Durham, N.C. – Celeste Taylor led all scorers with 19 and Clemson could not overcome a slow start to the second half, falling 66-56 at the hands of No. 16/19 Duke on Thursday night in Cameron Indoor Stadium. The win moves the Blue Devils to 15-1, 5-0 ACC, on the year, while the loss drops the Tigers to 11-7, 2-4 ACC.
Clemson was led by Amari Robinson with 16 points, while Ruby Whitehorn was the only other Tiger in double-figures with 12. Hannah Hank pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds to go with her eight points and two blocks. The Tigers held Duke to 36.2% from the floor, but the Blue Devils capitalized on nine threes on the night.
Both teams struggled offensively in the early going, as the Tigers held Duke without a basket for almost four minutes, but couldn’t really take advantage. A layup by Hank cut the early lead to two, but Duke closed out the quarter on an 8-2 run, including a three at the buzzer, to take a 17-9 lead after the game’s first 10 minutes.
Duke pushed the lead to 10 to start the second quarter, but the Tigers used an 8-3 run to cut the lead to five at 22-17 at the second quarter media timeout. Later in the quarter, the Tigers used back-to-back baskets by Whitehorn and a second-chance bucket from Hank to tie the game at 26, before Duke got another three to end the half and take a 29-26 lead into the locker rooms.
The teams traded baskets to open the third quarter, but traded threes for twos, as Duke was able to push the lead to eight at the 7:40 mark. The Tigers used stiff defense to cut the lead to four after the third quarter media timeout, before the teams again traded baskets and free throws. Duke used three free throws to take a nine-point advantage into the game’s final ten minutes.
Duke opened an 11-point lead in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter, then pushed it to 12 at the final media timeout. The Tigers cut the lead to single-digits with just over 1:00 to go, but couldn’t overcome the deficit, as Duke made free throws down the stretch to put the game away.
Clemson is back in action on Sunday, traveling to Pittsburgh, Pa., for a 2:00 matchup against Pitt.