn and Chelsey Pinkstaff each scored the first points of their careers, as McMinn knocked in a free throw and a three-pointer and Pinkstaff hit a mid-range jumper.
Meanwhile, Clemson had 27 assists to 12 turnovers, by far their best margin of the season.
Clemson returns to action on Saturday, Dec. 12, as they travel to Chattanooga for a 4:00 pm showdown with the Mocs.
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