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Women’s Basketball Opens against Florida A&M

March 7, 1999

CLEMSON, SC — The Clemson Lady Tigers will start play in the NCAA Tournament Friday night, March 12, against Florida A&M at Littlejohn Coliseum, at Clemson, SC in the Mideast Region. The sub-regional will start with Illinois facing Louisville at 5:30 p.m. The Clemson-Florida A&M game will follow 30 minutes later. The winner of the Clemson-Florida A&M winner will play the winner of the Louisville-Illinois winner on Sunday night at 7:30 p.m. in Littlejohn Coliseum.

Clemson is seeded second, while Florida A&M is seeded 15th in the region. Illinois is seeded seventh, while Louisville is seeded 10th. This is the highest Clemson has ever been seeded. The regional semifinals and finals will be held in Cincinnati, OH, March 20 and 22.

This will be the 12th NCAA Tournament apperance for the Lady Tigers. Clemson’s Head Coach Jim Davis has led Clemson to 11 NCAA Tournaments in his 12 seasons the school. Clemson received the automatic bid by winning the 1999 ACC Championship. The Lady Tigers have a 10-12 record in the NCAA Tournament over the years. Head Coach Jim Davis is 10-11 in the NCAA Tournament during his Clemson career.

The Lady Tigers are ranked 13th in both the Associated Press and USA Today polls. Clemson has been ranked as high as 10th in both polls which tied a school record for the highest the Lady Tigers have been ranked during the regular season.

Clemson played in the first NCAA women’s tournament in 1982 against Penn State. Because of the day and time it was played, the Clemson-Penn State game was the first ever NCAA women’s tournament game. The Lady Tigers lost the game 96-75. In the Clemson-Penn State game, former Lady Tiger assistant coach and Clemson great, Barbara Kennedy-Dixon scored the first points in the inaugural women’s NCAA basketball tournament in the Penn State game. Kennedy-Dixon hit a five-foot turn around jump shot from the baseline with 19:20 left in the first half. Kennedy-Dixon finished the game with 43 points, which still ranks third for a single-game scoring performance in the NCAA tournament.

In the ACC Tournament, Clemson defeated N.C. State 52-51 in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference. In the semifinals, Clemson defeated eighth-ranked and top-seeded Duke 76-71. In the Championship game on March 1, Clemson defeated North Carolina 87-72. Clemson is 24-5 this season. The Lady Tigers finished 11-5 in the ACC this season. The Lady Tigers have won seven consecutive games. The Lady Tigers are 12-2 at home this season and are 25-2 at home over the last two years. Clemson is 10-0 vs. non-conference teams this season, including an impressive 3-0 record vs. Southeastern Conference teams.

Clemson is led in scoring by Amy Geren with a 14.1 ppg. average. Nikki Blassingame leads the team in rebounding with a 7.9 rpg. average. Itoro Umoh has 166 assists and 53 steals to lead the team.

Records and Stats on the Teams

Clemson – 24-5 Overall, Atlantic Coast Conference Champions Leading Scorer: Amy Geren, 14.1 ppg. Leading Rebounder: Nikki Blassingame, 7.4 rpg. Seed: Second

Florida A&M – 18-11 Overall, MEAC Tournament Champions Leading Scorer: Teresa Jenkins 13.7 ppg. Leading Rebounder: Teresa Jenkins 8.9 rpg. Seed: 15th

Illinois – 18-11 Overall, 10-6 in the Big 10, Tournament Finalist Leading Scorer: Susan Blauser 16.9 ppg. Leading Rebounder: Tauja Catchings 7.8 rpg. Seed: Seventh

Louisville – 21-10 Overall, 12-4 Conference USA, Tournament Finalist Leading Scorer: Sharon Bellamy 18.7 ppg. Leading Rebounder: Sharon Bellamy 7.6 rpg. Seeded: 10th


CLEMSON’S NCAA TOURNAMENT APPEARANCES: (12) 1982, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999NCAA FINAL EIGHT: 1991NCAA FINAL 16: 1989, 1990, 1991

CLEMSON LADY TIGERS, 24-5 Overall, 11-5 in the ACC 1999 Atlantic Coast Conference Champions

PROBABLE LINEUP Forward–#24 Nikki Blassingame, 6-3, SR, 10.3 ppg., 7.9 rpg. Forward–#50 Natasha Anderson, 6-2, SR, 12.4 ppg., 6.4 rpg. Center–#44 Joanie Mungro, 6-2, JR, 4.8 ppg., 4.4 rpg. Guard–#25 Itoro Umoh, 5-7, SR, 13.0 ppg., 5.4 rpg., 5.7 apg. Guard–#33 Amy Geren, 5-11, SR, 14.1 ppg., 3.3 rpg. Head Coach Jim Davis–257-115 at Clemson (in his 12th year), 276-123 career (in his 13th year).

NCAA 1999 Women’s Basketball Tournament

West Region

at RUSTON, La. (16) Central Florida at (1) Louisiana Tech (9) Virginia vs. (8) Penn State

at BATON ROUGE, La. (12) St. Mary’s CA vs. (5) Notre Dame (13) Evansville at (4) LSU

at LOS ANGELES (11) Memphis vs. (6) Kentucky (14) Wisconsin-Green Bay at (3) UCLA

at FORT COLLINS, Colo. (10) Santa Barbara vs. (7) Southwest Missouri State (15) Cal State Northridge at (2) Colorado State

Midwest Region

at WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (16) Oral Roberts at (1) Purdue (9) Kansas vs. (8) Marquette

at CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (12) Grambling vs. (5) Alabama (13) Northeastern at (4) North Carolina

at PISCATAWAY, N.J. (11) Florida vs. (6) Arizona (14) Dartmouth at (3) Rutgers

at LUBBOCK, Texas (10) North Carolina State vs. (7) Mississsippi State (15) Stephen Austin at (2) Texas Tech

Mideast Region

at STORRS, Conn. (16) St. Francis at (1) Connecticut (9) Florida International vs. (8) Xavier

at AMES, Iowa (12) Cincinnati vs. (5) Oregon (13) Santa Clara at (4) Iowa State

at ATHENS, Ga. (11) SMU vs. (6) Toledo (14) Liberty at (3) Georgia

at CLEMSON, S.C. (10) Louisville vs. (7) Illinois (15) Florida A&M at (2) Clemson

East Region

at KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (16) Appalachian State at (1) Tennessee (9) Ohio State vs. (8) Boston College

at BLACKSBURG, Va. (12) Texas vs. (5) Auburn (13) St Peter’s at (4) Virginia Tech

at DURHAM, N.C. (11) St. Joseph’s vs. (6) Tulane (14) Holy Cross at (3) Duke

at RICHMOND, Va. (10) Maine vs. (7) Stanford (15) Tennessee Tech at (2) Old Dominion