Nov. 27, 2010
ST. THOMAS, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS – A night after Georgia Tech didn’t see one Yellow Jacket tally double-digits, four did so as Tech claimed a 61-46 win over the Missouri Tigers in each side’s final game of the Reef Division at the 2010 Paradise Jam Tournament at the University of the Virgin Islands’ Sports and Fitness Center.
Leading the way for Tech was junior point guard Metra Walthour who tallied 19 points on 4-of-6 shooting, but hit 7-of-8 free throws including 6-of-7 in the final two minutes of the game as Missouri tried to get back in the contest.
Senior Alex Montgomery and junior Sasha Goodlett each tallied double-doubles for the Yellow Jackets as Montgomery tossed in 14 points and grabbed 10 boards. Goodlett pitched in 10 points from her center position and hauled in 10 rebounds of her own. Overall, Tech out-rebounded the Tigers 43-29, the seventh time in eight games the Yellow Jackets have earned an advantage on the glass. Deja Foster, playing only her second game of the season, added 11 points and eight rebounds, including a 5-of-7 effort from the charity stripe.
“I think it was really important that we stepped up tonight,” head coach MaChelle Joseph said. “I was pleased with our defensive effort. To hold a Big 12 team to 46 points is a getting back to playing the way we play on the defensive end. It was good to have Deja Foster back out there. Her leadership and toughness really infects our team, and really brings out the best in her teammates around her.
“I thought Metra Walthour was huge. She hit some big threes and her free throws down the stretch. To have four players in double figures is good and it was nice to see Sasha Goodlett have a double-double. I was pleased with our overall effort. I think we’re getting better. We’re growing, learning about toughness from the teams we’ve played. We’d like to have gotten a couple more wins, but at this point in the year, we’ve been exposed. We know what we have to work on. In January and February we’ll be able to beat those types of teams.”
In the three previous games, Georgia Tech had surrendered 68 points per game in losses to Connecticut, Tennessee and Georgetown, but the Tech staple, its stingy defense, returned against the Tigers. The Jackets held Mizzou to its second-lowest scoring total of the season with 46 points on 17-of-47 shooting.
“We held Tennessee to 66 points, almost 20 points below their average, and I felt like we could really grow on that,” Joseph added. “Then to hold Missouri to 46 points, I really think our defense is starting to grow and come together.”
Tech began the contest running smoothly offensively, building a 27-17 lead after a Sandra Ngoie-Hasahya three-pointer at the 4:49 mark. Walthour sparked the offense with two threes – both on assists from Tyaunna Marshall – in that span. The Tigers held the Jackets scoreless from that point on, and went on a 9-0 run to cut Tech’s halftime lead to one, the fourth time this season the Jackets have held an advantage at the break.
The Jacket offense mustered just a 23.3 shooting percentage in the first half, going 7-of-30 from the field, while the Tigers were 10-of-25, good for a 40.0 percent conversion clip.
Tech came out of the lockerroom with a bang. Alex Montgomery hit a three at the 19 minute mark, Goodlett got a layup in the paint and Foster got a layup of her own after a Walthour steal.
“I think the experience of coming down here and playing this quality of opponents was great,” Joseph said. “This is a great way to prepare for the ACC and NCAA Tournaments – to have these kind of games with this caliber of competition back-to-back-to-back. On top of that, we’ve played eight games in 15 days, which is a lot to ask of the student-athletes. I think I’ve seen some real growth in our players throughout the course of the last 15 days.”
The Yellow Jackets return to Atlanta to face the Northwestern Wildcats in a 7 p.m. matchup on Dec. 1 at Alexander Memorial Coliseum in the fourth annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
— RamblinWreck.com –