March 3, 2012
By Marcus Dittmer
Special to Sting Daily
Entering the ACC Tournament, the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team (24-7) had the longest winning streak of any league team at five games. Entering Sunday, the Yellow Jackets’ win streak is seven and Georgia Tech will have a chance to win its first Atlantic Coast Conference title when Tech takes on the third-seeded and No.6/5-ranked Maryland Terrapins (27-4) in a 2 p.m. tilt at the Greensboro Coliseum (ESPN2, WREK 91.1 FM).
The Jackets advanced to only their second ACC Championship Game with a dominant 81-67 win over the NC State Wolfpack in the semifinals Saturday. Georgia Tech shot 68.8 percent in the first half against the Pack and over 50 percent for the game. Sophomore Tyaunna Marshall led the Jackets with 20 points and has scored 41 in two ACC Tournament games. Senior center Sasha Goodlett posted her eighth double-double of the season with 12 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, while senior point guard Metra Walthour added 13 points.
Maryland enters the championship game after having defeated Virginia 70-58 in the quarterfinals and Wake Forest 73-58 in the semifinals. The Terps are led by sophomore Alyssa Thomas, who was named ACC Player of the Year, who averages 17.0 points per game and 8.2 rebounds an outing.
We Meet Again: Sunday’s championship game will mark the third meeting this year between the Jackets and Terps. The two teams tied for third in the ACC regular-season standings, but Maryland owned the tiebreaker having won both games. Last season, Tech and Maryland tied for fourth place in the regular-season, but Maryland won the tiebreak having won the only meeting. The Jackets exacted revenge in the ACC Quarterfinals, defeating the Terps 70-64.
Georgia Tech has only been beaten three times in one season once under head coach MaChelle Joseph. Wake Forest tallied three victories over the Jackets in Joseph’s first season at the helm of 2003-04.
Goin’ Streakin’: Georgia Tech entered the ACC Tournament with the longest winning streak of any conference team, having won its last five games. With the win over NC State, Tech has won seven straight, 11 of its last 12 and 13 of the last 15.
The Yellow Jackets are making only their second ACC Championship Game. This season actually marks the 20th anniversary of the Jackets first ACC Championship Game. The 1991-92 Tech team advanced to the finals with a 68-67 win over No. 4/5 ranked Maryland in the quarterfinals. The Jackets then defeated 20th-ranked Clemson 74-73 in the semifinals, before falling 70-69 to No. 1 seed and top-ranked Virginia 70-69 in the title game.
During that 1992 season, current head coach MaChelle Joseph was finishing off her All-American career at Purdue. Joseph was Big Ten Player of the Year, Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year, Kodak/WBCA First Team All-American and USBWA First Team All-American in 1992.
Semi-Sweet: The Yellow Jackets made their third consecutive appearance in the ACC Tournament semifinals when they faced the NC State Wolfpack. Tech has only played in five previous ACC semifinals. Last season marked the first time Georgia Tech had played in consecutive semifinals in school history.
Program-Bests: The Yellow Jackets have set or tied several program-bests this season. The 12 ACC wins are the most by any Tech team and the Jackets tie for third place eclipses the 2010 squad’s fourth-place finish as the best in school history. The 22 regular-season wins tie the school-record for the most regular-season wins.
The Jackets 24 wins tie the school record for most wins in a season which was set last season.
Seniors Seek Wins Record: With the win over North Carolina in the ACC Tournament Quarterfinals, the 2011-12 Georgia Tech senior class became the program’s all-time winningest class with 92 victories, surpassing the 2011 class’s 91 wins, and this year’s class currently has 93 total victories. Including this year’s class, the last five classes has set the Tech record for wins.
The 2012 class set the Georgia Tech record for most ACC wins by a class with the 56-54 win at North Carolina, and finished their ACC careers with 37 triumphs.