Dec. 20, 2010
After opening the season with 11 games in 23 days, the Yellow Jackets (7-4) then took 15 days off from competition for exams, but will resume competition on the 21st when they face the Portland State Vikings (5-5) in Portland, Ore. The trip to the City of Roses is part of a two-game Pacific Northwest swing for Tech, which will serve as a homecoming for senior Alex Montgomery. After facing the Vikings, the Jackets will travel about two and a half hours north to Seattle to face the Washington Huskies on the 23rd.
The contest against the Jackets will be Portland State’s third game in six days, but the first of those three at home. Leading the Vikings this season is sophomore guard Courtney VanBrocklin with 13.4 ppg and 6.2 rpg. She is one of three Vikings players who average double digits.
This will mark the first meeting between the Vikings and the Jackets. Tech is 2-0 all-time against foes from the Big Sky conference, with both of those games being played in Atlanta.
Tech enters the contest riding a four-game winning streak, which concluded with a 69-53 win over the then #21/22-ranked Georgia Lady Bullodgs Dec. 5. Freshman Tyaunna Marshall scored a game-high 20 points to lead Tech while Montgomery added 18. Point guard Metra Walthour finished with 16 points, five assists and four steals.
SCOUTING PORTLAND STATE
The Vikings are led by sophomore guard Courtney VanBrocklin, a transfer from Boise State, who averages team bests of 13.4 pgg, 6.2 rpg and 1.7 spg. While VanBrocklin has 17 steals on the season, no other PSU player has more than nine. Junior guard Eryn Jones is second on the team with 11.8 ppg, but leads the squad with 4.7 apg and adds 3.6 rpg. The third Viking to average double digits is senior forward Kellie Valentine with 10.9 ppg. Over two-thirds of the Vikings’ points come from those three plus junior forward Shauneice Samms, who adds 8.2 ppg.
Portland State averages 18.3 turnovers an outing, fewer than Tech’s 19.9 turnovers a game, but the Vikings are near the bottom of the NCAA in steals, forcing only 6.7 per game.
Head Coach Sherri Murrell looks a long ways down her bench as 11 Vikings players have seen action in at least eight games and nine average at least 11 minutes a contest.
The Vikings opened the season with a 51-50 loss at Tech’s next foe – Washington. PSU found itself down 14-0 just over eight minutes in, but continued to battle and held a seven-point lead with less than eight to play in the contest. Washington’s Mollie Williams hit a 12-foot jumper with 24 seconds remaining to give the Huskies a 51-50 lead. The Vikings Eryn Jones was able to get a shot off from the left side of the key, but could not convert as UW held on.
Last season at this point, Tech was 9-2 after defeating Arizona, 70-48, in Atlanta for its fourth straight win on Dec. 20.
TECH VERSUS THE BIG SKY CONFERENCE
Georgia Tech is 2-0 all-time against teams from the Big Sky Conference. The Vikings are the only Big Sky team the Jackets will face this season. The last time Tech faced a foe from the Big Sky, the Jackets recorded a 91-36 win over Eastern Washington in Atlanta on Nov. 24, 2001.
Tech’s record vs. Big Sky schools:
Eastern Washington 1-0 1.000
Weber State 1-0 1.000
After finishing off a 3-0 week with a 16-point win over the then #21/22 Georgia Lady Bulldogs, Tech senior Alex Montgomery and freshman Ty Marshall earned a sweep of ACC weekly accolades.
En route to earning her first ACC Player of the Week honor, Montgomery averaged a team-best 20.7 ppg and 8.3 rpg, and was second with 3.7 apg and 1.7 spg. She converted on an outstanding 58 percent of field goal attempts and shot 57.1 percent from behind the arc. She scored at least 16 points and was at least 50 percent from the field in each game this week.
Marshall, who earned her third ACC Rookie of the Week honor, was second on the team with 12.3 ppg, and added 3.0 rpg, 2.0 apg and 1.7 spg. Marshall posted her second career 20-plus point performance with 20 points against Georgia. Despite making only 1-of-5 field goal attempts against Northwestern, she finished the week shooting 44.4 percent from the field.