Starting Five: Georgia Tech (13-6, 3-3) at Florida State (11-9, 3-3)

Jan. 21, 2012

By Jon Cooper
Sting Daily

Georgia Tech looks to get back into the win column and make it two straight on the road in ACC play this afternoon, taking on Florida State. Tip-off at the Donald L. Tucker Center is set for 2:00 p.m.

The Yellow Jackets suffered their second loss in three ACC home games their last time out, dropping a 79-62 decision to Duke Wednesday night at the Arena at Gwinnett Center. Sasha Goodlett had another strong effort with 25 points, five rebounds and three assists. The 25 points were one off her season best, set the previous outing, at Boston College. Ty Marshall had 13, but the Jackets never led in the game, trailing by six at the half before Duke pulled away in the second 20 minutes.

The Seminoles snapped a two-game losing streak, topping Boston College, 68-59, Thursday night at Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Mass. Redshirt junior guard Alexa Deluzio had a career-high 28 points, hitting six three-pointers, and sophomore forward Natasha Howard grabbed 12 points and 12 rebounds to lead FSU, which evened its conference road record at 1-1. The ‘Noles led by as much as 11 in the second half but had to fend off the stubborn Eagles, who cut the lead to two on a couple of occasions. FSU shot 51.2 percent over the final 20 minutes.

Today’s game is the 39th in the series, which began in 1975. The Yellow Jackets trail in the series, 20-18, but has broken even in their 18 previous match-ups in Talahassee. They’ve actually fared better on the road (9-9) than in Atlanta (8-10). The teams have split two neutral-site games. Tech has struggled of late in the series, having lost six of the last seven meetings, and three straight at Tucker. Of those six losses, none has been decided by more than 11 points and three of those were decided by a total of 14 points. Over the last 11 games — during which Tech is 5-6 — only two games have been decided by as many as 11.

Fans can catch today’s game on WREK, 91.1 FM or online at www.WREK.org with Richard Musterer and Michele Van Gorp on the call. Fans can get live stats on RamblinWreck.com and also can get instant updates by following the team on Twitter at @GTWBB and can get more information on the team by liking them on Facebook, GTWomensBasketball.

And now, the Starting Five for today’s game.

The Last Time We Met: Ty Marshall had 18, but the Yellow Jackets had no answer for the hot shooting of No. 19/15 Florida State in a 73-60 loss at the Tucker Center. The Seminoles shot 52.1 percent for the game and 53.3 from three, led by Deluzio, who scored a game-high 20, hitting 7-for-13, 3-of-6 from three. Tech overcame a 10-point first-half deficit to trail 29-28 at the half and took the lead on a Marshall jumper 1:19 into the second half. But the lead lasted 20 seconds, as FSU’s Howard hit a three and the Jackets never led again. Tech would hit only 1-of-7 from three in the second 20 and shot only 34.3 percent for the night. They did dominate on the boards, especially on the offensive glass, where they held a 17-7 edge, led by Goodlett, who grabbed a game-high six offensive rebounds, and Alex Montgomery, who had four more. That led to a 15-6 edge in second-chance points.

Shoeless Jo: Should Georgia Tech Head Coach MaChelle Joseph participate in “Barefoot for Bare Feet,” a donation drive being held on the Florida State campus today encouraging fans to donate shoes for the underprivileged, it would be the second time this season that Joseph coached a game in stocking feet. While she was unaware of the initiative as of Saturday morning, she might want to participate, if for no other reason then to reverse recent bad karma at Tucker Center. Coaching sans shoes worked well the first time, as Tech toppled Marquette, 74-63, on Nov. 19 at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee.

Shooting Gallery: Look for a high-scoring game as both the Yellow Jackets and the Seminoles are among the best shooting teams in the ACC. The Yellow Jackets are fourth, shooting 39.6 percent, while Florida State is second, hitting 45.2 percent of their shots. Florida State also is the best in the conference in three-point shooting, converting at 36.4 percent, 20 points better than the nearest ACC team and 63 points better than Tech. Deluzio (45.7) sets the pace in the ACC. Despite the disparity in field goal and three-point shooting percentage, the Jackets are actually scoring more points per game in conference play, scoring 69.3 ppg, to Florida State’s 65.8.

That Rebound Was Offensive…: Part of the reason Georgia Tech can keep with teams, like Florida State, that shoots better is its tenacity on the offensive boards. In six ACC games, Tech is grabbing 17.2 offensive rebounds a game. That’s fourth in the conference, 3.5 more per game (13.7) than opponents and almost three more per game than FSU (14.5 orpg). They’ve won the battle on the offensive glass in five of their six ACC games and, in turn, have won the battle in second-chance points four times, out scoring opponents 96-90 or 16.0 per game to 15.0. The Jackets feature two of the ACC’s top five offensive rebounders in Marshall (4.5 per game, second in the conference) and Goodlett (4.0, fifth). In between them is Florida State’s Howard (4.2), who is tied for third.

Lucky 70: The magic number for Georgia Tech seems to be 70. The Yellow Jackets are a combined 10-1 when scoring at least 70 points in a game — the lone loss was the 77-74 loss at Maryland. Tech is 5-1 when they hit 70, they are 3-0 when getting to 80 and are 2-0 when getting 90 or more. Conversely, Tech is 0-4 when opponents score 70 points. Three of those games have come against ACC competition (Maryland, Miami and Duke).

The Sixth Man: Tech is one of the most unselfish teams in the ACC. The Jackets are handing out 15.5 assists a game, second only to Duke in the conference (their 93 helpers are one fewer than the Blue Devils). In its last game, against Duke, Tech had four different players hand out three assists — LaQuananisha Adams, Goodlett, Marshall and Metra Walthour. Tech’s front court actually recorded more assists than the back court, 10-5. Also recording assists against the Blue Devils was guard Dawnn Maye, who had two and forward Chelsea Regins, who had one.

GEORGIA TECH LEADING SCORER: Tyaunna Marshall, 16.1 ppg
LEADING SCORER (ACC): Sasha Goodlett, 19.5 ppg

GEORGIA TECH LEADING REBOUNDER: Sasha Goodlett, 7.2 rpg
LEADING REBOUNDER (ACC): Sasha Goodlett, 9.2 rpg

FLORIDA STATE LEADING SCORER: Cierra Bravard, 14.9 ppg
LEADING SCORER (ACC): Alexa Delusio, 14.8 ppg

FLORIDA STATE LEADING REBOUNDER: Natasha Howard, 9.2 rpg
LEADING REBOUNDER (ACC): Natasha Howard, 10.0 rpg

GEORGIA TECH SCORING/ACC: 72.4/69.3
OPPONENT/ACC: 60.1/70.7

FLORIDA STATE SCORING/ACC: 69.7/65.8
OPPONENT/ACC: 62.0/61.7

FLORIDA STATE PLAYER TO WATCH: Alexa Deluzio – The redshirt junior guard is extremely dangerous from behind the arc, at the line and all points in between. Deluzio is scoring 14.8 points per game (13th in the ACC), leads the ACC in three-point field goal percentage (45.7), is second in the conference in three-point field goals made (2.7 per game) and is fourth at the foul line, where she converts at 89.5 percent — she’s missed two free throws in 19 attempts in ACC play. She also is difficult to get off the court, averaging 35.7 minutes per game, ninth in the conference. Tech should remember her well from last year, when she went off in the second half for 15 points, three rebounds, two assists, a steal and a blocked shot

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