Lady Tigers Down 15th Ranked Rutgers

Sophomore point guard Julie Talley had 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists to lead Clemson in all three categories in the Lady Tigers 69-64 victory over 15th ranked Rutgers on Sunday afternoon.

The victory improves Clemson to 3-1 for the season, while Rutgers is now 3-2. Clemson will travel to Western Carolina for a Thursday night game.

It was the 51st victory over a top 25 ranked team for Clemson head coach Jim Davis, his 32nd in Littlejohn Coliseum. It was also his first victory over Women's College Basketball Hall of Fame coach Vivian Stringer, who took Rutgers to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year. It was also the highest ranked victory for the Lady Tigers since defeating a ninth-ranked Auburn team on December 21, 2000 by a 72-61 score in a game played in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Talley was one of four Lady Tigers in double figures. Maggie Slosser added 13 points ,while Lakeia Stokes and Julie Aderhold had 11 apiece. Lacey Shafer started at center and added eight points, double her scoring output in the first three games combined.

Rutgers was led by junior guard Cappie Pondexter, a first-team All-Big East player last season, with 22 points. She had five rebounds, five assists and four steals in a fine all-around performance. Dawn McCullough added 17 points on 7-11 shooting. Schalicia Burns was the only player in the game to record a double-double, as the reserve center had 10 points and 13 rebounds in 31 minutes of play.

Clemson shot 41.4 percent from the field, compared to 44.4 percent by Rutgers, but the Lady Tigers made 70 percent of their free throws compared to 57 percent for Rutgers. Both teams made five three-point goals.

Clemson led throughout the game as Rutgers had the lead at 2-0, and for a three minute period late in the first half. The Scarlet Knights' largest lead was 20-17 with 2:45 left in the first half. Clemson held a 27-21 lead at intermission and never trailed in the second half.

The score was tied, however, at 36-36 with 14:38 left on the only field goal of the game by Rutgers forward Michelle Campbell. But, Clemson then went on an 11-2 run to take a 47-38 lead with 12:45 left. Clemson made three three-point goals during the run, one each by Talley, Aderhold and freshman Carrie Whitehurst.

Rutgers battled back again, and got within 53-52 with 5:02 left on a three-point play by Nikki Jett. But, Clemson then responded with a pair of old-fashioned three-point plays of its own, one by Lakeia Stokes with 3:31 left, and one by Amanda White with 2:39 remaining, giving Clemson a 59-52 lead. Rutgers cut the margin to five points (63-58) with a minute left behind Pondexter, who scored eight of the Scarlet Knights final 10 points. Clemson put the game away in the final minute by making 6-9 free throws.

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