Starting Five: No. 20 Georgia Tech (7-6, 0-2, ACC) at Clemson (4-9, 0-2, ACC)

Jan. 5, 2013

By Jon Cooper
Sting Daily

Georgia Tech looks for its first ACC win and to even its conference road record when it takes on Clemson Sunday afternoon. Tip-off at Littlejohn Coliseum is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.

The Yellow Jackets are coming off a spirited effort and one of their best games of the season despite an 85-78 loss to No. 19/21 Florida State Thursday night at McCamish Pavilion. Forward Danielle Hamilton-Carter led five Yellow Jacket double-figure scorers with 13 points and just missed a double-double, as she grabbed eight rebounds, and Dawnn Maye had her fourth double-double of the season, scoring 11 points while handing out 12 assists. The Jackets shot 58.8 percent in the first half in taking a seven-point lead into the locker room and extended the lead to nine early in the second half, before the Seminoles rallied. The teams traded the lead six times in the final eight minutes, but FSU closed on an 11-4 run over the final 2:57 to take the game.

The Tigers also fell to 0-2 within the conference, dropping a 78-56 decision to Miami in Coral Gables on Thursday night. Quinyatta Pettaway scored a season-high 20, Nikki Dixon added 16 and point guard Aisha Turner had a game-high nine assists for CU. The Tigers shot a better percentage than Miami (43.4 to 41.5), and had their way in the paint (34-26 on PIPs), but the Hurricanes hit 50 percent from three (15-of-30), with guard Stefanie Yderstrom going 5-of-9. Clemson trailed 36-25 at the half and by 17 by the first media timeout of the second half and never got closer than 16 thereafter.

Sunday’s game will be the 67th meeting in a series that dates back to 1980. The Tigers hold a 42-26 overall edge and a 22-10 advantage in games played in Littlejohn. But the Yellow Jackets have controlled the series recently, having won 13 of the last 14 and six straight both in the series and in Clemson.

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: No. 17/19 Georgia Tech sent its senior class out in style, coming from behind to rout Clemson, 62-50, at Forbes Arena, on the Morehouse College campus. The win tied the school single-season wins record at 22 and extended the school-single-season ACC record to 12. Freshman Sydney Wallace scored 12 of her career-high 16 on four three pointers to spark a 13-2 run as the Jackets led 33-25 at the half. In the second half, Tech extended the lead to 12 with just over seven minutes left, then clamped down, limiting Clemson to two field goals the rest of the way. The win was Tech’s fifth straight in a season finale and gave the Jackets nine wins in their final 10 games, proving a nice springboard into the ACC Tournament.

Playin’ Big: Forward Danielle Hamilton-Carter had one of her best games as a Yellow Jacket Thursday night against Florida State. In 32 minutes, Hamilton-Carter scored a team- and season-high 13 points on 6-for-12 shooting, was a force on the boards, grabbing eight rebounds, five of them off the offensive glass, and was a presence defensively, blocking a shot and gathering two steals. The six field goals and 12 FGAs both were career highs, her offensive rebounds matched her season-high, while her total points, steals and blocks were one off her career-best totals. Over the last two games, Hamilton-Carter is shooting 55.6 percent (10-of-18).

Brittany, For Threeeeeeeee!: Don’t tell Brittany Jackson about Georgia Tech’s struggles from the three-point line. The freshman guard is hitting a robust 39.5 percent from behind the arc, which puts her eighth in the ACC, while her 1.5 three-point FGMs per game put her 12th in the conference. Jackson’s 12 threes are tied with fellow freshman Aaliyah Whiteside for the most on the team and account for 26 percent of the team’s total. Jackson even burst out of her own mini-slump Thursday night against FSU, hitting a game-high three three-pointers and going 3-for-6 for the game. Beginning play Thursday she had been 1-for-8 over her previous three games.

The Downtown Disconnector: Georgia Tech continues to make a statement with its three-point defense. In its two ACC games, the Jackets have met the top two three-point shooting teams in the ACC, Duke (currently shooting a league-best 42.5) and Florida State (second at 41.2) and have shut down both. The Yellow Jackets shut out Florida State Thursday night, as the Seminoles went 0-for-7 from behind the arc (0-for-2 in the first half, 0-for-5 in the second), while against Duke, in Cameron Indoor, the Jackets limited Duke to 2-for-10 from three (2-for-5 in the first half, 0-for-5 in the second). That’s a combined 11.7 percentage and includes three consecutive shutout halves. Today’s opponent, Clemson is the poorest shooting team from three, making 20.5 percent of its three-point attempts.

And Heeeeeeere She Comes…: Don’t look now, but here comes Sydney Wallace. The star of Georgia Tech’s NCAA Tournament run, when she hit 19 threes in the three-game stretch that got the Yellow Jackets into the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history, has now made two three-pointers in her last three games, including going 2-for-2 from downtown against Florida State. Wallace is shooting 67 percent (6-for-9) in those three games. Prior to this stretch, Wallace had made only four threes all season and was shooting 13.3 percent (4-for-30) from behind the arc. Last year, Wallace shot 43.9 percent from three in ACC play (18-for-41).

The Sixth Man: Georgia Tech’s 14 wins against Clemson are the most against any team in the MaChelle Joseph era. Miami is next with 11…Georgia Tech suffered its first loss when leading at the half on Thursday night against Florida State. The Jackets had been 6-0 when up at intermission…Ty Marshall is one of three players in the top 15 in the ACC in scoring, rebounding and steals and is one of only two players in the top five in scoring and rebounding. Marshall is averaging 15.6 points and 9.2 rebounds in her last five games…Dawnn Maye has four double-doubles this season but still has yet to record one of the standard points/rebounds variety…Tech’s 45 first-half points against Florida State were the most in a first half this season and the first time the Jackets had scored 45 in a first half since last year’s game at Florida State, on Jan. 22.

GEORGIA TECH LEADING SCORER: Tyaunna Marshall, 16.2 ppg
CLEMSON LEADING SCORER: Nikki Dixon, 13.9 ppg

GEORGIA TECH LEADING SCORER (ACC): Tyaunna Marshall, 17.5 ppg
CLEMSON LEADING SCORER (ACC): Nikki Dixon, 19.0 ppg

GEORGIA TECH LEADING REBOUNDER: Tyaunna Marshall, 8.5 rpg
CLEMSON LEADING REBOUNDER: Quinyotta Pettaway, 9.0 rpg

GEORGIA TECH LEADING REBOUNDER(ACC): Tyaunna Marshall, 7.0 rpg
CLEMSON LEADING REBOUNDER (ACC): Quinyotta Pettaway, 13.0 rpg

GEORGIA TECH SCORING: 66.8/65.0 ppg.
OPPONENT: 65.7/85.0 ppg.

CLEMSON SCORING: 58.8/57.0 (ACC) ppg.
OPPONENT: 57.5/71.5 (ACC) ppg.

CLEMSON PLAYER TO WATCH: Nikki Dixon – The 5-10 sophomore guard is 12th in the ACC in scoring and has been especially hot of late, having scored in double-figures in each of the last eight games. Back on Dec. 30th, against North Carolina, she became the fastest player in Clemson history to reach 500 points, doing so in her 40th game. The first Clemson player to be named ACC All-Freshman since 2007 last season, the Alpharetta native will certainly be eager to do some damage against her home-state team.

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