March 12, 1999
CLEMSON, SC – Natasha Anderson scored 24 points and went over the 1000-point mark in her career in the process, leading 10th ranked Clemson to a 76-45 women’s basketball victory over Florida A&M in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Clemson, SC Saturday night. The #2 seed Lady Tigers will face #7 seed Illinois in the second round on Sunday at 7:30 PM at Littlejohn Coliseum.
Illinois defeated Louisville 69-67 in the opener of the women’s basketball doubleheader at Clemson. Clemson’s 31-point victory was the school’s largest margin of victory in an NCAA Tournament game. The Tigers defeated Austin Peay, 79-52 in the 1996 Tournament.
The Lady Tigers improved to 25-5 with the victory, while Florida A&M fell to 18-12. The victory tied the Clemson record for victories in a season, set last year when Clemson went 25-8 under Head Coach Jim Davis. Saturday’s victory marked the third time in the last four years that Clemson has won its first round game. The second-seeded Lady Tigers will attempt to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1991 when the Tigers meet Illinois on Sunday.
Anderson hit 10-16 shots from the field, had eight rebounds, including six offensive, in only 18 minutes of play. Anderson became the third member of Clemson’s senior class to go over the 1000 -point mark. Itoro Umoh and Amy Geren are two other current Lady Tigers on the 1000-point list.
Florida A&M was led by Teresa Jenkins who had 15 points, 15 rebounds and four blocked shots. Nine of her 15 rebounds were offensive. She was the only double figure scorer for Florida A&M, while Anderson was the only double figure scorer for Clemson. Aside from Anderson’s statistics, Jim Davis received a balanced performance.
Overall, 13 Lady Tigers participated in the game and 12 of them scored, and 12 of them had at least a rebound. The starting five played just 96 of the 200 combined minutes and 12 of the 13 players received double figures in minutes played.
Clemson forced 25 turnovers, as the Lady Tigers had 13 steals, including five by center Nikki Blassingame. Clemson won the rebounding 51-41 behind Anderson’s eight and Blassingame’s seven. Umoh, coming off her ACC Tournament MVP performance, had eight points on 4-5 shooting, had five assists, four rebounds and two steals in 20 minutes.
The two teams were tied at four, two minutes into the game, then the Lady Tigers went on a 25-2 run over the next 12 minutes. Clemson played a tremendous defense in the first half, holding Florida A&M to 13 points on 5-26 field goal shooting. The Lady Tigers shot 47 percent, as Anderson scored 17 points, many on offensive rebounds.
Clemson played all 13 players in the second half and increased the lead to 68-27 with 5:27 left. Florida A&M scored 18 points over the last five minutes of the game and cut Clemson’s lead to 30 before the final margin of 31 was recorded.
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