Down to the last second
Forns lifts Clemson past Chattanooga 51-49
Updated: Friday March 16, 2001 9:13 PM
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Nuria Forns made two free throws with less than a second left to give Clemson a 51-49 victory against Tennessee-Chattanooga in the first round of the Mideast Regional on Friday night.
"We were lucky, because we won when we didn't play well," said Clemson head coach Jim Davis, whose team shot just 35 percent from the field. "I feel like I'm the luckiest coach in America tonight."
Clemson will play either Louisville or Xavier in the second round Sunday.
Forns finished with 16 points, and Erin Batth had 11 for fifth-seeded Clemson (21-9). Damita Bullock scored 19 points for Chattanooga (24-7).
Forns got the chance to go to the line because of a scramble under the basket when Bullock put up a last-second shot and Forns was fouled by Chattanooga's Tishay Lewis.
"I just got the rebound and she slapped my hand," Forns said. "It was a foul. Everybody was encouraging me. I was laughing because I was so nervous, but I was fine after a while."
Clemson trailed most of the game, leading only briefly midway through the first half and again on a basket and free throw by Batth with 1:48 to play.
Bullock made two free throws to put Chattanooga up by one, but Forns responded with a 3-pointer to give Clemson a 49-47 lead with 1:27 left.
A basket by Bullock tied it at 49 with 1:01 to play, and a steal by Bullock with 30 seconds left let Chattanooga play for the last shot.
Bullock missed as the buzzer sounded, but the foul was called and 0.8 seconds were put back on the clock.
Forns then hit both free throws.
Chattanooga inbounded the ball and tried a full-court pass, but was unable to get a shot off before time expired.
"I take full blame for the foul at the end," said Chattanooga head coach Wes Moore. "I usually remind them that the worst that can happen is we go to overtime, and I failed to do that coming out of the timeout. I take the blame."
Senior Katarika Banks said the loss was devastating.
"I was in denial. I was in disbelief," Banks said. "At first,
I didn't know what she [the referee] was calling, but when I saw
her run to the table, I knew it was a foul. I was stunned."