Nikki Dixon scored 25 points and posted nine rebounds to lead the Lady Tigers (1-6) offense. Jonquel Jones added 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Kelly Gramlich scored 13 off the bench. Quinyotta Pettaway and Danaejah Grant each scored 12 points to round out the Clemson players in double-figures.
“We let this one get away from us,” JU head coach Jill Dunn said. “We played well, but had trouble stopping their runs. Our goal is to correct the mistakes quickly because we have another tough test next Saturday.”
Junior Jade Cargill scored 16 points for the Dolphins (3-4) who finished shooting 34.2 percent from the floor (26-76). Freshman Queen Alford recorded her first career double-double with 15 points and 12 boards. Junior Stephanie Edwards had 13 points off the bench in the loss.
The Dolphins trimmed their second-half deficit to 50-44 on an Alford three-pointer at 13:06. Clemson had two three-point plays in the next minute to spark a 13-3 run for a 63-47 advantage (9:32). The Tigers put the game out of reach with a 21-5 stretch to close out their first win.
The Tigers finished the contest shooting better than 50 percent from the floor (50.8, 32-63), three-point line (50, 5-10) and free throw line (69.2, 18-26).
In the first half, an Edwards’ layup helped the Dolphins pull within one, 20-19, with 10 minutes remaining. Gramlich followed with a three-pointer on the next Clemson possession to spark a 12-2 run for a 32-21 advantage (5:39). Alford had a layup to break up the run, but Gramlich nailed another three-pointer to make it a 35-23 lead with less than five minutes left. The Dolphins cut the deficit to 35-29 (3:24) on an Edwards’ three-pointer. Dixon hit three free throws in the final two minutes to give Clemson a 40-31 lead at halftime.
The Dolphins return home Saturday to host USF in Swisher Gymnasium at 1 p.m.