Dec. 4, 2010
By Jon Cooper
Georgia Tech has an opportunity to go into their two-week break on a high note when they conclude their three-games-in-five-days homestand against arch-rival Georgia. Tip-off at Alexander Memorial Coliseum is at 2:00 p.m.
The Jackets are riding a season-high three-game winning streak after routing Middle Tennessee State University, 68-48, Thursday night. Alex Montgomery had her third straight double-double (16 points, 10 rebounds) and the Yellow Jackets held the Blue Raiders without a field goal for nearly six minutes in the first half while going on a 13-5 run to take the lead for good.
Georgia also comes in riding a three-game winning streak after taking care of Southern Miss., 70-53, at Stegeman Coliseum in their last game. Jasmine James had 18 points and added six assists as the Bulldogs overcame a sluggish first half, shooting 60.7 percent in the second half to pull away.
Today’s game will be televised on CSS and can be heard on WREK (91.1 FM/www.WREK.org or XM 192) with Richard Musterer (play-by-play) and Kyle Tait (color) calling the action. Live stats can be found on Ramblinwreck.com.
And now, the starting five for this afternoon’s game.
Closing the Gap: The all-time series between Georgia Tech and Georgia is quite lopsided — Georgia holds a 29-3 edge — but the Jackets have gained ground. Over the last eight years, Tech has a 3-5 record, 2-5 in the MaChelle Joseph Era, with three of the losses coming by seven points or fewer, including last season’s 56-50 loss in Athens. Under Joseph, Tech has won two of the last three meetings at the AMC, including the last one, on Dec. 5, 2008, walloping UGA, 57-42. A win today would give the Jackets their first home winning streak in the series.
Senior Leadership: Today is the last go-round against Tech’s interstate rival for Yellow Jacket seniors Alex Montgomery and Deja Foster. Montgomery is averaging 11.3 points and 6.7 rebounds in her first three games, while Foster has averaged 8.0 points and 8.0 rebounds in her last two meetings with Georgia. Both hope to improve on last year, when they shot a combined 8-for-25 in the six-point loss. Montgomery has shot 7-for-21 in her last two meetings against the Dawgs (4-for-12 last year) after shooting 6-for-11 as a freshman. Foster struggled last year as well, going 4-for-13, but she did pull down 10 rebounds and six offensive rebounds, both game-highs.
No Harm, No Fouls: Staying out of foul trouble will go a long way in the Yellow Jackets success against Georgia. Last season, the Jackets committed twice the number of fouls (26-13) and were outshot 34-5 from the line. The disparity would have been worse were it not for woeful foul-shooting by Georgia, which converted only 13 of the 34 attempts (38.2 percent), and only 9 of 22 in the second half. So far in 2010-11, the Jackets have committed 169 fouls the same number as their opponents, but have taken 65 more free throws (209 FTAs to 141) and have outscored opponents at the line, 129-99. They could take better advantage, however, as they are shooting nearly 100 points lower from the line at .617 to .702.
LaQuantitative Analysis: Center LaQuananisha Adams broke out in Tech’s victory over Middle Tennessee State. Adams shot 4-of-6 for nine points and grabbed five rebounds (two offensive, three defensive) in only 14 minutes against the Blue Raiders. Over the previous five games, she’d totaled six points, three field goals and four rebounds.
Rarin’ To Go: Sophomore center Danielle Hamilton-Carter is eligible to make her Georgia Tech debut this afternoon. International rules forced Hamilton-Carter to not only sit out all of last season but the first 10 games of 2010-11. The 6-4 forward is extremely athletic and can be a presence in the paint, as she averaged a team-high 15.1 points and 5.4 rebounds, for Sweden in the 2010 Under-20 European Championships.
The Sixth Man: Hamilton-Carter’s debut should bolster Tech’s inside game and provide a look at a long-awaited pairing in the paint of Hamilton-Carter and Sasha Goodlett. In Tech’s first 10 games, the Jackets boast a 278-220 edge in points in the paint and has out-rebounded opponents, 395-313. Goodlett should be a beneficiary of Carter’s presence, as the team leader in swats the last two seasons, with 53, has but two in nine games in ’10-11.