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Feb 25, 2019

Tiger Talk: Veteran Performances on Senior Day

For four Tigers, Sunday’s game was the last time they would ever play in front of the home crowd at Littlejohn Coliseum. With an added incentive to win, Clemson got off to a hot start against the Virginia Tech Hokies, going on a quick 10-4 run to open the contest.

However, the Hokies stormed back in the second frame, outscoring the Tigers 25-14 to take a 9-point lead into the half.

The message at halftime was simple: this is YOUR senior day. Go out there and earn it.

And they did. Clemson came out of the locker room with a determination and grit that they have been known for all season. The senior class, who accounted for 39 points in the game, took over the in the final 20 minutes, slowly inching the Tigers back into the ballgame.

“Heart, guts, toughness. There’s a tremendous resilient spirit in the senior class,” said head coach Amanda Butler. “I’m so happy for them that they get to experience what it feels like to get big wins against good opponents in February. This is what they deserve.”

Twenty-nine of the seniors’ 39 points came in the second half as Aliyah Collier, Danielle Edwards and Simone Westbrook all tallied nine points after halftime. Keniece Purvis got in on the scoring as well, finishing the night with three points and a steal.

Edwards was dominant on both sides of the ball, tallying six steals and a career-high nine assists against the Hokies. Collier and Purvis got in on the steal action with a steal apiece, contributing to Clemson’s 11 forced Virginia Tech turnovers in the second half.

In addition to the senior leadership down the stretch, junior Kobi Thornton sparked the Clemson offense with 13 points and nine rebounds in the second half alone. The forward would finish the night with 23 points and 10 boards for her eighth double-double this season.

It was only fitting that a clutch 3-pointer and a pair of free throws by Edwards put the nail in the coffin and sealed Clemson’s victory.

 

“I can’t say enough about the senior class,” said assistant coach Shimmy Gray-Miller. “It’s the ultimate compliment to say that seniors played seniors, and that’s what they did today. From April until today, they’ve led us the way that seniors should.”

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