by Clemson Athletic Communications
CLEMSON, S.C. — The Clemson Tigers (15-9, 6-5) came up short, 70-64, in a hard-fought conference matchup against the North Carolina Tar Heels (15-10, 6-5) at Littlejohn Coliseum on Sunday. Senior Danielle Edwards was the highlight of the afternoon for the Tigers, pouring in a season-high 26 points for her fourth 20-point outing of the year.
“I’ve got to give North Carolina a lot of credit; they played with a lot of composure and did what they wanted to do in transition,” said head coach Amanda Butler. “We played really hard but our focus could’ve been better and we didn’t execute out of timeouts.”
For the second straight game, Clemson shot above 50 percent from distance, knocking down 7-of-13 deep balls. The Tigers were especially dominant on the glass, outrebounding the Tar Heels, 46-34. The 46 rebounds hauled in by the Tigers marked their highest rebounding total since early December.
Edwards produced her best showing of conference play, matching her career-high with five made threes and shooting 10-of-16 from the field. Guard Simone Westbrook provided a well-balanced effort for the Tigers with 17 points and six assists, while center Tylar Bennett proved to be Clemson's top defender with five blocks and 10 rebounds in the outing.
Coming out of the locker room with a narrow 33-32 lead, the Tigers produced a quick 10-2 run to go up 40-32 with 8:08 left in the period. However, the Tar Heels responded with an 11-2 run of their own soon afterward to go up 50-49 late in the third. Connecting on several critical jumpers down the stretch, the Tar Heels hung on to emerge with the 70-64 victory.
During the intermission, the late Barbara Kennedy-Dixon was honored, with the Clemson legend's family on hand to receive an outpouring of support.
The Tigers stay at home to battle the No. 24/19 Florida State Seminoles (20-4, 8-3) on Thursday, Feb. 14 for Clemson’s annual Play4Kay game. The ACC duel will tip off at 7 p.m. and is set to air on ACC Network Extra.