Clemson falls to Syracuse in defensive battle
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Clemson was unable to collect a win inside the Carrier Dome on Thursday, as the Tigers fell to Syracuse by a final tally of 59-46.
On the evening, Clemson (7-19, 3-12) shot 44.2 percent from the field while Syracuse (14-11, 8-6) finished with a shooting percentage of 32.8. The Orange made the most of its 24 offensive rebounds, though, recording 13 second-chance points and 30 points in the paint. The Tigers pulled down 34 total rebounds, sank a trio of 3-pointers and tabbed six blocks.
Kobi Thornton led the Tigers with 12 points on 6-of-15 shooting and also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. Destiny Thomas registered seven points, four boards and three assists, and Kendall Spray netted a pair of treys in her 8-point showing. With three blocks on the night, Tylar Bennett moved into fourth place on Clemson’s all-time blocks leaderboard. Syracuse’s Kiara Lewis scored a game-high 17 points.
Syracuse controlled the first quarter, leading 24-11 through one quarter of play. However, the Tigers responded with a 9-0 run in the second quarter, with the Orange not scoring its first points of the second period until the 2:49 mark. Clemson held Syracuse to four points in the second quarter, which is tied for the fewest points allowed by the Tigers in any period this season. Despite shooting a solid 47.4 percent from the field in the first half, the Tigers trailed 28-22 at halftime.
Clemson continued to fare well in its comeback attempt early in the third quarter, with the Tigers eventually taking their first lead of the game with 7:14 remaining in the third. The Orange offense came alive after that, though, and Syracuse outscored Clemson 20-6 to close out the third quarter after trailing for the first time. A defense-oriented fourth quarter saw both teams score a modest seven points apiece. In the end, Syracuse earned a 59-46 win over Clemson.
Clemson will remain on the road for its next contest. Following a weeklong layoff, the Tigers will square off against the No. 17/18 Florida State Seminoles (20-5, 9-5) at the Donald L. Tucker Center on Thursday, Feb. 27. The ACC matchup in Tallahassee, Fla., is scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m. and air on a regional sports network (RSN).