Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Gamecocks+

Nov. 19, 2008

Box Score | Quotes | Photo Gallery

Watch the Game video-icon-blue.gif

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina women’s basketball staged a fierce second-half rally but could not push past Clemson in a 52-45 loss in the home opener at Colonial Life Arena Wednesday night. The Gamecocks (0-2) trailed the Tigers (2-1) by 12 points with six minutes left then ratcheted up the defense to spark a 7-0 run to get within five at the 4:18 mark. Clemson did just enough work on the glass to hold on down the stretch for its first win over South Carolina in four tries.

“Defensively, (Clemson) scored 52 points, which is good to hold a team right at 50,” South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley said. “We have that part (of our game) in check. We just need to get better offensively. It’s a lack of leadership from the point guard position, and that’s a work in progress. We saw some good things from our younger players, and they can get better quickly. We need a better balance of them playing better along with our seniors.”

For the second-straight game, the Gamecocks fell behind early as the Tigers had a 13-point lead 6:30 into the game. Carolina chipped away to pull within nine at 19-10 on a Brionna Dickerson layup with 8:48 left in the half. Clemson hit three straight jumpers to push the lead back to 17. Freshmen Tonia Williams and Miranda Tate came off the bench to provide some more offense, and the deficit was again down to nine on Dickerson’s free throw with 1:22 remaining before the break. In the final minute, Tate drove the lane in transition and narrowed the gap to seven heading into halftime.

A handful of Gamecock turnovers helped the Tigers get back to a double-digit lead early in the second half. South Carolina cobbled together a 7-0 run behind more aggression on both ends of the floor, forcing Clemson into turnovers on three straight possessions. Dickerson started the run with a free throw, and Williams added a pair of jump shots to get within six at 31-37. After Williams picked up a steal on the defensive end, C.J. Pace had the Gamecocks within striking distance at 33-37 with a transition layup.

A lapse on the defensive glass allowed the Tigers multiple looks on the next three trips, and they capitalized with a pair of layups and a jump shot to get back to a 10-point margin. The lead grew to 12 on Whitney Hood’s jumper with 6:09 on the clock, but the Gamecocks were not quite finished with the Tigers.

Aggressively driving to the basket, Carolina narrowed the gap to seven points, all on free throws. LaKeisha Sutton extended the run to seven points with a drive through the lane for a layup. It was the last surge for the Gamecocks, however, as missed shots and missed rebounds helped the Tigers hang on for the victory.

Clemson’s Lele Hardy led all scorers with 17 points on 6-of-15 shooting. South Carolina guard Lauren Falohun paced the Gamecocks with a career-high 10 points on 3-of-4 accuracy. Senior Demetress Adams grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds, despite being saddled with foul trouble and playing just 22 minutes.

South Carolina will prepare for Davidson to visit Colonial Life Arena on Mon., Nov. 24, at 7 p.m. before traveling to the Cancun Thanksgiving Tournament to play Ohio in the opening game on Fri., Nov. 28.