Jan. 5, 1998

Clemson Downs 9th Ranked Virginia, 74-67

CLEMSON, S.C. - Natasha Anderson scored 18 points and Amy Geren converted 6-6 free throws downs the stretch to lead Clemson to a 74-67 victory over 9th ranked Virginia Monday night at Clemson's Littlejohn Coliseum.

The victory was the third triumph over a top 11 ranked team for unranked Clemson and improved its overall record to 12-2, 4-0 in the ACC. Virginia suffered just its second loss of the season and is now 10-2 overall,1-2 in the ACC.

Virginia was led by Mimi McKinney with 23 points and 19 from DeMya Walker, who also had nine rebounds. McKinney also had six assists.. Erin Stovall had 10. Nikki Blassingame had 11 points and 10 rebounds to record the only double-double of the evening. Geren added nine rebounds to her 13 points, while Itoro Umoh had eight points, eight rebounds and seven assists.

Forward Erin Batth had eight points in 17 minutes, twice as many points as she had scored in any game previously.

The 4-0 start is the best in history for the Lady Tigers and the victory on Monday was the second in 72 hours over a top 10 team. Clemson downed North Carolina on Friday night. It marks the first time in history that Clemson has beaten top 10 teams in consecutive games. The Lady Tigers take on another ranked opponent on Thursday night at NC State.

The victory also marked Clemson's sixth win in the last seven outings over Virginia. In all six victories, Virginia has entered the game ranked in the top 20 in the nation.

Virginia jumped out to a nine-point lead in the first half behind the play of McKinney and Erin Stovall. It was 25-16 Virginia with 8:40 to go in the first half when Clemson started to find the range. Clemson went on a 20-3 run to close the half behind six points from Erin Batth and six points from Anderson. Clemson led 36-28 at intermission.

McKinney and Walker each scored 11 points in a 26-14 Virginia run to open the second half. The Cavaliers took a 54-50 lead with 10 minutes left. Clemson battled back and took a one-point lead at 59-58 on Geren's only three-point basket of the game with 7:25 remaining.

Virginia took its last lead of the game on a bucket by Walker on the inside with 4:35 left, 61-59. But, Clemson owned the last four minutes of the contest, outscoring the Cavs 13-8. Blassingame scored five straight points, including 3-3 from the foul line to key the spurt. She had entered the game shooting just 43 percent from the foul line. Her three-point play with 3:28 left gave Clemson a three-point lead. Virginia never recovered.

Clemson's defense held Virginia to just two field goals in the last three minutes, one of those was a harmless three-point goal with four seconds remaining.

Clemson converted 13-14 foul shots inside the last five minutes of the game, while Virginia made just 1-6 from the line. Clemson won the rebound battle 45-34, the sixth straight game Clemson won the rebounding. Clemson also hit 23-27 from the foul line for the game, compared to 9-19 for the Cavaliers.