Clemson whittled a 12-point second half deficit to four, but ran out of gas late as they fell to South Carolina State (6-2), 67-55, on Sunday in Littlejohn Coliseum. The Lady Tigers (1-7) will have a week off for exams before returning to play next Sunday at 2:00 pm against Radford.
"Any time we got stops, that ignited our fast break,”said head coach Itoro Coleman, who had just seven players at her disposal due to various illnesses and personal reasons. “We were able to get some easy baskets that way. We also got stops in the half court but gave up a rebound, and that's how South Carolina State was able to score.”
After being out-rebounded by Clemson by 32 in last season’s match-up, S.C. State claimed a 42-40 advantage on Sunday, including 18 on the offensive end, which led to 19 second chance points. S.C. State's Paris Alston finished with game-highs of 18 points and 15 rebounds, nine on the offensive end.
“They had 19 second-chance points, and you just can't win many ballgames doing that," said Coleman. "Also, they had 14 fast break points and 26 points off turnovers. Again, we have to get back in transition, and we have to do a better job taking care of the ball."
Jonquel Jones had 17 points and 14 rebounds to lead Clemson, while Nyilah Jamison-Myers scored 16 points (8-12 FG) and had six rebounds and four blocks against her hometown team in her first career start.
For Jones, it was her fourth double-double in eight career games for Clemson, and she set a new scoring high with 17, and matched her rebounding output with 14.
Aisha Turner also made her first start, recording six assists in the first half on her way to seven for the game, despite playing with foul trouble much of the game. She now has a 21:5 assist:turnover ratio on the year.
Kelly Gramlich had 12 points on 5-10 from the floor off the bench in 17 minutes, and also added three rebounds. She has now scored in double-figures in two straight games.
Clemson fell to 13-4 all-time against the Lady Bulldogs, who snapped a three-game skid to the Lady Tigers. It was their first win in Littlejohn Coliseum since 1978, as they improved to 9-2 all-time on Clemson’s home court.
The Bulldogs had 14 points on the fast break to ten for the Lady Tigers. Clemson did win the points in the paint battle, 34-32, but the Bulldogs managed 19 points on jump shots outside the pained area. S.C. State also outscored Clemson from the line, 16-2, as they attempted 25 freebies to just four for the Tigers.
The Bulldogs used an 11-0 run early in the game to take a 16-4 lead seven and a half minutes into the game. Clemson chipped away until they whittled the lead to four at 21-17 on a pair of Jones free throws with 8:17 to play in the half. However, the veteran Bulldogs went on a 13-2 run over the next four minutes, with a Mykala Jones triple closing the run. Jonquel Jones hit a three before halftime to get Clemson to a 36-26 deficit at the break.
Clemson opened the second half with eight of the first ten points to get to within four at 38-34 with 16:23 to play after a pair of Jamison-Myers layups.
Clemson trailed by the same margin, 42-38, with 14:42 to play when the Bulldogs went on a 17-4 run over the next seven and a half minutes, during which they scored on seven straight possessions. Clemson was able to get back to within ten with just less than a minute to play, but the Bulldogs held on for the 67-55 win.