HOOPS PREVIEW: Lady Tops ready for Clemson

J. Michael Moore

The Lady Toppers basketball team will have a full plate Friday. But not because of Thanksgiving leftovers.

After a stunning 71-57 upset over No.15 Louisiana Tech to open the season, Mary Taylor Cowles’ squad will look to follow with a success against Clemson.

The Lady Tigers will visit Diddle Arena at 7 p.m. Friday for the 20th Annual BB&T Classic.

Cowles looks for another tough competitor in Clemson, which plays in the Atlantic Coast Conference with No. 1 Duke.

She expects Lady Tigers coach Jim Davis to have his team prepared to test the up-start Lady Toppers both scoring and on the boards.

Clemson lost 72-58 to South Carolina to open its season on Nov. 22.

Cowles said she expects another pressing defense, with the Lady Tigers utilizing their depth. Clemson put 11 players on the floor against South Carolina.

Tabitha Vasilas and Chrissy Floyd led three Lady Tigers in double figures with 13 apiece.

“They are very deep, but are also so well-coached,” Cowles said. “We definitely want the competition because we want to be a top-25 program. Of course, playing in the ACC is going to toughen them up a little bit, but a lot of that has to do with Coach Davis.”

Cowles said she has been pleased with practice intensity over the last couple of days after the La Tech victory.

The team will practice today and Wednesday before an early morning and a night practice on Thanksgiving.

Senior guard Kristina Covington said the team will be ready, considering their marked status after beating a top-10 program.

“We need to go out and box out just like we did against La Tech,” Covington said. “We may have been the underdog, but now that we beat a top-10 team, we’re on top.”

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