Feb. 25, 2007
Photo Gallery (courtesy of Vern Verna/ai Wire)
CLEMSON, SC – Tasha Taylor drained a three-pointer as time expired, but the Lady Tigers fell one point shy of Virginia on Senior Day at Littlejohn Coliseum on Sunday afternoon. The Cavaliers posted the 86-85 victory as both teams concluded their regular season. The schools will now await Sunday night’s announcement of seeds for the upcoming ACC Tournament.
Clemson fell to 12-17 overall record with a 4-10 mark against ACC opponents while Virginia finished at 16-13 overall and 5-9 in the conference.
Sunday’s game featured two of the league’s most talented freshmen as Cavalier rookie Monica Wright, who leads ACC freshmen in scoring, posted 24 points with eight rebounds in the contest. Meanwhile, Lady Tiger Lele Hardy recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 boards, improving upon her league-best rebounding average. She also tallied two steals, which moved her into a tie for fourth place for freshmen in conference history with 95 on the year. Hardy joined a list that includes the likes of Marion Jones, Alana Beard and Dawn Staley.
D’Lesha Lloyd led the Clemson team with 18 points, while Taylor added 15 and Susan Yenser posted 13 in the effort.
Virginia’s Lyndra Littles led all scorers with 27 points, as she was 9-for-9 from the free throw line, and also collected 12 rebouns.
The Lady Tigers jumped out to an early lead as they held the Cavaliers to just eight points in the first 5:30. Virginia tied the score at 17 apiece with 10:33 remaining, but Clemson scored the next seven points and extended its advantage to as many as 11 points in the next five minutes. However, the Cavs fought back with their own 17-6 run to whittle away the Lady Tigers’ lead and tie the score at 40-40 as the first half came to a close.
Virginia took advantage of Clemson’s slow start to the second half, gaining a six-point advantage as Sharnee Zoll found Wright for a back-door lay-up at the 15:44 mark. Clemson’s offense then came alive as a Taylor jumper in the paint put the Lady Tigers on top by one at 57-56 with 14:07 left. The score remained tight throughout the last 10 minutes and the teams were tied at 80 at the 1:54 point.
Lloyd gave the lead to Clemson with a lay-up at 1:17, but the Cavaliers’ Brenna McGuire responded with a deep three-pointer from the wing to regain the advantage for Virginia. Zoll then made it a four-point game at 86-82 as she converted two free throws with 15 seconds left. Taylor’s desperation shot was just able to cut the deficit to one as time ran out on the Lady Tigers.
Clemson will begin play in the 2007 ACC Tournament on Thursday, Mar. 1. Pairings will be announced later this evening (Sunday).
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