Starting Five: Georgia Tech (2-1, 0-0, ACC) at No. 23/21 Georgia (4-0, 0-0, SEC)

Nov. 23, 2013

Georgia Tech continues its traditional rugged non-conference schedule today, completing back-to-back road games against top-25 teams when it takes on No. 23/21 Georgia. Tip-off at Stegeman Coliseum is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.

The Yellow Jackets lost their first game so far this season, 87-76, last Sunday night in Knoxville, but not before giving No.3/4 Tennessee all they wanted. Freshman guard Kaela Davis continued to shine, scoring a game-high 28 points, on 9-for-20 shooting (4-for-10) from three. Sophomore Aaliyah Whiteside added 16, while Tyaunna Marshall and Sydney Wallace each had 13. Tech trailed by as much as 18 in the first half but closed the half on a 10-1 run to pull to within nine at the break. Wallace pulled the Jackets to within five with a jumper just inside of seven minutes but Tennessee went on a 12-0 run to pull away. Tech was outrebounded 65-38, 33-20 on the offensive glass by the Vols, who also held a 21-14 edge in second-chance points.

The Bulldogs had a tougher than expected battle Tuesday night in raising their record to 4-0 in their seven-game, season-opening homestand rallying to beat Furman, 72-48. Georgia trailed the upset-minded Paladins by as much as 17 in the first half, but closed the half on an 8-0 run then scored the first 18 points of the second half to regain control, opening a 40-31 lead and cruising home. They’d lead by as much as 26 in the second half. Sophomore guard Tiaria Griffin scored a game-high 21 off the bench, guard Krista Donald added a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double and guard Khaalidah Miller chipped in with 12 and 6, for Georgia, which shot 50 percent in the second half. Defensively, UGA held the Paladins to 25 percent shooting after allowing them to shoot 44 percent in the first half.

Today’s game will be the 36th meeting in a series that dates back to 1974. The Yellow Jackets are 4-31 and 0-14 at Stegeman, but have a respectable 3-7 mark under MaChelle Joseph, and while they’re 0-4 in Athens, have lost three of those games by fewer than 10 points.

The game can be heard on WREK, 91.1 FM, or online at www.WREK.org with Richard Musterer and LaQuananisha Adams 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: The Yellow Jackets couldn’t overcome a cold-shooting first half and lost, 60-50, to No. 8/9 Georgia last Dec. 2, in the schools’ first meeting at McCamish Pavilion. Freshman Aaliyah Whiteside scored a team-high 14 points on 5-for-8 shooting, 3-for-5 from three, and Ty Marshall added a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double but the Yellow Jackets shot only 20 percent and made just 1-of-10 from three in scoring 14 first-half points, trailing 27-14 at intermission. They were unable to climb out of the 13-point hole, trailing by as much as 18 with 6:40 to play. The Jackets rallied behind Whiteside, who hit a pair of threes as part of a 18-6 run, to get to within 54-48 with 1:51 to play, but then committed three turnovers and got no closer. Georgia guard Khaalidah Miller went 4-for-4 from the line to close things out. Forward Jasmine Hassell scored a game-high 22 on 10-of-13 shooting to pace UGA.

Can’t Stop The K-Train: Kaela Davis just keeps on rolling in her freshman season. At her last stop, in Knoxville, against Tennessee, Davis went off for 28 points on 9-for-20 shooting, 4-for-10 from three, and shot a perfect 6-for-6 from the line. She also grabbed five rebounds. Davis leads all ACC freshmen in scoring, and is second in the entire conference, behind only Wake Forest senior guard Chelsea Douglas (23.5) at 22.7 ppg. She’s one of five players in the conference shooting 1.000 from the free throw line, leads the conference in 3-pointers made (4.3 per game) and is 13th in three-point shooting (.448, 13-for-29). She’s also two rebounds away from cracking the top-10 in the conference in rebounding (8.7), and is tied for 10th in defensive boards (6.0).

