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Women’s Basketball Downs NC State, 68-58 in overtime

Feb. 7, 1998

CLEMSON, SC-Amy Geren hit two free throws with five seconds left in regulation, then made a key-three-point shot in overtime to lead 22nd-ranked (AP) Clemson to a 68-58 victory over ninth-ranked (AP) NC State at Littlejohn Coliseum Saturday night.

Clemson improved to 17-6 overall, 9-4 in the ACC with the win, while the Pack fell to 18-4 overall, 9-3 in the ACC. A crowd of 4871 attended the game, a Clemson single game home record for women’s basketball.

“This was an incredible game,” said Clemson Head Coach Jim Davis. “I am proud of our team because of the way they hung in after losing a 24-point lead. To comeback and tie the game after being down by two at the end of regulation and then win the overtime showed a lot of character.

“Natasha Anderson played her best game of the year. She made all seven of her shots and really rebounded well. Amy Geren had a lot of pressure on those last two free throws in regulation, but the leagues top free throw shooter came through.

“In the first 20 minutes we played our best basketball of the year on the defensive end. We were almost flawlessly on the defense.

The victory avenged a 73-51 loss to the Wolfpack in Raleigh earlier this season. It was Clemson’s third win over a top 10 team this year. Earlier, Clemson had beaten North Carolina and Viginia when they had been ranked in the top 10 in the nation.

NC State overcame a 24-point Clemson lead in the second half, took a two-point lead with 20 seconds left, then lost the game in overtime.

Geren and Natasha Anderson led Clemson with 15 points apiece, while Nikki Blassingame and Itoro Umoh had 11 apiece for the Lady Tigers, who improved to a perfect 10-0 at home this season. Anderson was a perfect 7-7 from the field and tied for the lead in rebounding with eight.

NC State was led by Tynesha Lewis, who scored 14. Lyschale Jones, Chasity Melvin and Nailah Wallace all had 11 points apiece for NC State. Melvin led all rebounders with nine.

Clemson dominated the first half and held a 33-17 lead at intermission. Clemson’s defense held NC State starting frontcourt to just 1-9 shooting, four points and three rebounds. That threesome of Jones, Melvin and Peach Shepard had hit 21-30 field goals and collected 22 rebounds in the first meeting between the two teams.

Clemson played outstanding defense in that first half, allowing just 5-20 field goal shooting and forcing 16 turnovers. Clemson hit 15-27 shots from the field and won the rebounding 19-10.

Clemson increased the lead to 24 points, 43-19 on a three-point goal by Geren with 15:52 to play. At that point of the game, State had 19 points and 18 turnovers. But, NC State did not give up. Kay Yow’s team cut the lead to 49-33 with 8:55 to play.

The Pack then went on a 10-0 run behind Chasity Melvin to cut the advantage to 51-43 with four minutes left. Melvin, State’s top scorer who has over 1800 points in her career, did not score in the first 27 minutes of the game, but collected 11 over the last 13 minutes of regulation.After a score by Clemson’s Jeannette Davis, NC State went on a 10-0 run to take the lead with 20 seconds left on a turnaround 15-footer by Jones with virtually no time left on the shot clock.

Clemson called timeout and set up a play for Geren. With the score 53-51, Geren was fouled on a three-point attempt by Jones. Geren missed the first of the three shots, then hit the last two to tie the score. A last second State shot by Lewis fell of the rim and the two teams went to overtime.

Clemson dominated the extra period. After Jones hit a shot to give State a two-point lead, Geren came right back with a three-pointer to give Clemson a one-point lead. Clemson then scored three straight field goals on three consecutive possessions. The Pack cut the margin to 62-58 with 51 seconds left, but Umoh hit 4-4 from the line and Nikki Blassingame added a pair of free throws with 7.3 seconds for the final 10-point margin.