Dec. 29, 2010
With just two games remaining in the non-conference portion of the season, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are trying to polish their game before heading into league play. Next up on the slate are the Tennessee State Lady Tigers, who will make their first visit to Alexander Memorial Coliseum in over 20 years for Thursday night’s game.
The Jackets enter the game riding a seven-game winning streak and coming off an offensive outburst against Mercer, 101-44, on Dec. 28. With the win Tech improved to 10-4 on the season and 7-1 at home. The Lady Tigers snapped a five game losing streak in their last outing, a 62-52 win over Eastern Kentucky Dec. 21, and improved to 4-8 on the year.
Leading the way for Tennessee State is senior guard Meredith Stafford, who is averaging 11.8 ppg and 2.0 spg. Cleaning up on the glass for the Lady Tigers is sophomore forward Simone Hopes, bringing in 6.0 rpg to go with 7.2 ppg. Head Coach Tracee Wells has 10 players who have seen action in at least 11 games, all 10 of which have started at least two outings this year.
The game with the Lady Tigers, as well as the Jan. 2 game against Jacksonville State are designated Kids Day, where children under 12 will be admitted free.
LAST TIME OUT FOR TENNESSEE STATE
Nashville – The Tennessee State University women’s basketball team gutted out a 62-52 win over Eastern Kentucky Dec. 21 in the Gentry Center.
With the win, Tennessee State (4-8, 1-3 OVC) snapped a five-game losing skid while Eastern Kentucky moved to 4-7 (1-3 OVC).
Freshman Tayla Foster came off the bench to post 16 points and six rebounds in just 14 minutes of play while sophomore Simone Hopes grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds for TSU. Senior Meredith Stafford finished the game with 10 points and six boards.
In the first half, the teams played to a 10-10 stalemate before the Colonels used a 12-4 run to capture a 22-14 lead with 6:32 on the clock. Over the next three minutes, TSU put together a rally to close within one, 22-21. EKU, however, outscored TSU 5-2 to close out the half and carried a 27-23 lead into the break.
An 11-2 run capped by an offensive rebound and put-back by Destiney Gaston gave TSU its first lead, 38-37, since early in the first half. At the 6:49 mark, TSU was holding on to a slight 47-46 lead when six unanswered points made the Lady Tiger lead 53-46 with 3:13 remaining.
With less than a minute left to play Alex Jones scored to bring the Colonels to within three, 55-52. On the ensuing possession, Meredith Stafford nailed a clutch jumper to put the Lady Tigers on top, 57-52 with 29 seconds remaining.
Eastern Kentucky attempted to go long on the next inbound play but Jasmine Brimm intercepted the pass and hit one-of-two free-throws to give TSU a 58-52 lead. On EKU’s next trip down the floor, Meredith Stafford recorded her second steal of the game before being fouled by Brittany Coles.
Last season at this point, Tech was 12-2 after winning the FIU Holiday Tournament with a 68-57 victory over host Florida International on Dec. 29, the Jackets seventh straight win.
TECH VERSUS THE OHIO VALLEY CONFERENCE
Georgia Tech is 1-0 all-time against teams from the Ohio Valley Conference, with the only game being the previous match-up with Tennessee State. The Jackets will face OVC teams in consecutive outings as the Jacksonville State Gamecocks come to AMC on Jan. 2.
Tech’s record vs. Ohio Valley schools:
Tennessee State 1-0 1.000
The Jackets went over 100 points for the first time since a 103-101 double overtime loss to Virginia in the 2008 ACC Tournament and the first time in regulation since MaChelle Joseph took over the Yellow Jacket program, with the 101-44 win over Mercer.
Tech had a season-high 51 first half points, recorded the third highest field goal percentage game at 62 percent and converted a season-best 44 field goal attempts.
JACKETS GET DEFENSIVE
The Jackets have gotten extremely defensive in the second half of their past two games. In the Dec. 23 game at Washington, Tech limited the Huskies to only nine second half points and only 27 for the game, which tied the record for fewest points by a Yellow Jacket opponent. The Jackets held Winthrop to only 27 points on Dec. 18, 2008.
The Huskies went without a field goal from the 15:54 point of the second half to just 36 seconds remaining. During that span, UW was limited to just three free throws as Tech built a 60-25 lead.
In the Dec. 28 contest vs. Mercer, the Jackets held the Bears without a field goal for a span of 12:03 (0:57 in first to 8:54 in second) and went on a 32-0 run to build a 79-28 lead. Mercer finished the game with only 44 points and only scored 16 in the entire second half.