February 11, 1999
CLEMSON, S.C. – Nikki Blassingame collected 16 rebounds and 10 points to lead a strong Clemson defense and rebounding effort, as the 19th ranked Lady Tigers downed Georgia Tech, 69-41 at Clemson’s Littlejohn Coliseum Thursday evening.
It was Clemson’s 250th all-time victory in Littlejohn Coliseum. It was Clemson’s seventh straight win over Georgia Tech and the second straight year they won by at least 25 points in Littlejohn Coliseum.
The victory improved Clemson’s record to 19-5 overall and 9-5 in the ACC, while Georgia Tech fell to 13-11 overall, 6-8 in the ACC. The Tigers will play their home finale this Sunday at 12:30 PM when first place Duke comes to Littlejohn Coliseum.
Coach Jim Davis’s team came into the game leading the ACC in scoring defense, field goal percentage defense and rebound margin. His team enhanced all three of those statistics on Thursday evening. Tech scored just 41 points, its season low. The Yellow Jackets came into the game averaging 77 points a game, third best in the league. They had just 30 points in the first 36 minutes of the game.
Georgia Tech made just 11-47 shots from the field, 23.4 percent, and made just 2-14 three-point shots. It was the best field goal percentage defense by the Lady Tigers in an ACC game this year, and third best ever in a league game in history. Georgia Tech came into the game shooting nearly 39 percent on three-point shots. Finally, the Lady Tigers won the rebounding battle, 50-31. That included a 20-9 advantage on the offensive boards.
Blassingame’s rebounding figures have been sky-rocketing of late. She was coming off a career high 17 rebounds in Clemson’s win at Florida State on Sunday. She had seven offensive and nine defensive on Thursday evening. Clemson point guard Itoro Umoh had just two points, but the senior had a career high tying 11 rebounds and seven assists to go with three steals.
Clemson’s leading scorer in the contest was senior guard Amy Geren, who had 15 points, including 8-8 from the foul line. Georgia Tech was led by Freshman Niesha Butler, who had 21 points. But, the Clemson defense held her to 5-17 shooting and forced seven turnovers.
Danielle Donehew, who entered the game with 77 three-point goals, best in the league, had just 1-9 three-point shotting and scored eight points. Regina Tate had 10 rebounds to lead Georgia Tech’s board effort.
Clemson’s defense dominated the contest from the outset. Georgia Tech did not score until the 12:48 mark of the first half, and Clemson scored the first 10 points of the game. Blassingame was the key early for Clemson as the senior forward had eight rebounds and six points as Clemson held a 20-6 lead at the 10-minute mark. Clemson had an 18-4 rebound advantage at that juncture of the half.The Lady Tigers held a 27-18 lead at the half.
Clemson again stymied Georgia Tech early in the second half. Tech did not score in the first four minutes of the half and had just one field goal over the first 14 minutes of the half. Tech made just 1 for its first 15 field goal attempts of the second half.
Clemson pulled ahead 44-23 on a layup by Blassingame, then extended the lead to 30 points at 60-30 with 5:28 left on two free throws by Angie Cossey. Clemson’s largest lead was 33 points at 66-33.
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