ATLANTA — Nikki Dixon’s layup with 8.5 seconds to play in overtime gave the Clemson women’s basketball team a 80-79 win at Georgia Tech on Thursday night in McCamish Pavilion. The Tigers (11-11, 3-5 ACC) snapped a nine-game losing skid to the Yellow Jackets (13-8, 3-5 ACC) overall, and won in Atlanta for the first time since Jan. 18, 2004.
Dixon, a native of nearby Alpharetta, GA, finished with 23 points, six rebounds, four steals, and three assists, and notched the 1,000th point of her career in the first half. The junior wing has now scored at least 20 points eight times this season and has at least 19 points in nine of her last 10 games. Quinyotta Pettaway and Kelly Gramlich added 18 and 12 points, respectively, off the bench.
Late in the second half, the Tigers cut the lead to just one several times in the second half before finally tying the game at 65 apiece on a Dunn jumper with 3:23 to play from the free throw line. Two free throws by Pettaway put the Tigers up two at 67-65. Kaela Davis would respond with a three-point play to put Tech back in front. Dixon responded with a three-point play of her own to put the Tigers back on top.
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Tech would hit three of their final four free throws to push ahead by one with just 47 second left in the game. Tay would then go to the line and make 1-of-2 to tie the game at 71. Neither the Yellow Jackets nor the Tigers could convert on their final possessions forcing overtime.
In overtime, the two went back-and-forth for the first several possessions before the Tigers jumped out to a three-point lead. Clemson lead 78-75 with 1:34 remaining in the extra frame before Kaela Davis scored on back-to-back possessions to put Georgia Tech up one with 14 seconds left. Dixon then took control and went straight for the basket laying in the game-winner with just eight seconds left.
Despite going 20-for-34 from the free-throw line for the game, the Tigers hit seven of their nine in the game to aid in the victory. Georgia Tech missed both of their free throws in overtime.
Kaela Davis scored a game-high 31 points for the Yellow Jackets in the loss, a season-high against the Tigers. Tyaunna Marshall added 19 points and Rogers scored 11 points and pulled down 14 rebounds.
The Tigers return to action on Sunday when they travel to Virginia at 2:00 PM. Head Coach Audra Smith went to three Final Fours as a player at Virginia from 1988-1992.
The Tigers topped Georgia Tech for the first time since 3/5/09 (ACC Tournament) and the the first at Tech since 1/18/04. The Yellow Jackets had won 16 of the last 17 meetings between the teams, including nine in a row overall.
Clemson finished with a 21-16 assist-to-turnover ration, while Tech had 21 turnovers and just 14 assists
Clemson held Tech to just .269 shooting in the second half after they hit 17-28 (.586) in the first half
Nikki Dixon became just the 23rd player in Clemson history to score 1,000 career points with her driving layup at the 7:54 mark of the first half. She finished the half with nine points. She entered the game with 996 for her career.
Dixon scored a team-high 23 points, her 8th time in the last nine outings scoring 19 or more points. She has scored 20 or more in eight games this season, and is averaging 20.4 ppg in ACC play.
Dixon scored her 1,000th point in her 78th game played, a career average of 12.9 ppg. She is the first player to reach 1,000 points since Sthefany Thomas in 2011
Dixon would add her 11th charge of the season and 27th of her career midway through the second half. She leads the team in both categories
Quinyotta Pettaway had 10 points in the first half and 18 in the game, her third straight game in double figures and 38th of her career.
Kelly Gramlich drilled three first-half threes, her eighth game this season with three or more. She now has 45 on the year and 109 in her career.
Decatur-native Chancie Dunn had six assists, tying a season high. She also added ten points, her seventh such game this season.
Charmaine Tay took her fourth charge of her career and sixth of her career in the first half.