CLEMSON - With its NCAA Tournament chances seemingly on the line every game
down the stretch, the Clemson women's basketball team finds itself operating
with little - if any - margin for error.
Sunday's 65-46 victory over Wake Forest in Littlejohn Coliseum improved the
Lady Tigers to 15-10 overall, 7-7 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. With two
regular season games remaining, head coach Jim Davis said his team must
finish at least .500 in the conference to extend its streak of 13 NCAA berths
in his 14 years at the school.
The victory, coupled with Georgia Tech's 71-62 loss at home to North
Carolina, puts Clemson in fourth place in the ACC, a half-game ahead of the
Yellow Jackets. The Lady Tigers host Georgia Tech Thursday, then close the
regular season at N.C. State (6-7), the other team with a chance to knock
Clemson out of fourth place.
"I've told the girls that and if it puts pressure on them, I'm sorry," Davis
said. "This league probably gets four teams in (the NCAAs), and no more. So
it's important that we finish at 8-8 and in the top four."
Clemson shook off a lethargic first half - the Lady Tigers led just 24-22 at
the break - and began to put things together midway through the second.
Lakeia Stokes scored 17 of her game-high 21 points after halftime. Marci
Glenney, who was benched the first seven minutes of the second half due to
poor defense, also got hot and scored 11 of her 13 points after the break.
Chrissy Floyd finished with 20, including a 10-for-10 effort from the free
throw line, which was indicative of Clemson's second-half improvement.
"They did a better job of getting dribble penetration against our zone in the
second half," said Wake Forest head coach Charlene Curtis. "When Floyd gets
to the free throw line that often, that means she's getting in too far
against our zone."
Wake Forest's last lead was 30-29 after a pair of Tiffani Listenbee (12
points) free throws with 16:25 remaining. Clemson outscored the Demon Deacons
(10-15, 4-11) 26-13 over the next 14 minutes to take control.