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Women’s Basketball Advances in Tournament

MArch 14, 1998

By MARY FOSTERAP Sports Writer

RUSTON, La. (AP) – Itoro Umoh scored 15 points to lead Clemson to a 60-49 victory over Miami in the first round of the NCAA Midwest Regional Saturday night.

The Tigers took the lead early in the game and didn’t trail again, as both teams shot poorly.

No. 14 Clemson (25-7) made just 32 percent from the field, Miami (19-10) only 26 percent. The Hurricanes made 17-of-23 free throws.

Miami managed to stay close over the second half hitting two 3-point baskets and sinking free throws. The Hurricanes cut Clemson’s lead to 40-38 on Cassaundra Wimes’ rebound that she took downcourt to score with 9:59 left.

McChelle Murray hit a 3-pointer with 7:21 left that cut Clemson’s lead to 46-45.

But two straight baskets by Nikki Blassingame gave Clemson a 50-45 with 5:41 left and Miami didn’t threaten again.

Amy Geren had 13 points for Clemson and Blassingame had 10.

Wimes led Miami with 13 points. Kym Hope had 15 rebounds for Miami.

Clemson finished second in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season and was seeded sixth in the Midwest Region. Miami was seeded 11th.

Miami took a 6-0 lead before Clemson made its first basket of the game. That started a 17-0 run. Despite scoring only six more points in the half, Clemson led 23-21 at the break.

Miami made only five field goals in the first half but kept close by hitting 9-of-12 at the free throw line.