Dec. 1, 2010
ATLANTA – Senior Alex Montgomery tallied her 12th career double-double with 28 points and 11 rebounds, but the final additions to that line were arguably her biggest of the night. The Tacoma, Wash., native hit a three-pointer from the corner in front of her own bench with 12.6 seconds left to give Tech a 65-63 lead over the previously undefeated Northwestern Wildcats (6-1) in an ACC/Big Ten Challenge matchup at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.
After Northwestern’s Kendall Hackney missed an open three-point attempt with five seconds left, Montgomery grabbed her 11th and final rebound of the night, and was immediately fouled. The senior calmly stepped to the line and hit both free throws to ice the game for the Jackets.
“It’s amazing, Alex is so efficient, she scored 28 points on 15 shots,” head coach MaChelle Joseph. “She’s a big time player, and I felt like tonight she stepped up and was a big time player for us. That three in the corner was huge. A lot of people don’t have the guts to take that shot.
“That’s what you expect of your seniors. We rode Brigitte Ardossi last year and that’s what Deja [Foster] and Alex have to give us this year. Deja is an extension of the coach on the floor. She takes so much pressure off of me, I can only imagine the pressure she takes off her teammates. She knows everybody’s position on the floor. Defensively, she is one of our best defenders. She goes after rebounds that nobody else can get. She’s just brought tremendous energy on both ends of the floor.”
Montgomery’s 28 points were a career-high and gave the senior 11 career contests with at least 20 points. Junior center Sasha Goodlett finished with double figure points for the second time in as many games as she tossed in 11 and grabbed seven rebounds.
Foster, in only her third game of the season, played 36 minutes, scored nine points, pulled down seven boards and dished out three assists. A game after torching the nets for a career-high 19 points, Metra Walthour wasn’t as noticeable on the score sheet, but was extremely important to the success of the Jackets. The junior point guard finished with six points, tied a season-high with six assists, grabbed four steals and added two rebounds. One of those six assists came on Montgomery’s three from the corner with 12.6 left in the game.
“We told our kids, had we not played UConn, Tennessee and Georgetown, we probably wouldn’t have won this game,” Joseph said. “The toughness we learned in the Virgin Islands and over the course of the early season, it really helps us understand how to win and how to play in a tough situation.”
Despite shooting 45.6 percent, the first time the Jackets have topped the 40 percent mark since converting at a 49.1 percent clip against Kennesaw State on Nov. 17, Tech still went nearly six minutes in the second half without a field goal. The Jackets got a fastbreak three from Montgomery off a Walthour assist to build a 59-52 lead with 5:59 to play. The Wildcat defense stepped up and kept Tech without a field goal until Montgomery’s final three of the night.
“Both of these teams are experienced teams led by seniors. Northwestern is led by Amy Jaeschke, a top-10 pro prospect. Alex Montgomery is a senior pro prospect,” Joseph added. “When you have seniors and experienced teams, no one is going to quit. You’re going to make runs. Nobody was going to run away with this game, there was too much experience on both sides.”
The Yellow Jackets are back in action Friday night at Alexander Memorial Coliseum as the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders come to town for a 7 p.m. contest. For tickets, visit RamblinWreck.com or call 888-Tech Tix.