CLEMSON, S.C. — Extending their season-opening winning streak to five games, the Clemson Tigers used a balanced scoring attack in a convincing victory over the College of Charleston Cougars. Three different Tigers scored in double figures on Sunday, and Clemson took care of business at Littlejohn Coliseum, winning 87-65.
The Tigers (5-0) connected on 35 shot attempts, finishing with a shooting percentage of 47.9. Clemson sank seven 3-pointers, with Kendall Spray netting five of them. The Cougars (1-2) made 11 3-point shots of their own and ended up with an overall field goal percentage of 36.5. Despite shooting well from deep, the College of Charleston was outrebounded 53-31 and gave up 25 second-chance points. Clemson forced 19 turnovers and converted them into a grand total of 23 points. In addition, the Tigers racked up 56 points in the paint and also tabbed 32 bench points and 20 assists.
Spray produced one of her signature shooting performances from beyond the arc, knocking down five 3-pointers and finishing with a team-high 17 points to go along with her three assists. Delicia Washington put together a well-rounded showing that included 11 points, five rebounds and four assists. Amari Robinson went a perfect 5-for-5 from the floor en route to tallying with 11 points. She also pulled down three boards. Gabby Elliott recorded eight points, three dimes and a game-high nine rebounds, and Tylar Bennett registered eight points, six boards and four assists. Also of note, Hannah Hank, who grabbed four rebounds, made an impact by drawing three charges on the afternoon.
Kicking the Tigers’ scoring attack off with a three-ball in the first minute of play, Spray found just enough room off a screen to fire up a 3-pointer that provided Clemson with its first points. Not long after that, Hank pulled off a spin move in the lane and knocked down a floater to put the Tigers ahead 10-5. Through one quarter of play, Clemson led 26-20. In the second quarter, Clemson closed out the half on a 14-0 run that featured Danae McNeal fighting through contact on a 3-point play.
Boasting a commanding 53-34 lead at halftime, the Tigers did not let up in the third quarter, extending their run to 24-0 out of the intermission. Spray hit a trey early in the third quarter, which supplied Clemson with a 25-point edge, and the Tigers went on to lead the Cougars 75-49 heading into the fourth quarter. Weronika Hipp drained a three from the corner in the final period, and Clemson cruised to an 87-65 victory to close out non-conference play.
The Tigers will be back in action on Thursday, Dec. 10, for their ACC opener against the Virginia Cavaliers (0-3). Scheduled to tip off at 3 p.m., the contest at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Va., will air on ACC Network Extra.
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Head Coach Amanda Butler
Opening statement:“It’s nice to be 5-0 heading into conference play. I can get on board with that. We need to work on improving our defensive effort. There are a lot of things we have to turn around and improve before we start ACC play.”
On Tylar Bennett’s performance:“Tylar has built a lot of confidence into her offensive game. She’s become a much more integral part of what we’re doing on offense, instead of being just a rim protector. I’m super proud of her energy and effort. Her best basketball is still ahead of her. She takes great pride in doing her job well.”
On Amari Robinson’s performance:“Amari did a great job of being super efficient. She was in the right place at the right time a lot and capitalized on her second-chance opportunities. She’s a really smart ballplayer. She’s a savvy cutter and does a really good job without the ball of finding ways to get touches. She’s also hard to handle as an offensive rebounder.”