CLEMSON, S.C. – Nikki Dixon led five players in double-figures as Clemson (4-5) took down Jim Davis’ Tennessee Tech (1-6) club, 76-61, in Littlejohn Coliseum on Saturday. Clemson went on a 15-0 run inside the last five minutes and held TTU to 0-7 from the floor during the stretch to hold on for the win and snap a four-game losing streak.
Audra Smith presented Davis with a framed tie prior to the game on Alumni Night, recognizing the coach’s career Clemson’s head coach from 1987-2005.
Dixon had 26 points (9-14 FG, 1-2 3FG, 7-8 FT) off the bench, the fourth-most by a Clemson player off the bench in school history. She also moved up two spots to 13th in school history in scoring with 1,276 points.
Shelbie Davenport (11 points), Tiffany Lewis (11), Cha’nelle Perry (10) and Francesca Tagliapietra (10) each joined Dixon in double figures, and combined to go 7-14 (.500) from behind the arc. Perry also paced the Tigers with nine rebounds, and freshman MaKayla Johnson had five blocks, the most for any Tiger this season.
Clemson had 49 points total off the bench, 47 coming from the trio of Dixon, Lewis and Tagliapietra.
The Tigers also hit 20-23 (.870) from the line upping the season accuracy to .745, which ranks in the top-five in the conference. Clemson improved to 4-0 at home this season, and has tallied 76 or more points in all of those contests.
Senior point guard Chelsea Lindsay battled foul trouble most of the night, but came up with a few of the biggest momentum swings on consecutive possessions late in the game. With Clemson leading by two, she hit a pair of free throws, and after surrendering what would be TTU’s final field goal at the other end with 5:10 to play, she hit a jumper to put the Tigers up four again. On the next possession, she drove baseline and found Tagliapietra in the corner for a three that all but put the game away.
Clemson will break for finals before returning to action Saturday, Dec. 13, against North Dakota. It will be the second of six straight home games for the Tigers.
Kelly Gramlich’s Take:
“The Lady Tigers effectively pressured the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles into 17 turnovers and scored 23 points off of turnovers. Clemson successfully held the rebounding advantage 33-32 and controlled the boards throughout the contest.
The Lady Tigers were narrowly outscored in the paint 24-22, but made up the difference behind the arc, hitting eight three pointers in the game, the second highest total of the season. Finally, a total team effort secured the victory for the Clemson Lady Tigers as five different players scored in double figures.”
First Half Analysis
Three-year letterwinner and sharpshooter Kelly Gramlich, a graduate student, gives her take on the first half of Clemson’s 37-36 lead against Tennessee Tech
3-Pointers from the First Half:
Balance: Six Lady Tigers scored in the first half with five players contributing 4 or more points and 23 points coming from the bench.
Good from Deep: After hitting only 2 three pointers in their previous contest @ MTSU, the Lady Tigers have hit 4 in the first half alone vs. Tennessee Tech.
Creating Opportunities: Audra Smith’s squad has turned up the pressure, implementing a full court press in the first half. Consequently, the Lady Tigers have forced 10 turnovers and have scored 17 points off turnovers.
First Half Fun Fact:
Nikki Dixon took her 5th charge of the season and 33rd of her career.
Keys to Victory:
The Lady Tigers need to continue to apply defensive pressure, force turnovers and harass the Tennessee Tech backcourt.
The rebounding margin will be critical in this contest and the Lady Tigers need to hold the advantage on the boards as they did in the first half, 15-14.
Clemson outscored the Golden Eagles 16-12 in the first half. If they can maintain the advantage in the paint, the Lady Tigers should obtain their 4th victory of the season.
[View the story “Clemson v. Tennessee Tech (12-06-14)” on Storify]
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