Published November 20, 2014
Sporadic productive stretches weren't enough to propel Clemson over Miami.
The Tigers withstood an early surge, made a brief comeback but lost to the seventh-ranked Hurricanes 68-47 on Sunday.
Shenise Johnson scored 19 points for the Hurricanes.
Miami (20-3, 9-1 ACC) broke the game open with a 17-1 run midway through the first half. Riquna Willams' hit two 3-pointers and Johnson and Shawnice Wilson scored five points each during the Miami surge.
Clemson (6-15, 2-8) got to within single digits after an 8-0 spurt late in the first half. Quinyotta Pettaway's putback with a minute left capped the run and cut Miami's lead to 27-18.
That's as close as the Tigers could get.
"There were different points of the game that we fought," Clemson coach Itoro Coleman said. "I felt Miami was very physical and we were able to withstand some of that. We were able to get some shots that we were looking for. We just didn't knock them down."
Nikki Dixon scored 16 points to lead Clemson, which has lost five of its last six.
"They pressed us and bothered us in the first half," Coleman said. "In the second half we handled their pressure better than the first half."
The win was Miami's 37th consecutive at home, but might have come at a big expense. Second leading scorer Riquna Williams suffered a potential concussion that could sideline her for Wednesday's game against No. 23 North Carolina.
Williams, who averages 15.6 points, left the game with 14:53 in the second half after she hit her head as she collided with teammate Michelle Woods while chasing a loose ball. Williams stayed on the floor for three minutes then walked gingerly toward the locker room and didn't return.
"They're going to take some precautionary looks on her because anytime it's a head and neck..," Miami coach Katie Meier said in a post-game news conference. "We had three doctors in the locker room right now. We'll know more. They're concerned."
Meier isn't sure about Williams' status on Wednesday.
Johnson picked up the void for Williams, who scored 15 points before her injury — including the 2,000th of her career. Johnson scored 12 points in the second half and finished with 15 rebounds.
"Coach told us in the locker room that we need to be tougher (in the second half)," Johnson said. "I had to change my whole mindset and shots started going in."
Williams' second 3-pointer with 11:09 remaining gave her 2,000 points in her Hurricanes' career.
Johnson's 3-pointer with 6:24 remaining ended the spurt and increased the Miami lead to 26-8. The Hurricanes held Clemson without a basket for a 9:29 stretch.
"We had really nice ball movement," Meier said. "We played a decent game but there were some individual things that you've got to finish."
"Our one consistent thing has been Shenise Johnson. She absolutely made sure that we won tonight."