Feb. 19, 2007
Atlanta – Georgia Tech battled with Clemson until the very end to earn their 17th win of the season and their eighth in the conference, defeating the Tigers 62-59 at the Alexander Memorial Coliseum Monday. The victory assures the Jackets of their first winning conference record since joining the ACC in 1979.
The Tigers and the Jackets faced off earlier in the season and Monday’s 40-minute battle played out much like their Jan. 7 clash in Clemson, S.C.
The first time around it was a 63-57 Tech win. The Jackets crashed the boards, out rebounding Clemson by eight rebounds. On Monday, the Jackets out rebounded Clemson by eleven rebounds.
On Jan. 7, the Jackets took almost twice as many free-throw shots as did the Tigers. Monday, the Jackets went to the line 29 times, while the Tigers only shot 14 free throws.
In the first meeting, Chioma Nnamaka nailed three 3-pointers and scored 21 points for Tech. Monday, Nnamaka was 4-for-7 from behind the arc and finished with a team-high 14 points.
Tech jumped out to an early lead when Nnamaka drained a 3-pointer three minutes in but Clemson quickly answered with a Tasha Taylor 3-pointer. The Tigers stayed within two points until another Nnamaka 3-pointer gave the Jackets a five-point cushion midway through the first half. The two remained close for the rest of the half and headed to the locker room tied 27-27 thanks to a tough rebound and put back by Kentrina Wilson with :20 left to play in the first.
The Jackets regained their advantage when Janie Mitchell opened second-half scoring with a jumper in the lane but Tech could not gain a comfortable lead over the Tigers who continued to linger within two points of the Jackets. With 10:31 left to play, another Taylor 3-pointer brought Clemson within one point.
Moments later a D’Lesha Lloyd lay up gave the Tigers their first lead since early in the first but Nnamaka would not be quieted, raining down her fourth 3-pointer of the night for a 48-46 Georgia Tech lead.
The two teams swapped the lead three more times and tied the score six times in the closing nine minutes of the game but the Jackets would not be denied as Jacqua Williams, Tech’s five-foot-seven guard, through down a monster block on six-foot-three Clemson Center Moreemi Davis with 6:00 left.
With under :30 to play and with Tech leading by only two points, Clemson’s Christy Brown missed her lay up and Williams came up with a tough defensive rebound for the Jackets. On the ensuing possession, Tech point guard Jill Ingram was fouled making both her free throws and giving tech the three-point cushion that would carry them for the rest of the game.
Williams finished with a career-high three blocks, two steals and seven rebounds.
Tech enters their last ACC test of the season, a Feb. 22 tilt with Virginia, at 17-10 overall and 8-5 in the conference.