Jan. 16, 2011
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CLEMSON, SC – Playing their second ranked opponent in less than 48 hours, the Lady Tigers (8-11, 1-3 ACC) put a scare into #13 Maryland, but the Terrapins (14-3, 1-2 ACC) pulled away for a 80-59 win. A 10-2 run midway through the second half turned a 59-50 lead into a 69-52 advantage for visiting Maryland.
“I thought we came out and fought,” said Head Coach Itoro Coleman. “It was definitely a better start than we had in our last game. We were a lot more focused and were able to get some good looks.”
Indeed, the Tigers came out hot, and after Maryland took a 5-0 lead, Coleman used a timeout to refocus the effort. It paid off as Kirstyn Wright hit four threes on the way to Clemson grabbing a 20-16 lead with 11:27 to play in the first half. Clemson was able to stretch the lead to as many as six at 29-23 with 5:49 to play on a pair of Kelia Shelton free throws.
Wright would finish with a team-high 16 points, including 4-6 from behind the arc. Shaniqua Pauldo had 12 points on 5-11 shooting, and Lindsey Mason had eight points, five boards, and three blocks in the game.
Maryland responded with a 10-0 run, taking a 33-29 lead, which they would not relinquish, going into the half with a 38-34 lead.
Alyssa Thomas carried the Terps for much of the half, registering 15 points and seven rebounds in the frame on her way to a game-high 21 points in the contest. She also finished with nine rebounds and seven steals. Tianna Hawkins had 19 points and ten rebounds as well for the Terrapins.
Clemson continued to fight with the ranked Terrapins, as Sthefany Thomas finally shook free for her first field goal of the game with 17:41 to play, cutting the deficit to 46-42. But Maryland again went on an 11-0 run, as Clemson missed its seven field goal tries during the stretch.
“We got a little stagnant on offense, and that’s fine because we have plays to relieve some of the pressure. We just weren’t able to get in it. I love the way that we competed,” said Coleman. “Even though we were making our mistakes, we didn’t hang our heads. We kept fighting.”
Maryland led by as many as 15 before Clemson again cut the lead down to nine with 10:35 to play, but the Tigers could get no closer, as Maryland used its size to grab 13 of the final 15 rebounds, turning a 35-30 deficit into a 43-37 advantage.
The Terrapins got to the line 38 times, converting on 23 of them, while Clemson hit 8-16 from the stripe. Foul trouble plagued the Tigers for much of the contest, as six Clemson players finished with three or more personal fouls.
Clemson also turned the ball over 25 times in the game, leading to 27 Maryland points.
A major bright spot for the Tigers was the play of freshman guard Chancie Dunn, who was a great spark off the bench in the first half, and her strong play dictated her playing 16 minutes in the second half. Overall, Dunn had six points on 3-5 shooting, and pulled down five rebounds, and had four assists against no turnovers in a career-high 25 minutes.
Clemson will have a few days off before playing #15/#21 Florida State in a televised contest on Jan. 20. It will be the six ranked opponent in the last nine game for the Tigers.
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