Photo by Pat Radigan
Story by Becca Mann
Clemson ends game on 6-0 spurt to win by a point
An array of small mistakes, two technical fouls and a season-high 26 turnovers slowed the Nebraska women’s basketball team and ultimately allowed Clemson to leave Pinnacle Bank Arena with a 67-66 win in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Thursday night.
“This is a tough loss for our team,” said NU coach Amy Williams. “We want to be able to protect our home court and we didn’t do that at the end. Ultimately we feel like there were a lot of things that went into it but it was a very tough team loss for us.”
The Huskers trailed by four leading into the final quarter but fought to take a five-point lead with three a half minutes left of play. However, Nebraska went scoreless for the remainder of the night and committed turnovers on the four plays following Taylor Kissinger’s final points. Nebraska had two chances in the final minute, but sophomore Hannah Whitish had a jump shot rim out and could not convert a driving layup inside the final 10 seconds.
“We know we’re not going to win very many ball games turning the basketball over 26 times,” Williams said. “Part of that was a credit to their defense but part of that was just us not being ball tough and taking care of the basketball and so we need to do a better job of that.”
Clemson was able to nab 28 points off Nebraska turnovers as well as tally 12 steals. Tiger Danielle Edwards led the team’s scoring effort, accounting for 33 points and going 10-of-10 at the line. From the field, Edwards finished 9-of-15 and added five 3-pointers. Edwards entered the night averaging 8.5 points and shooting 30.4 percent from the floor, and was just 2-of-20 from beyond the arc on the year.
“(Edwards) had a great game today,” Williams said. “She’s one of those good players who when she sees the ball go through the basket, she becomes much more difficult to defend.”
Free throw opportunities pushed Clemson ahead in the end. Tigers head coach Audra Smith said the team’s 22-of-25 at the line was the highest she had seen while at Clemson. Nebraska shot just 12-of-18 at the line.
Four of Clemson’s free throws came from technical fouls assessed to Nebraska’s bench. Williams drew the first but said she was not sure who was responsible for the second.
She said her team would have a hard time sleeping on those allowed points, “it’s not something we as a coaching staff want to do to our team,” Williams said.
Even with the loss, Nebraska was still able to find high spots on the night. Kissinger led the team with 17 points and six rebounds in her 30 minutes of play. Freshman center Kate Cain added 11 more while blocking a season-high six shots.
Eleven Huskers appeared in the game with 16 points coming from the bench. Senior guard Janay Morton appeared for 10 minutes and added five points in her debut as a Husker. The Eastern Michigan transfer took part in just three full practices before Thursday’s effort after recovering from foot surgery this summer.
Junior forward Maddie Simon has still not returned to the court after suffering an ankle injury during warm ups before the game against Creighton on Nov. 19.
“We want to do the best we can on our home court and for our fans,” Whitish said. “It’s great to have some of the people back that haven’t been able to play and we’re excited to get Maddie back when she can get back.”