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No. 24 Georgia Tech Edges Clemson on Sunday Afternoon

Jan. 29, 2012

Box Score |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 

CLEMSON, SC – Clemson went toe-to-toe with No. 24 (Coaches) Georgia Tech for more than 38 minutes, but a 7-0 run in the final two sealed the 63-54 victory for the Yellow Jackets (16-6, 6-3 ACC). Clemson (5-14, 1-7 ACC) led by as many as eight in the first half, and shot .429 for the game. Lady Tiger freshman Nikki Dixon led all scorers with 18 points on 7-15 shooting, including a 3-6 mark from outside the arc.

The loss was the fifth straight in the series for Clemson, who still hold a 42-25 lead all-time and a 22-10 mark at home. Clemson’s rosters feature four players from Georgia, each of whom played a significant role in the outcome. The Peach-staters combined for 41 of Clemson’s 54 points, including Dixon’s 18 and Shaniqua Pauldo’s 12 points on 6-8 shooting in 15 minutes of play.

Ty Marshall led the Yellow Jackets with 17 points and four steals, while Sasha Goodlett had 13 points and ten rebounds for her seventh double-double of the season.

The story of the game was Clemson’s ability to handle Georgia Tech’s pressure for most of the game, recording just 18 turnovers the Tigers’ fewest in ACC play. Freshman point guard Chelsea Lindsay played 36 minutes, recording five assists and just two turnovers, while Dixon had just two giveaways in 36 minutes as well. Dixon also had a career-high-tying eight rebounds, and also had four steals for the third time in four games.

Sophomore Quinyotta Pettaway had nine points and nine rebounds to go along with a career-best four assists, as she and Lindsey Mason acted as key distributors against the press.

Clemson came out with significant energy for the third time in as many games against a ranked team. They led by as many as five in the first half against No. 5 Duke last week, and went ahead by eight at the 12:49 mark on a Pauldo jumper. Pauldo scored on three straight possessions for the Lady Tigers, hitting more field goals in a three-minute stretch than she had in her previous three games played, when she was a combined 2-11.

Neither team was able to get much footing for quite some time, as Clemson lost the lead, but took a six-point edge with 2:28 to play in the half. The Yellow Jackets scored seven points on their next three possessions and had the ball with 25.0 seconds after a Clemson turnover with a one-point lead. But Dunn forced a turnover and found Dixon on the fast break just before the buzzer to give Clemson the 27-26 lead going into the intermission.

Clemson held a lead for much of the first part of the second half, leading by five, 36-31 with 17:29 to play on a Pauldo jumper. Georgia Tech grabbed the lead back with a 6-0 run, and the teams traded leads on each of the next three possessions. Tech stretched the lead to seven at 47-40 with 10:55 to play, but would chip it down to two at 51-49, and after Tech took a five-point lead, Dixon hit a corner three to cut it back to two with 4:22 to play.

But Clemson missed its next four field goal attempts and turned it over twice in the next three minutes, allowing the Jackets to stretch the lead to nine. Dunn got a hoop back, but set the final margin at 63=54 in favor of Georgia Tech.

Clemson returns to action on Friday at Virginia Tech in a televised contest from Blacksburg, before heading to Miami for a date with the nationally-ranked Hurricanes.

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