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Clemson women’s basketball improved season leads to postseason berth

Clemson+forward+Amari+Robinson+%285%29+tied+her+career-high+with+27+points+against+the+North+Carolina+Tar+Heels+in+the+second+round+of+the+2023+ACC+Tournament.
Aralynn Minnick // Asst. Photo Editor

Clemson forward Amari Robinson (5) tied her career-high with 27 points against the North Carolina Tar Heels in the second round of the 2023 ACC Tournament.

After finishing above .500 for the first time in four years, the Clemson women’s basketball team played its way into the WNIT tournament.
The Tigers will face off against High Point on Thursday at 7 p.m. EDT at Littlejohn Coliseum in the first round of the tournament.
Clemson (17-15, 7-11 ACC) improved upon its lackluster 2021-22 season when the team finished 10-21 (3-15 in ACC play) and ranked towards the bottom of the conference in many statistics.
While the Tigers increased their scoring average from a season ago — 64.4 points per game to 66.8 — the main area in which they improved was their defense.
The team went from allowing 70.7 points per game last season, 14th in the ACC, to allowing 63.3 points a game in 2022-23, putting them ninth in the conference.
“We worked really hard this week…to just be a really, really good half-court defensive team,” head coach Amanda Butler said following Clemson’s 57-41 win over Georgia Tech on Feb. 9. “The half-court defense, the execution, connection, activity, it was really good basketball from that side from us.”
The Tigers ranked third in the ACC in steals per game with 9.38. Clemson had five players average more than one steal per game, with senior guard Daisha Bradford leading the way, averaging 2.2 per game, ranking third in the ACC.
Offensively, Clemson increased its shooting splits from a year ago. In the 2021-22 season, Clemson ranked 13th and 14th in the ACC in field goal percentage and 3-point percentage, respectively. This season, Clemson ranks seventh and eighth in those respective categories, shooting over 40% from the field and over 30% from beyond the arc.
Senior forward Amari Robinson served as Clemson’s leading proponent of offense this season. The Douglasville, Georgia, native averaged 14.1 points a game (10th in the ACC) and was the team’s leading rebounder, averaging 6.3 a game.
Robinson’s play this season earned her second-team All-ACC honors.
Freshman guard Ruby Whitehorn was also able to put together a quality season for the Tigers. The former five-star recruit averaged 9.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game but also showed her two-way abilities by averaging 1.1 steals per game. Whitehorn was awarded All-Freshman team honors in the ACC.
Throughout the season, the Tigers made headway by pulling off several upsets. Clemson took down both No. 7 Virginia Tech and No. 23 Florida State at home this season, displaying the improvements made on both sides of the ball.
Clemson was able to return to the postseason for the first time since the 2020-21 season. The team will look to continue its improved play in this year’s tournament and carry that momentum into next season.

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