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Women’s Hoops Edges Kentucky, 70-65

Nov. 26, 1999

HARTFORD, Conn. – Erin Batth scored 16 points and had 11 rebounds in leading Clemson to a 70-65 win over Kentucky in the consolation game of the Coaches vs. Cancer Women’s Basketball Challenge at the Hartford Civic Center in Hartford, CT. The Lady Tigers’ Amirah Leonard also finished with 15 points.

Bath also finished the game with two assists, two blocked shots and two steals. Datishella Byrd also hit in double figures for the Lady Tigers as she finished the game with 10.

Clemson improves its record to 3-1 overall, while Kentucky falls to 2-2 on the season. This was the first meeting ever between the two schools.

Midway in the first half, Clemson pulled away from a 20-19 lead with 9:23 remaining and outscored the Wildcats 10-1 and built a 30-20 advantage with 5:18 remaining as Batth scored four points in this run. Clemson maintained the lead for the remainder of the first half and took a 37-25 lead into the lockerroom at intermission as Chrissy Floyd hit a field goal with :06 seconds remaining. At the start of the second, half, the Lady Tigers had their largest lead of the game (16 points), 43-27 with 17:28 remaining. Kentucky cut the lead to three with 7:18 remaining 50-47 as Erica Jackson hit a layup. However Clemson scored the next six points with field goals from Floyd, Batth, and Byrd, and had a 56-47 lead with 4:45 left.

The Wildcats again came within three of the Lady Tigers as Jackson hit a three point basket with 16 seconds remaining and Clemson had a 66-63 lead. Two free throws by Krystal Scott with 12 seconds left improved Clemson’s lead to five. Tanesha Seaton hit two free throws for Kentucky with five seconds left and again Clemson was ahead 68-65 with five seconds remaining.

Andrea Gaines sealed the win for the Tigers as she hit two free throws giving Clemson a 70-65 advantage with three seconds left on the clock. Clemson shot 12-34 from the field for a .353 pct. in the first half, while the Wildcats shot 10-33 from the field for a .303 pct. Kentucky improved in the second half and shot 14-23 from the field for a .609 pct. Clemson shot 9-32 from the field in the second half for a .281 figure. For the game, Kentucky shot .429 and Clemson was .318 from the floor. The Lady Tigers were 27-38 from the free throw line for a .711 figure. Clemson also outrebounded Kentucky 43-42 as the Lady Tigers had 25 offensive boards. Clemson also scored 17 second half points compared to the Wildcat’s nine. The Lady Tigers only committed eight turnovers, tied for the fourth lowest in a single game in Clemson history.

“This was a huge win for us in many ways,” said Clemson Head Coach Jim Davis. “Considering we are short handed and without two starters, I am very pleased with this win. Kentucky is a very talented, athletic team. We were very concerned coming into the game about Erica Jackson and her athleticism. Our players carried out the game plan and we scored some key second chance points. Kentucky is very athletic. Laura Meadows and Shantia Owens are exceptional players. I have a lot of respect for Coach Mattox and her program.

“We got to the free throw line and shot well. I was pleased with the fight in our players. Our players fought their hearts out. Erin Batth did a wonderful job in rebounding, scoring and defending. We wanted Erin to be more involved today and she was,” said Davis

“I want to compliment Clemson and the way they scraped,” said Kentucky’s Head Coach Bernadette Mattox. We didn’t rebound well today. Anytime you give up 25 offensive rebounds you can’t expect to do much damage. The early foul trouble that Erica Jackson had was a key factor. Our team is much better than we performed tonight. We needed to bounce back and be focused after that tough loss to top-ranked Connecticut on Wednesday night.” (Kentucky lost to number-one ranked Connecticut 68-62 on Wednesday night.)

Clemson will play host to South Carolina Monday night (November 29) in Littlejohn Coliseum at 8:05 p.m. in the Lady Tigers’ next action.