Clemson women close non-league play with 84-37 road rout of NJIT

Nikki Dixon led Tigers with 24 points

Women's Basketball - Nikki Dixon

Photo by Mark Crammer

Women's Basketball - Nikki Dixon

NEWARK, NJ - The Clemson women’s basketball team closed non-conference play with a complete effort, routing New Jersey Institute of Technology, 84-37, at the Fleisher Athletic Center on Thursday.

Clemson (8-6) registered its fifth-largest margin of victory in a road game in school history, and finished non-conference play with a winning record for the first time since 2009-10.

The Tigers forced 26 Highlander (4-13) turnovers on a season-high 12 steals, and converted them to the tune of 31 points.

Point guard Chelsea Lindsay had a career-night in her all-around game, as she finished with 11 points, eight assists, five steals, and no turnovers in 35 minutes. Junior Nikki Dixon had a game-high 24 points on 10-13 shooting, but went just 4-11 from the line. Six of Dixon’s ten field goals (which were a career and team season high) drew fouls.

Kelly Gramlich responded from a tough outing against Middle Tennessee to score 14 points on 5-9 from the floor, including 4-8 from behind the arc.

Clemson led, 43-17 at the break and led by double-digits for the final 29:50 of game time.

Clemson coach Audra Smith

“The best way to get over a big loss is with a big win, and I’m very pleased with how we responded. In all the film we saw, we didn’t see anyone pressure them full-court, but I felt like we could jump on them early with some pressure and score in transition.

"I can’t say enough about Nikki Dixon - she’s really getting it going. We told her that all she needs to do is run and she’ll get baskets, and she started to do that and attack the rim in transition. We’re happy to see Jordan (Gaillard) make some shots and some good post-ups.

"NJIT had been playing well. In their last game, they were up 18 on VCU at one point. I told them that they cannot look at their record and take them for granted. We did a good job of defending the three-point line and defending the shots they wanted to take."

Player Notes

• Nikki Dixon had 15 points in the 1st half on 6-6 FG, but went just 3-8 from the line in the period; She finished with 24 points, one shy of a career high, on 10-13 shooting to go with five assists, three steals, and no turnovers. She has led Clemson in scoring for three straight games, and is averaging 19.7 ppg during the span.

• Dixon was fouled on six of her 10 field goal makes, but went just 4-11 from the line.

• Charmaine Tay had 6 points and 5 rebounds playing less than 10 minutes from her hometown of Irvington, NJ.

• Chelsea Lindsay had a career-high 5 steals; Her previous best was 4, which she accomplished in her first game of her freshman season.

• Quinyotta Pettaway finished with 9 rebounds, giving her 579 for her career. She moved past Jasmine Tate for 12th in school history.

• Pettaway also tallied her 97th career block, moving her alone into tenth in school history

• She also added 11 points, one shy of tying a career-high, and also tied a career-high with 8 assists, the most by any Clemson player this season.

• Jordan Gaillard finished with a career-high 8 points (3-3 FG), including a pair of three-point goals in 14 minutes.

Team Notes

• Clemson finished nonconference play with an 8-6 record, its first winning mark since the 2009-10 season.

• The 47-point margin of victory is the fifth-highest in school history in a road game, and the most since a 77-30 win at Furman on Dec. 6, 1995.

• Clemson held NJIT to 37 points, the fewest allowed on the season, and fewest since holding Virginia Tech to 37 on Jan. 31, 2013.

• Every player scored at least one field goal in the first half for the Tigers, the first time this season that has occurred in any half.

• The Clemson defense had 10 steals in the first half, which tied the season-high for a game, set against Middle Tennessee last time out. They finished with 12 for the game overall.

• The Tigers had 35 made field goals, a season-high, and shot .565, the second-best shooting game of the year.

• Clemson’s 43 points in the 1st half were the third-most in a half this season (have tallied 46 twice).

• The 17 points allowed in the 1st half are the second-fewest in a game this season (14 in 2nd half vs. UNF).

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