Nov. 3, 2008
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CLEMSON, SC – Juniors Lele Hardy and April Parker turned in solid performances on Monday night as the Clemson women’s basketball team defeated Peach State Elite, 79-67, in an exhibition contest at Littlejohn Coliseum.
“I thought we had a pretty good first effort tonight,” said Clemson Head Coach Cristy McKinney. “We saw some positives tonight, but we definitely need to improve defensively.”
Hardy scored 20 on 8-for-15 shooting while also pulling down eight rebounds and handing out a team-high six assists. Parker then recorded a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Sophomore Kirstyn Wright also showed significant improvement from her rookie season, knocking down a pair of three-pointers to total 13 points with five assists, five rebounds and four steals.
“April was our most consistent post player tonight, and I thought Lele and Kirstyn played well on the perimeter,” McKinney added.
Red-shirt freshman Bryelle Smith hit double figures as well with 11 points off the bench for the Lady Tigers. The Cary, NC native played 22 minutes and was 3-for-4 from the field in her first game back from a season-ending knee injury in Clemson’s first game of 2007-08.
Four other rookies saw action on Monday night, led by center Lindsay Welker, who had been sidelined for much of the preseason with an injury, played six minutes. Guard Morgan McMinn also saw six minutes of action in the contest.
“Our freshmen played like freshmen,” commented McKinney, “but they will get better.”
The Lady Tigers used a 17-4 run midway through the second half to open up a 70-51 advantage. They held Peach State Elite scoreless for nearly seven minutes, while six different Clemson players scored during the stretch. Peach State Elite cut the lead to eight after Dani Wright completed a three-point play for the 75-67 margin with 57 seconds remaining. Smith then converted a pair of free throws and Jasmine Tate hit her first field goal of the game to secure the Lady Tiger victory.
Clemson opened the game on a 13-3 run and held a 49-36 lead at the halftime break.
Alisha Tathum, who played a the University of Massachusetts, led Peach State Elite with 21 points, while former Lady Tiger D’Lesha Lloyd played 16 minutes for the exhibition traveling squad.
Clemson will kick off the 2008-09 season on Friday, Nov. 14 in Greenville, SC as the Lady Tigers take on the Furman Paladins at Timmons Arena. The match is scheduled to begin at 7:00 pm. Clemson’s home opener will be on Sunday, Nov. 16 against Presbyterian College.
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