Jan. 26, 2005
ATLANTA – Chioma Nnamaka scored a game-high 16 points and went 7-for-8 from the free-throw line as Georgia Tech (12-5, 3-3 ACC) defeated Clemson (7-11, 1-5), 53-48, to earn its second-consecutive conference win of the season. The Yellow Jacket defense held the Tigers to just 19 second-half points and a season-low in scoring Wednesday at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.
“We talked at halftime about how we have played so well on the road but really haven’t defended our home court yet in ACC play, and I think that our team came out and responded with intensity and passion in the second half,” said Georgia Tech head coach MaChelle Joseph.
Nnamaka recorded her third-straight game in double figures and was joined by Jessica Williams and Stephanie Higgs, who scored 10 and 11 points, respectively. Williams fell just one rebound shy of a double-double and had a game-high three steals against Clemson while contributing to Tech’s 28 points in the paint.
“I thought that Jessica was a huge difference for us tonight,” said Joseph. “She really got on the boards and took over some responsibility and ended up with almost a double-double and by playing really well. We talked upstairs at the half that we had to get shots in the paint and that we were settling for jump shots in the first half, and I really thought that our guards did a great job of executing in the second half and getting the ball to our post players.”
Higgs hit a pair of free throws with 28 seconds remaining to give the Yellow Jackets a five-point lead in the game, but a layup by Reggie Maddox pulled the Tigers to within three points with 13 seconds left in the contest. Point guard Jill Ingram was fouled bringing the ball down the court and missed both free throws, but pulled down her own rebound on the second attempt and was immediately fouled, sending her back to the line to put the game out of reach with 11 seconds on the clock. She then converted on the first of two attempts to give the Jackets a 52-48 lead before making her last free try with one second remaining in the game.
With 15 free throws in the contest, Georgia Tech is now 11-0 in games in which it makes more free throws than its opponent.
Although the Jackets were outrebounded 35-32 in the game, Tech again protected the basketball, turning it over just 14 times while forcing 22 by its opponent.
With four lead changes and three ties, the two teams kept the game close in the first half until the Tigers went on a 10-2 run to end the frame, giving Clemson a 29-22 edge at halftime. Clemson received 21 points from its bench in the frame, including a nine-point performance by Amanda White, while the Jackets’ starters scored all but four of their 22 points. The Tigers shot over 52 percent in the frame while holding Tech to just 29.6 percent from the floor and outrebounded the Jackets, 18-11.
The Yellow Jackets went on a 10-2 run to begin the second half to take a 32-31 lead with just over 16 minutes remaining in the game. Kentrina Wilson hit a layup at 19:42 on an assist by Ingram before Williams pulled the Jackets to within three points at 18:53 with a layup on an assist by Nnamaka. One minute later, Wilson had another layup, making the score 29-28 in favor of the Tigers, but a jumper by Khaili Sanders would give Clemson another three-point lead. Williams then made a pair of shots under the basket to give Tech its first lead since 5:05 in the first half.
White led Clemson with nine points, all in the first half, while Moreemi Davis added eight on the evening.
Georgia Tech will return to action Sunday at 2 p.m. when it hosts North Carolina at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. The game will be broadcast on WREK-Radio, 91.1 FM, and online at www.wrek.org. Livestats for the contest will be available at www.ramblinwreck.com.