CHAPEL HILL, NC - The Clemson women’s basketball team fell to No. 9/9 North Carolina (15-3, 3-1 ACC) 78-55 at Carmichael Arena on Thursday night. Nikki Dixon scored 21 points to lead Clemson (9-9, 1-3 ACC), which was denied a second consecutive win on the Tar Heels’ home floor.
Clemson jumped out to a 13-2 lead over the first five minutes of the contest before the high-octane North Carolina offense struck back with a 18-3 run after Dixon was forced to the bench with her second personal foul.
The Tar Heels went into halftime with a 38-26 lead, and opened the second half with a 20-6 run over the first six minutes. to stretch the lead to 58-32.
For Dixon, it continued her strong scoring run, as she now has 20 or more points in five of the last six games. She entered the game as the reigning ACC Player of the Week after averaging 27.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in two games last week. On Thursday, she was out-dueled by longtime friend Diamond DeShields, who had 24 points for the Tar Heels.
Charmaine Tay had eight of her 10 points in the first half, and was the only other Tigers to score in double-figures. Sade Chatman added eight points, just one off her career high, and Jordan Gaillard had six points on 2-2 shooting behind the arc.
The Tigers will play at home on Monday night against Wake Forest in a contest televised on RSN. Tip is schedule for 7:05 pm at Littlejohn Coliseum.
Clemson coach Audra Smith
“First and foremost, North Carolina is a very talented and well-balanced team from the inside-out. For us, I felt like we started off the game playing well, staying within the game plan, attacking the basket and making shots. I felt like when North Carolina started to make their run and come back, we folded a little bit, and took a step back, instead of doing the things that got us the lead.
“Being down just 12 at half, I felt that we still had a lot of life and opportunity, but we took some ill-advised shots and turned the ball over, and they turned those into made shots at the other game in transition, and there-in lies the game.”
Nikki Dixon tallied her 5th and 6th charges of the season and 21st and 22nd of her career; She is the season and active career leader for the Tigers.
Dixon had 10 points in the first half and 21 in the game. It was the 49th time in her career finishing in double-figures, and 10th time this season. She finished with 20 or more points for the sixth time this season and 12th time in her career. It was also the fifth time in the last six outings with 20 or more and third time in four ACC games
Charmaine Tay scored 10 points in the game, the 7th time this season she finished in double figure scoring.
Jordan Gaillard hit a pair of three-pointers in a game for the second time this season. She finished with