CLEMSON, S.C. — Coming up clutch down the stretch, the Clemson Tigers prevailed in overtime versus the Pittsburgh Panthers on Thursday. Clemson held Pitt scoreless for the final 3:36 of regulation and proceeded to dominate overtime, coming away with a 75-67 victory at Littlejohn Coliseum.
Defensively, Clemson (6-11, 2-4 ACC) was solid on the evening, as Pittsburgh (3-13, 0-5 ACC) was limited to a shooting percentage of 28.2 and forced into committing 18 turnovers. In turn, the Tigers tallied 18 points off the 18 turnovers and also racked up 32 points in the paint. Both teams were solid at the free throw line, with the Tigers going 19-of-24 on free throws and the Panthers going 15-of-21 at the charity stripe, and Pitt pulled down 27 offensive rebounds. However, Clemson shot 39.4 percent from the floor and did enough to pull out the win.
Putting together one of the best games of her freshman campaign, Amari Robinson led the way for Clemson with a game-high 20 points, marking the second game of the season in which she scored at least 20 points. Robinson was superb on free throws, as she went 12-of-13, and also corralled nine rebounds. Kobi Thornton, who came up clutch in crunch time for the Tigers, scored 16 points to go along with her six boards. Also of note, Kendall Spray recorded 14 points, six rebounds and four assists, and Hannah Hank registered 12 points and five rebounds. Gabbie Green led Pitt with 17 points and seven rebounds.
In the first quarter, Clemson manufactured a 9-0 run over a span of 3:07 en route to going up 20-10 for its largest lead of the game. The Tigers led 20-12 through one quarter of play, with Spray accounting for 10 of those 20 points, but the Panthers outscored Clemson 24-16 in the second quarter, resulting in a 36-36 deadlock at halftime. The second half got off to an auspicious start for Clemson, as Hank opened the third quarter with a steal and an ensuing go-ahead layup. Pitt went on to produce a 6-0 run, however, that culminated in the Panthers leading 47-42 at the 7:29 mark.
Clemson trailed 56-53 entering the fourth quarter, but a defensive battle in the final minutes of regulation worked in Clemson’s favor. The Tigers held the Panthers scoreless for the final 3:36 of the fourth quarter, with Thornton tying the game up at 63-63 on a clutch jumper at the 1:11 mark and Chyna Cotton getting a steal with 24 seconds remaining. Clemson controlled the pace of overtime and outscored Pitt 12-4 in the extra period. Shania Meertens knocked down a clutch 3-pointer that provided Clemson with a 67-65 advantage with 3:38 remaining, and the Tigers led the rest of the way.
With their 75-67 overtime triumph in the books, the Tigers will remain home for their next matchup, as Clemson is slated to play the Duke Blue Devils (9-8, 3-3) at Littlejohn on Sunday, Jan. 19. The game is scheduled to tip off at noon and will air on ESPNU.
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