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Hardy Climbs Charts, but Tigers Fall to No. 21 Georgia Tech

Feb. 8, 2010

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CLEMSON, SC – Lele Hardy had 13 points and a season-high seven steals, but Clemson was unable to rally against 21st-ranked Georgia Tech on Monday night. The Yellow Jackets snapped a two-game ACC home winning streak, winning 68-53, and moved to 20-5 overall and 6-3 in conference. Clemson drops to 11-14 and 2-7 in league play.

With her seven takeaways, Hardy moved into a tie for sixth on the ACC’s all-time steals list with 375 in her career. She needs just seven more to enter the NCAA’s all-time top 25 in that category. She entered Monday’s game seventh nationally at 3.38 steals per game, and finished the night at a 3.52 mark.

The senior also had eight rebounds, pulling her within four of the 900 career milestone. She also moved into seventh in school history scoring, and now has 1,468 points in her career. Hardy entered the game second in the league in rebounding, third in steals, and eighth in scoring.

Clemson and Georgia Tech combined for 50 turnovers, with each team registering 25. Clemson won the battle on the boards, pulling in 38 to Tech’s 37. The Tigers also had 19 offensive rebounds, but were only able to convert those for six second-chance points.

“We played them pretty tough defense, but they just played tougher than we did,” said Cristy McKinney. “They turned us over and were able to capitalize. We turned them over and just couldn’t capitalize.”

Georgia Tech, Clemson’s eighth ranked opponent of the season, went into halftime with a 33-22 lead. The Tigers struggled from the floor, shooting 8-29 and 0-4 from behind the arc.

Clemson came out in the second half and closed the gap to 37-30 with 15:45 remaining, but Tech responded with a 14-5 run to take a 51-35 lead. Clemson answered back again with a 9-2 run, pulling within nine, but could get no closer, as Georgia Tech forced two straight turnovers and pulled away, winning 68-53.

April Parker had 10 points and seven boards, also notching a blocked shot. Clemson finished with eight blocks on the night, and came into the game ranked third in the ACC in that category. Lindsey Mason had three, while Hardy had two, giving her a career-high total of 14 on the season.

Brigitte Ardossi had a solid game for the Yellow Jackets, posting 17 points, 13 rebounds, four steals, and a pair of blocks in the win. Deja Foster added 16 points and Sasha Goodlett 16 in the victory, which gives Tech 20 or more wins in four straight seasons.

Clemson will hit the road for two straight games, playing at nationally-ranked Florida State on Thursday and traveling to Maryland for a Sunday matinee.

The Tigers will return home on Feb. 18 as they take on Miami in a televised, Pink Zone contest that starts at 7:00 pm.