Jan. 24, 2015
By Jon Cooper | The Good Word
– Kaela Davis knew it was a matter of when, not if, she’d get to 1,000 points, but it’s still sweet to be acknowledged as the fastest player in Georgia Tech women’s basketball program history to get there.
The talented sophomore forward hit 1,000 points when she netted a jumper with 4:37 left in the second half Thursday night at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center against Notre Dame, her 52nd game as a collegian.
The 52 games nearly halved the time it took for the first Yellow Jacket to get there (Cindy Cochran required 101 games, accomplishing the feat with six games remaining in her senior campaign of 1985) and beat by three games the previous record-setters, Dolores Bootz, who first got to 1,000 on Jan. 29, 1987 — more than eight years before Davis was even born — then Joyce Pierce, who matched Bootz on March 8, 1992.
“It’s just an honor,” said Davis, modestly. “I have great teammates and great people surrounding me. It was great to share that moment. I had my parents there, my grandparents there. To be able to share that moment with them was a cool opportunity.”
It was especially cool, considering her father, Antonio, played six years of his 13-year NBA career with the Indiana Pacers, who play less than 150 miles away.
But all was not perfect for the record-setter.
The Yellow Jackets’ 89-76 loss to No. 6/5 Notre Dame rained on the parade of the individual honor.
“It’s a bummer that we didn’t get the win, but it was a hard fought game,” she said. “Notre Dame, they’re a great team, and we fought hard. I think everybody was just worried about the game. Once people realized afterward, they were like, `That’s awesome! You finally got it.'”
Focusing on the record led to something of a personal gripe for Davis, who became the 28th Yellow Jacket to reach a grand.
“I was aiming for 50, just kind of `Why not? Set the bar high'” she said, with a laugh. “But, obviously, to get it in 52, just to break the record overall was fine with me. I’ll take what I can get.”
Davis’ teammates were actually keeping a closer watch on the approaching milestone than Davis.
“They were into it,” she said, with a laugh. “After games they would say, `Where are you at now? Where are you at now?'” I remember after Boston College [on Jan. 8] they were like, `If you get this amount, maybe we can get it at a home game,’ `We can do this,’ `We can do that.’ It was one of those on-going things, as I was getting closer and closer.”
The quest served as personal motivation.
“It was just kind of a competition with myself, a little game we kind of played throughout,” she said. “But it kept it fun in the meantime.”
Davis was the second Yellow Jacket to reach 1,000 points this season, joining senior guard Sydney Wallace, who got there on Dec. 29, 2014 against Lipscomb at McCamish Pavilion, her 106th game. Unfortunately, she would not add to it, as she suffered a severe knee injury shortly thereafter.
Davis and Wallace marked the fifth set of Yellow Jackets teammates to hit 1,000 points in the same season and the first duo since Alex Montgomery and Brigitte Ardossi got there during the 2009-10 season.
Joining this group, which basically serves as a “Who’s Who” in program history, is a big deal to Davis, although she hasn’t had much time to think about — let alone read about — the new company she’ll keep. Davis realizes there will be a time to reflect. It’s just not right now.
“We got back, and I had class all day [Friday] and I had practice so I actually haven’t had time to sit down and analyze everything,” she said. “We leave, again, [Saturday]. We go to Virginia (a 2 p.m. Sunday tip-off). It’s just kind of the life, I guess.
“One thing I remember kind of just sitting there after the [Notre Dame] game, I was kind of thinking, `At some point we all have to find a moment where we are proud of ourselves and the things that we’ve accomplished,'” she added. “It was kind of weird for me to sit back and say, `Hey, we still have 10 games to play in conference, still have the ACC Tournament and hopefully the NCAA Tournament after that. To kind of sit back and see that I got it in 52 games, it was a cool moment.”
There should be more cool moments ahead in her final two-plus years. There’s 2,000 points and, of course, the ultimate carrot – 2,129 points, Ty Marshall’s all-time scoring record, set last season during Davis’ freshman season. The latter is something she and Marshall actually discussed Thursday night.
“Ty tweeted me and said, obviously, `Congratulations’ and, kind of joking around, said, `Let my scoring record kind of sit there for a second,'” Davis recalled, with a laugh. “I was like, `I’m only up to 1,000.’ She’s past 2,000. Her record will be there for a little bit. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”
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