February 26, 1999
CLEMSON, S.C. – Clemson will attempt to creep one step closer to making its fourth consecutive trip to the ACC tournament championship game when it faces North Carolina State in the quarterfinal round in Charlotte on Saturday.
The No. 19 Lady Tigers (21-5, 11-5 ACC) claimed the 1996 title with a 71-54 win over Duke, but lost to North Carolina, 62-58 and 81-50, in the last two championship games.
N.C. State (16-10, 9-7), with 11 title game appearances, has advanced to the finals more times than any other team in the 21-year history of the event. The Wolfpack has gone 28-17 in the tournament and has claimed four ACC crowns.
N.C. State, the fifth seed, owns a 6-3 series lead against Clemson in tournament play and is 30-22 overall, but the fourth-seeded Tigers have won the last three meetings, including an 87-75 victory over the Wolfpack in the 1997 quarterfinals.
Clemson has won seven of its last nine games in the tournament behind the backcourt tandem Itoro Umoh and Amy Geren, who have each scored in double digits in five of those nine.
During the regular season, Geren led Clemson in scoring with a 14.3 points per game average. Nikki Blassingame tops the boards with an average of eight rebounds per game and Umoh has 153 assists with 47 steals to lead the team.
But it was Natasha Anderson who scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds to help rout Wake Forest 66-38 in the Tigers’ last game on Feb. 18. Joanie Mungro scored a career-high 12 points for Clemson while Blassingame added nine points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
In the Wolfpack’s final regular season contest, center Summer Erb poured in 34 points, which tied her career-high, and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead N.C. State over Wake Forest 75-72 last Saturday.
Senior guard Kenyatta Williams contributed 12 points, four assists and three steals in her final home appearance.
The Wolfpack lost both regular season contests with the Tigers: 78-58 at home on Jan. 21 and 88-67 away on Dec. 2.
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