A Score to Settle: Sydney Wallace owes Georgia, big time. The junior sharpshooter has not scored a basket in two games against Georgia, shooting a combined 0-for-9, 0-for-4 from three. She was 0-for-2, 0-for-1 from three two years ago as a freshman at Stegeman Coliseum. Last year also was a nightmare (0-for-7 and 0-for-3 from three). Wallace comes into today’s game shooting 50 percent over her last two games (11-for-22) and is hitting 63.6 percent from behind the arc (7-for-11).

Finish With a Flourish: Ty Marshall also would like to have a big game this afternoon in her final shot against Georgia. Marshall is averaging 16.3 ppg in her first three games against the Bulldogs but has really had to work for them, as she is shooting 38.6 percent (22-for-57), 33 percent from three (1-for-3) and only 57.1 percent from the line (4-for-7). Marshall is coming off her worst game against Georgia, scoring 10 points on 4-for-12 shooting last year at McCamish Pavilion. Her first two games against UGA she scored 20 and 19 and didn’t make fewer than nine field goals, including 19 points on 9-for-24 shooting, with nine rebounds in her first visit to Stegeman. Marshall is coming off a 13-point effort (6-for-25 shooting) at Tennessee in her first start of the season.

Not In Nariah’s House: Sophomore center Nariah Taylor has picked up where she left off last year as far as shot-blocking. Taylor has a team-high three blocks thus far this season. That’s one fewer than the rest of the team combined. She has one in each game, which gives her at least one rejection in 11 of her last 14 games. Should Taylor get a block in today’s game it will match her longest streak for consecutive games with at least one rejection — she blocked at least one shot in each game last season from Jan. 27 through Feb. 8. Taylor finished her freshman campaign with 20 swats, 10th-most by a freshman in school history.

The Sixth Man: Georgia Tech is looking for its first road win against a top-25 team since Feb. 12, 2012, a 64-56 win at No. 25/RV North Carolina…Joseph’s three wins are the most of any Georgia Tech coach against Georgia, and she has had only one losing streak as long as three games against them. She’s looking to avoid matching that today…The Yellow Jackets have not only shot well from three (41.7 percent, 30-for-72), but also have defended the three-point line superbly, holding opponents to 21.7 percent (10-for-46). Georgia is shooting 24.1 percent from downtown (13-for-54)…Dawnn Maye’s next steal will give her 200 for her career and move her into a tie for ninth place with Aimee Weiss (1990-93). Maye comes in four swipes behind Ty Marshall, who is in eighth place. Marshall passed Weiss at Tennessee with her second of four steals on the game. Both Marshall and Maye have former Jacket teammate Metra Walthour in their sites. Walthour, who played from 2009-12, is seventh all-time with 211 steals.

GEORGIA TECH LEADING SCORER: Kaela Davis, 22.7 ppg
GEORGIA LEADING SCORER: Tiaria Griffin, 21.0 ppg

GEORGIA TECH LEADING REBOUNDER: Kaela Davis, 8.7 rpg
GEORGIA LEADING REBOUNDER: Krista Donald, 10.3 rpg

GEORGIA TECH SCORING: 80.7 ppg.
OPPONENT: 63.7 ppg.

GEORGIA SCORING: 60.5 ppg.

OPPONENT: 42.0 ppg.

GEORGIA PLAYER TO WATCH: Khaalidah Miller – The 5-9 senior guard is having a superb senior year, as she’s scoring 11.0 ppg, tops amongst Bulldogs who have played more than one game, and assists (18). Miller matched her career-bests for rebounds (11), assists (6) and minutes played (40, the 13th time in her career) in the season-opener against Presbyterian and in UGA’s last game against Furman, became the 35th player in school history to score 1,000 points. The Atlanta native was second on the club in scoring in last year’s game at Georgia Tech, scoring 11 points, and went 4-for-4 at the foul line at the end of the game, to seal it.

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