The Clemson women's basketball team worked the free throw line to close out double overtime and hold off South Carolina, 94-92, at Littlejohn Coliseum.
The Tigers (2-1) used 21 points from junior Sthefany Thomas and 20 from sophomore Shaniqua Pauldo to win their second game in a row against the Gamecocks (1-1).
"I came into this game telling the girls they needed to play a hard 40 minutes," Clemson coach Cristy McKinney said. "I didn't realize it would turn into a 50-minute game, but the girls rose to the challenge and played hard."
With the Tigers up one, Clemson's April Parker fouled Valeria Nainima with 7.6 seconds remaining in double overtime. Nainima hit the first of two free throws, but the second rimmed out to Clemson's Kirstyn Wright. After a scrum, Wright found Pauldo, who raced down court, launching a 3-point attempt with three seconds on the clock. However, Pauldo was hit by USC's Kesley Bone while she was shooting, sending her to the line in a 92-92 game.
Pauldo missed the first attempt, but drained the second.
The third shot hit front rim, but was corralled by Lele Hardy. She was fouled and sent to the line where she made the first shot, giving Clemson a 94-92 edge with 0.3 seconds remaining.
Hardy missed the second shot but grabbed her rebound to seal the victory.
USC freshman Kelsey Bone had 32 points and 14 rebounds in a game that featured 13 lead changes.
Thomas led the Tigers with 21 points, shooting 8-for-14 from the field, including 3-for-6 from 3-point range. Pauldo finished with 20 points and 9 rebounds.
Clemson freshman Keyrra Gillespie played 49 minutes at point guard, and registered 10 points, nine assists, seven rebounds, and four steals.
"We ask a lot of Gillespie and she always comes through and makes big plays when we need her," McKinney said.
A spin-move-turned-floater from the free throw line by Gillespie gave Clemson a six-point advantage with 1:24 left in overtime. However, Bone scored a basket and drew a foul. She missed the free throw, and after a short offensive set, La'Keisha Sutton found Nainima for a 3-pointer, cutting the deficit to one point.
After a Pauldo free throw, a Bone layup with 3.7 seconds remaining tied the score and sent it into double overtime.
3-pointers: USC 6-12 - Kennedy (3-4), Sutton (1-2), Nainima (2-6). C 6-14 -Thomas (3-6), Brown (1-1), Wright (1-2), Hardy (1-4), Gillespie (0-1), Turnovers: USC 18, C 24. Officials: Brewton, Cunningham, Grinter. A:. 882