CLEMSON, S.C. — In their final home contest of the 2019-20 regular season, the Clemson Tigers fell to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Littlejohn Coliseum on Sunday. The Tigers challenged the Yellow Jackets in the second half, but Georgia Tech came away with a 56-44 win.
Clemson (7-22, 3-15) shot 39.6 from the field, and Georgia Tech (19-10, 9-9) finished with a shooting percentage of 42.4. The Tigers amassed 26 points in the paint and 17 points off the bench. Georgia Tech pulled down 34 rebounds and tabbed 13 assists. In addition, Clemson notched 10 points off 10 Georgia Tech turnovers.
Playing on Senior Day, senior forward Kobi Thornton led the Tigers in scoring, tallying 11 points by going 5-for-12 from the floor and 1-for-2 at the charity stripe. Thornton surpassed Clemson legend Amy Geren on Clemson’s all-time scoring list, moving into 13th place. She currently has 1,405 points to her name. Shania Meertens chipped in eight points and matched her season-high rebounding mark with six boards. Nique Cherry added seven points and six rebounds off the bench. Also of note, senior guard Chyna Cotton played solid defense and corralled two boards. Georgia Tech’s Lotta-Maj Lahtinen recorded 18 points, 12 rebounds and four assists.
In the first half, the Tigers completed a couple of impressive 3-point plays. Cherry made a layup while being fouled and sank the ensuing free throw. Later, Thornton knocked down a jumper while absorbing contact and completed the 3-point play at the free throw line. The Yellow Jackets led 13-9 through one quarter of play and sported a 27-21 advantage at halftime.
Clemson outscored Georgia Tech 12-10 in the third quarter, a period that saw Meertens pull off a couple of impressive drives to the basket and an alley-oop pass to Danae McNeal. Heading into the fourth quarter, the Yellow Jackets led 37-33, but the Tigers were able to erase their deficit and take their first lead of the afternoon on a 3-pointer by Kaylee Sticker with 4:45 remaining. However, Georgia Tech closed out the game on a 13-0 run and won 56-44.
The Tigers will now set their sights on the ACC Tournament, which is scheduled to take place March 4-8 at Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C. Clemson is the No. 14 seed for the tournament and will open tournament play in a contest against No. 11-seeded Miami (15-14, 7-11) on Wednesday, March 4, at 6:30 p.m. The Hurricanes and the Tigers met twice in the regular season, and Miami won both matchups. Wednesday’s game will air on a regional sports network (RSN).
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