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No. 5/6 Notre Dame Tops Clemson

No. 5/6 Notre Dame Tops Clemson

CLEMSON, S.C.– Senior Nikki Dixon moved alone into ninth place on Clemson’s all-time scoring list, but the women’s basketball team fell to No. 5/6 Notre Dame, 74-36, in Littlejohn Coliseum Saturday evening. The Tigers have dropped six in a row, falling to 9-11, (1-6 in the ACC), while the Irish improve to 19-2 overall and 6-1 in conference play. Notre Dame now leads the short all-time series, 2-0, which began last season.

The Tigers hit the game’s first field goal and led for the first two minutes of the contest, before falling victim to a 10-0 run and a 16-0 run sandwiched around a pair of Dixon field goals. After trailing by as many as 31 in the half, the Tigers ended the frame on a 9-2 run to cut the score to 44-20. Freshman Cha’nelle Perry scored six points during the stretch including a layup and a three-pointer.

All-American Jewell Loyd had 17 points to lead all players for Notre Dame, while Brianna Turner had 15 points and ten rebounds.

Dixon led the Tigers with 15 points (6-17 FG, 3-4 FT) and moved in to sole possession of ninth place in Clemson history passing Bobbie Mims, who had 1,448 points from 1976-80. Dixon has now scored 1,451 points in her career in orange and white. Dixon also collected a team-high six rebounds, and currently leads the team in scoring (15.5 ppg), rebounding (5.9 rpg) and steals (29). She also took three charges in the game, upping her season total to 12 and career total to 40.

Perry added eight points and four boards, but no other Tiger had more than five points in the game.

The Tigers struggled to rebound against the bigger Irish as Notre Dame won the rebounding margin 46-26. The 20 Irish offensive rebounds were converted to 22 second chance points. Clemson hit just 3-12 (.250) from behind the arc, including an 0-5 mark in the second half. The Tigers finished with seven field goals in the paint, instead settling primarily for jumpers against the Irish.

Clemson treks to Wake Forest Thursday to face the Demon Deacons in a 7 p.m. contest that will be televised by RSN.

Head Coach Audra Smith Quotes:

“It started off a little back and forth and then when they went on their run and we got in a hole we got a little fear in our eyes. I tell them that the biggest thing for us is we have to keep fighting, and we did. I have to give credit to Nikki Dixon, she was fighting for her life. I had to tell the rest of them that they have to match her energy. We have a lot of work to do. I was telling these guys we still can defend, we still can communicate, we can still rebound. Theres some areas we can try to continue to work on day in and day out and continue to get better. I was telling these girls that, ‘hey, we’re down, but we still can work on the areas that we need to.'”

Individual Notes:

  • Nikki Dixon took three charges in the contest. She has taken 12 charges this season and 40 in her career.
  • Dixon tallied 15 points (6-17 fg, 3-4 ft), scoring in double figures for the 18th time this season and 77th time in her career.
  • Dixon is now 9th all time in Clemson history in scoring with 1,451 points.

At the Buzzer with Kelly Gramlich

The #5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish were simply too much for the Clemson Tigers tonight as Notre Dame handled Clemson 74-36 in Littlejohn Coliseum. The Tiger offense was led once again by senior Nikki Dixon, who scored 15 points and pulled down six rebounds. Dixon, an All- ACC candidate, has led Clemson in scoring every single conference contest this season, and is now averaging 15.5 ppg on the year. Furthermore, freshman Cha’Nelle Perry played well in her second action against a top-five opponent, tallying eight points and four rebounds.

What really impressed me about Notre Dame was their size inside and how they consistently moved the ball on offense. The Fighting Irish, who have six players over 6-feet tall, dominated the post play scoring 42 points in the paint and grabbing 46 rebounds. Notre Dame also tallied 19 assists in the game and every player who played, scored. Jewell Loyd, the ACC’s leading scorer, led the Irish offensive attack with 17 points and eight rebounds. The Clemson Tigers need to put this game behind them as they prepare for a battle at Wake Forest on Thursday. Historically, the Tigers tend to play well against the Demon Deacons and won the last contest in Winston Salem 74-64 on January 17, 2013.