December 5, 1998
Clemson, S.C. – Nikki Blassingame scored 16 of her game high 18 points in the first half, leading 24th-ranked Clemson to an 89-48 victory over Maryland in women’s college basketball action Saturday night at Littlejohn Coliseum. Clemson improved to 7-0 overall and 2-0 in the ACC with the victory, while Maryland fell to 0-6 and 0-1. It was the 18th straight victory for Clemson in Littlejohn Coliseum, establishing a school record for consecutive home wins. It was also the largest margin of victory for Clemson over Maryland. The previous best was just 22 points in a 73-51 Clemson victory last season.
It also tied for the worst margin of defeat for Maryland in an ACC game. The Terps lost by 41 points to NC State in 1995-96. The victory also gave Clemson four straight wins over Maryland, the first time in history of the series that Clemson has claimed four straight over Maryland.
Clemson dominated Maryland with a balanced attack. All 12 Clemson players scored, all 12 played at least 10 minutes, and 11 of the 12 had a rebound.
Blassingame led all Clemson scorers with 18 points on 9-13 field goals, and she added nine rebounds. Natasha Anderson added 13 points, five assists and five steals, while Amy Geren scored 11 on 5-7 shooting. Itoro Umoh added eight points and seven assists.
Nuria Forns led the Clemson bench contributors with 10 points, while Amirah Leonard had four points and six steals. Joanie Mungro had just two points, but had seven rebounds.
Maryland was led by Branka Bogunovic and Marche Strickland, who had 14 points apiece. Ginji Perry added nine points, six assists and four steals.
Clemson won the rebound battle 43-34 and forced 33 turnovers. Clemson’s defense had 19 steals and the Tigers scored 31 points off turnovers.
Clemson exploded to a 20-2 lead to open the game. Blassingame scored eight of those 20 points. Maryland cut the margin to 29-15 with 7:16 left in the half, but the Tigers went on an 11-0 run to make it 40-17 with 3:11 to go in the first half. The Tigers held a 48-21 lead at intermission.
Clemson was never threatened in the second half. Clemson’s largest lead was the final score, as Clemson ended the game with an 8-0 run. Coach Jim Davis substituted often in the second half and no Clemson player saw more than 26 minutes of action.
Clemson will now break for semester exams. The Tigers will next be in action on December 14 when Dartmouth comes to Littlejohn Coliseum.
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