Clemson Hosts Kennesaw State in Season Opener Friday
BY: TYRIA GOINES
CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson women’s basketball open season against the Kennesaw State Owls at Littlejohn Coliseim on Friday, Nov. 10th. Tipoff is set for 11 a.m.
Friday’s game is the regular-season opener for both Clemson and Kennesaw State.
The Tigers won both of their preseason exhibition games, a 67-39 victory over North Greenville on Oct. 29 at Littlejohn Coliseum, and a 56-47 victory over Belmont Abbey on Nov. 5, also at Littlejohn. Junior Danielle Edwards led the Tigers in scoring in both exhibition games, with 13 points against NGU and 19 against Belmont Abbey. Sophomore Kobi Thornton, a 2017 ACC All-Freshman Team selection, was second on the team in scoring in both games, with 12 and eight, and led the Tigers in rebounding, averaging 7.5 rebounds per game in the two contests.
Clemson is coming off of a 2016-17 season in which the team made dramatic improvements, winning 11 more games than the previous season to finish the year with a 15-16 record, including a win over Virginia Tech in the first round of the 2017 ACC Tournament, the program’s first ACC tournament win since the 2014 season. The Tigers were 11-2 in nonconference play in 2016-17, which was the program’s best nonconference record since 2003-04. The team’s only two nonconference losses came to top-25 teams (No. 6 South Carolina and No. 25 Oregon).
The Tigers return 10 letterwinners, including four out of five starters, from the 2016-17 team, and also return redshirt junior Francesca Tagliapietra, who will be back on the court for the in 2017-18 after missing the previous two seasons due to injury. Three freshmen, Tylar Bennett, Jenise Strover and Destiny Thomas, join the squad as well.
Kennesaw State was 10-20 overall and 8-6 in the Atlantic Sun Conference in 2016-17, and reached the semifinals of the ASUN Conference Championship tournament. The Owls return four letterwinners and one starter, and welcome seven newcomers to the squad in 2017-18. Carlotta Gianolla, the ASUN Freshman of the Year in 2017, is the Owls’ returning leading scorer, back for her sophomore season.
The matchup on Friday is also Elementary School Day at Clemson women’s basketball. Kids from several local public and private schools will be in attendance.