CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson was unable to pick up a win on Thursday, as the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets defeated the Tigers 67-55. The contest marked Clemson’s first home loss of the season, with the Tigers’ record at Littlejohn Coliseum now standing at 6-1.
In the shooting department, Clemson (8-3, 3-3) recorded a field goal percentage of 34.5 and made four 3-pointers, and Georgia Tech (5-3, 3-2) tallied a field goal percentage of 40.6 and netted eight 3-pointers. The Tigers won the rebounding battle 45-38 and scored 30 points in the paint. Also of note, Clemson recorded 16 bench points and 11 assists.
Gabby Elliott shot well from the floor, making 7-of-13 shots and going 3-for-3 from beyond the arc. She led all players with 19 points and grabbed four rebounds, as well. Delicia Washington registered her first double-double as a Tiger by putting up 10 points and hauling in a team-leading 11 boards. Tylar Bennett tabbed six points and nine rebounds and blocked four shots. Nique Cherry contributed off the bench by scoring nine points and coming up with eight rebounds. For Georgia Tech, Lotta-Maj Lahtinen led her team with 15 points, and Lorela Cubaj, who scored 14 points, snagged a game-high 20 rebounds.
The Tigers jumped out to a 12-3 lead, with Elliott knocking down a couple of threes en route to Clemson going up by nine at the 5:16 mark of the first quarter. Georgia Tech was able to close the gap and eventually take the lead before Tylar Bennett made a go-ahead jumper with one second remaining in the period. Clemson led 18-17 heading into the second quarter but trailed 39-30 at halftime. Nique Cherry highlighted the Tigers’ second-quarter showing by snatching a hard-fought offensive rebound away from a defender and then connecting on a layup.
The Yellow Jackets controlled the third quarter 15-8 and sported a 54-38 advantage at the start of the fourth quarter. In the final period, the Tigers produced a 7-0 run, which was capped off by an Elliott trey. Georgia Tech maintained its lead, though, and earned a 67-55 win.
Clemson will next head to Louisville, Ky., for a matchup against No. 2 Louisville (9-0, 2-0). Set to take place at the KFC Yum! Center on Sunday, Jan. 10, the contest between the Tigers and the Cardinals is scheduled to tip off at 2 p.m. and air on ACC Network Extra.
Get the latest news on all things Clemson women’s basketball by following us on Twitter (@ClemsonWBB), Facebook (/ClemsonTigersWBB) and Instagram (@ClemsonWBB).
Head Coach Amanda Butler
Opening statement:“We’re not doing a very good with our coverages. We had a game plan that we thought would be really disruptive. We just didn’t execute it very well. We’re tying to figure out some of those things. Give Georgia Tech a ton of credit. They played the game they wanted to play, and our shot selection suffered because of it.”
On her takeaways from the game:“We did a decent job in transition defense and pressing segments. Tylar’s [Bennett] rebounding was better that it’s been. Delicia [Washington] didn’t have good shot selection, but she fought on the boards. We continued fighting, despite some breakdowns. We did a great job of boxing out in the first half, but that didn’t carry over into the second half. We’ve got to have that first-half effort and energy the whole game. Our depth is gong to continue to serve us. We’ve just got to commit to ‘Plan A.'”
On Nique Cherry’s performance:“I love how much Nique is fighting. That’s the defining characteristic of her game, and that’s why we wanted her to be a Tiger. That type of hustle and heart is going to serve us in the near future. She really played like a senior tonight and gave us great minutes.”