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NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament Recap (Georgia-Clemson)

Posted: Sat March 20, 1999 at 8:44 p.m. EST

CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- Kelly Miller scored 11 of her 22 points to lead a second-half comeback as third-seeded Georgia beat No. 2 Clemson, 67-54 in the Mideast Region semifinal of the NCAA Women's Tournament.

The Lady Bulldogs (26-6), who have been to four Final Fours without winning a national championship, advanced to a regional final for the fourth time in five years and will meet Iowa State on Monday night.

Clemson (26-6) scored eight of the final 10 points in the first half to take a 28-26 halftime lead. Natasha Anderson scored six of the eight points for the Lady Tigers.

Clemson pushed its advantage to 39-34 with 14:44 to play on an 18-foot jumper by Erin Batth before Georgia mounted its comeback, scoring the next nine points to earn a 43-39 lead with 12:12 remaining.

Clemson reclaimed the lead at 44-43 on a turnaround jumper by Nikki Blassingame with 11:18 to play but went scoreless over the next six minutes as the Lady Bulldogs took control.

Pam Irwin-Osboldt, inserted into the starting lineup after the second-round win over SMU, had four points to key a 10-0 spurt. Batth ended the run with a six-foot turnaround jumper with 5:11 to play.

Georgia made 8-of-10 free throws in the last minute to seal the victory.

Kelly Miller also had 10 rebounds for her third double-double of the season. Twin sister Coco was held scoreless for the first time in her two-year career.

"I appreciate how Kelly changed gears," said Georgia coach Andy Landers. "Normally, we're a running team, but we knew we couldn't play that way tonight. Coco was a little bit anxious. She was forcing it offensively."

Freshman Tawana McDonald added 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field. Irwin-Osbolt and Elena Vishniakova added 10 points apiece.

"The practice after SMU, I was told I'd be in the starting lineup," said Irwin-Osbolt. "It doesn't matter to me whether I start or not. I just want to do what I have to do to help this team."

Anderson led Clemson with 12 points and Batth added 11. Clemson was outrebounded, 49-38.

"Give Georgia credit, they had a great game plan," said Clemson coach Jim Davis. "They got more out of their high-low and post game than we thought they could. One of our strengths all year long has been our post defense. Today it kind of let us down a little bit."

© 2000 Sportsticker Enterprises, LP



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