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Dec 03, 2018

Tiger Talk: Clemson Stays Aggressive in Win over Belmont

Be the more confident, more aggressive team. That is what head coach Amanda Butler tells her team at practice, in film and during games. And that is what led the Clemson Tigers to a 65-62 victory over the Belmont Bruins, Sunday afternoon at Littlejohn Coliseum.

A sharpshooting NCAA Tournament team from a season ago, Belmont lives and dies by the three-ball, as was the case on Sunday. As such, it was imperative that Clemson play aggressive defense to guard the 3-point arc if they wanted to emerge victorious.

The Tigers executed the game plan with precision, holding Belmont’s top two leading scorers to just nine combined points, with four of those nine points coming at the charity stripe. Bruins’ star Darby Maggard, who was averaging 16.7 points per game heading into the contest, was swallowed up by the Clemson defense, going 0-for-10 from the field.

“I'm really proud of our execution on [Belmont's] final shot," said head coach Amanda Butler. "We practice defending that shot every day, and we defended it perfectly. Our kids showed great confidence and pulled it out at the end.”

Clemson won the battle in the backcourt, forcing the Bruins into 19 turnovers, the most by the team from Nashville this season. Senior Danielle Edwards led the Tigers with five steals on the night, while the team as a whole notched 11 swipes, marking the sixth time this season that Clemson has posted double-figure steals.

The aggressiveness of the team was not limited to the defensive side of the ball as the Tigers continued to assert their dominance in the paint. Clemson totaled 36 points in the paint with eight of those points coming on the fast break.

The Tigers were particularly dominant in the waning minutes of the first half, going on a 13-0 run in the final three minutes to take a 33-20 lead into the intermission. Clemson was 6-of-7 during the run, capped by an old-fashioned 3-point play by Danielle Edwards to close out the quarter.

The statistic that best demonstrated the Tigers’ gritty play on offense was the six and-one opportunities that Clemson drew in the game. Four different Tigers showed their ability to finish under duress with Edwards pacing Clemson with three 3-point plays, including the aforementioned basket before halftime.


Clemson looks to keep its foot on the gas when they host High Point for a midweek matchup on Wednesday, Dec. 5. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. with the game airing on ACC Network Extra.

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