Miami junior forward Lola Pendande had exhibited flashes of leading a frontcourt in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
As the Hurricanes searched for their first conference win, the Utah transfer stepped up to guide Miami to a 69-60 victory at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson, South Carolina, Thursday night.
“I’m really proud of this team,” Miami head coach Katie Meier said. “It was a game of adjustments. We won a big-time game and stayed composed, so I’m really happy with the outcome.”
Pendande carried Miami (8-5, 1-2 ACC) on a 16-point, four-rebound outing against Clemson (6-10, 0-5 ACC). Graduate forward Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi scored a season-high 13 points and added five rebounds.
The Hurricanes never trailed the Tigers in the second half. Clemson guard Delicia Washington scored a game-high 24 points in a 10-for-14 shooting performance as the Tigers’ top scoring option. No other Clemson player scored in double-digits, while four of Miami’s shot over 50% in the team’s top shooting performance of the season at 52.6%.
Leading 32-29 at halftime, UM entered the third quarter determined to score. Led by redshirt senior forward Destiny Harden’s seven points in the period, the Hurricanes outscored the Tigers 13-4 in the half’s first four minutes. Washington posted five straight points to slice Miami’s deficit to seven.
But moments later, Djaldi-Tabdi overtook the Hurricanes’ scoring onslaught. The Syracuse transfer scored eight consecutive Miami points, lifting her team ahead for a 13-point advantage in a 27-point frame.
Freshman guard Jasmyne Roberts sparked Miami’s burst before halftime, burning Clemson with seven straight points in under two minutes as the first half ended. The 5-foot-10 freshman of Jacksonville, Florida, competed for 24 minutes off the bench and totaled a season-best seven rebounds.
“There is no greater compliment than being needed and there is no greater feeling than coming through when someone says, ‘I need you,’” Meier said. “In this game, I think of [Jasmyne] Roberts, who was just incredible. She hustled and battled and came through.”
Each team shot no greater than 39% in the fourth quarter, following a combined 48-point effort in the third. Washington produced all 10 of the Tigers’ fourth-period points.
The Hurricanes outrebounded the Tigers 36-23, while scoring 30 points off Clemson’s 21 turnovers. UM gave the basketball away 23 times.
Up next, Miami returns to the Watsco Center for a matchup against No. 15 Georgia Tech Sunday. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.