March 19, 2015
THE FLATS – The Georgia Tech women’s basketball team (19-14, 7-9 ACC) used explosive offensive efforts from Kaela Davis and Aaliyah Whiteside to defeat Elon (19-13, 11-7 CAA), 69-47, Thursday night in the first round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament at McCamish Pavilion.
“I thought we did a good job with our game plan and we took away their strengths,” head coach MaChelle Joseph said. “We zoned in on what we needed to take away from them. I thought Aaliyah Whiteside and Kaela Davis came out strong and set the tone for us.”
It was only the second meeting between the two schools and the first since the 1999. The Jackets are now 6-3 all time in the WNIT and Thursday’s game marked the first postseason game in McCamish Pavilion.
All eight Yellow Jackets that played scored at least two points and the Jackets were led by sophomore Kaela Davis who scored 24 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. Junior Aaliyah Whiteside scored 23 points and made a team-best three 3-pointers. It was the second time in two games that Tech had two 20 point scorers. The last time two Yellow Jackets scored 20 points apiece was against Clemson in the ACC Tournament when Whiteside scored 23 and junior Roddreka Rogers tallied 20 points.
Whiteside and Davis combined to score 47 points, which accounted for 68 percent of Georgia Tech’s overall point total.
Freshman De’Ashia Jones had a career day, recording career-best in points (7) and rebounds (6).
Whiteside and Davis combined for 34 of the Yellow Jackets’ 42 points in the first half and a Tech tough defense held the visitors to just five points in the first 10 minutes of the game. The Yellow Jackets held the Phoenix without a field goal for 8:53 while the Jackets outscored Elon, 19-0, to go ahead 21-5 at 10:44 in the first half.
The Yellow Jackets took a 42-20 lead into the locker room at halftime thanks to Davis and Whiteside each scoring 17 points in the first 20 minutes.
In the first six minutes of the second half, the Phoenix put together a run of their own, outscoring Tech, 8-3, to come within 18 points of the Jackets’ 46-28 lead. Three-straight 3-pointers from Jones, Whiteside and freshman Antonia Peresson gave Georgia Tech a 24 point lead 55-31 with 12:42 on the scoreboard.
Tech’s largest lead of the night came with 2:18 left in the game when sophomore Katarina Vuckovic sank a free throw shot to give the Jackets’ a 30 point advantage, 69-39.
Georgia Tech will play at Ole Miss in the second round of the WNIT on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET.