Lady Tigers to Host Illinois in 2011 Big Ten/ACC Challenge

May 19, 2011

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The Atlantic Coast Conference and Big Ten Conference announced pairings for the fifth installment of the Big Ten/ACC Women’s Basketball Challenge on Thursday. Clemson will take on Illinois on Thursday, December 1 as part of the 2011-12 schedule.

The ACC has won all four previous matchups, taking the 2010 challenge by a narrow, 6-5, count. Clemson is 2-2 all-time in the Challenge, with wins coming in 2008 and 2009 over Northwestern. Clemson lost to Indiana in 2010, 64-51. The Tigers hold a 2-1 mark against the Fighting Illini all-time, but they have not met since 2001.

The last time the two teams met in Clemson, Itoro Umoh’s senior season, the Lady Tigers ousted the Illini from the 1999 NCAA Tournament by a 63-51 margin. The senior was coming off an ACC Tournament Championship and MVP, and the win carried Clemson into the Sweet 16, the last such appearance for the program.

Itoro Coleman, now beginning her second season at the helm of the Lady Tiger program, is familiar with the Big Ten, as she spent three seasons with Penn State from 2007-08 until the 2009-10 season.

Clemson is coming off a 10-20 season, and will feature a five-member freshman class that has been ranked among the top-35 in the nation by some recruiting services.