Yellow Jackets, Georgia To Clash In Peach State Showdown Friday

Dec. 4, 2008

Game Notes | Watch | WREK Radio | Gametracker

ATLANTA – After upsetting its first ranked opponent of the season, the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team will turn its attention to archrival Georgia (7-1), who will travel to Alexander Memorial Coliseum for a Friday night matchup. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.

Fans can listen to Richard Musterer and Kurt Hoyt call all the action this weekend on WREK Radio (91.1 FM/www.wrek.org), Georgia Tech women’s basketball’s flagship station. Fans can also watch the game live on ACC Select (www.ACCSelect.com).

Georgia has had the Yellow Jackets (6-2) number in the all-time series with a 28-2 advantage but Tech has closed the gap over the last few years, winning two of the last six meetings. Last season, the Lady Bulldogs pulled out a tough 71-64 win over the visiting Yellow Jackets.

Tech enters the game off a dominating 70-57 win over No. 21 Michigan State Wednesday evening at the AMC. Georgia comes in on a five-game winning streak including a 72-46 victory over Tennessee Tech Wednesday in Athens.

Georgia Tech has scheduled numerous events around Friday’s game. The Jackets will unveil their 2007-08 NCAA Tournament participant banner prior to tipoff. The team will also celebrate the participants of the 2008 “Jacket 2 Jacket” reading program.

In addition, the women’s basketball team is taking part in the 8th-Annual Michael Isenhour Toy Drive. New, unwrapped toys will be collected from fans as they enter Alexander Memorial Coliseum.

Fans can purchase tickets for Friday evening’s game at Gate 1 of the Coliseum. Tickets are $4 for adults, $2 for children 18 and under. Season tickets are on sale at www.ramblinwreck.com/tickets, or can be purchased on the AMC concourse. The first 1,000 fans to enter the AMC will receive a free “Be Bold Wear Gold” T-Shirt.

NEXT UP: OREGON
With a week off to study and take finals, the Jackets will return to action next Saturday, Dec. 13 when they travel across the country to face Oregon at the Rose Garden in Portland. Tipoff at the 11th Annual Papé Jam is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. ET. It will be televised regionally on Comcast Sportsnet Northwest.

TECH VS. GEORGIA
• Georgia leads the all-time series 28-2.
• Georgia Tech head coach MaChelle Joseph is 1-4 in the series, while Georgia head coach Andy Landers is 25-2 over GT.
• Tech is 4-20 all-time against SEC opponents other than Georgia.
• Georgia Tech’s Shaday Woolcock and the Bulldogs Nicole Stroud both attended Avondale High School in Atlanta.
• Between the two teams, there are 17 underclassmen combined on the two rosters and only eight juniors and seniors.

LOOKING BACK: JACKETS UPEND NO. 21 MICHIGAN STATE, 70-57
After two close calls against ranked opponents, the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team finally pulled off an upset with a 70-57 win over No. 21 Michigan State (6-2) Wednesday in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.

A pair of Deja Foster three-point plays over the final four minutes of the game sealed the Yellow Jackets’ (6-2) first win over a ranked opponent since knocking off No. 4 Maryland in the Thrillerdome on Feb. 1, 2007.

Alex Montgomery led the Jackets with 20 points, seven rebounds and five steals. Jacqua Williams added 18 points, seven assists and six steals in the win. Foster scored a career-high 13 points for Tech.

PICK A POCKET OR TWO
After three-plus seasons on the Flats, senior Jacqua Williams has earned the reputation as one of the best defenders in the nation. The speedster from Seattle, Wash., recorded her 279th career steal on Nov. 22, 2008 against Mississippi Valley State for a new school record, surpassing Kisha Ford and Tiffany Martin on the all-time steals list. Williams plans to obliterate the previous record over the next four months.

Last season, Williams finished with a single-season school record 118 steals, leading the ACC and ranking fourth in the nation with 3.8 per game. She has registered at least one steal in 47 straight games and even held the ACC single game record for steals with 11 (later broken by former Yellow Jacket Jill Ingram with 14). This season she leads the Jackets with 37 steals and has 298 on her career.

SENIOR CLASS PILING UP WINS
Georgia Tech’s 2008-09 senior class of Tabitha Turner and Jacqua Williams have been a part of 63 wins since beginning their careers on the Flats. The two Jackets have helped Tech to back-to-back record-setting seasons and are on pace to become the most successful class in the history of the program. With 7 more wins this season, the pair will accumulate the most wins by any senior class to ever play for the Yellow Jackets. Last year’s seniors finished with a school-best 69 wins in their careers.

AUSSIE, AUSSIE, AUSSIE … OYE, OYE, OYE
Junior Brigitte Ardossi started 26 games during her freshman season and helped the Jackets to their first win in the NCAA Tournament. Last season she was regulated to the first big off the bench and made the most of her opportunity by scoring 3.9 points per game and grabbing 2.8 rebounds in 14.5 minutes. Coach Joseph expects big things from her Aussie post-player in 2008-09 and has inserted her back into the starting lineup. She has played in 73 straight games, every game since coming to the Flats, and has started 34 of those games.

Ardossi is scoring 8.3 points a game and is grabbing 4.6 rebounds per game. She is also knocking down her free-throw attempts at an 82% clip. Against Tennessee Tech on Nov. 30, 2008, Ardossi scored a career-high 18 points to lead Tech to the win.

SHE CAN DO IT ALL
Anyone who watched Alex Montgomery play last season knows she can really do it all. She is not only the team’s top returning scorer (10.8) and rebounder (5.4), Montgomery has also shown she can dish it, steal it, block it or even win a jump ball. A starter of 26 games as a freshman, Montgomery has become the center of the Yellow Jackets offense. She is averaging12.6 points, has grabbed 5.0 rebounds a game and is shooting 35 percent from beyond-the-arc.

MOVING OUT
Sophomore Iasia Hemingway excelled as an undersized post player for the Jackets last season, scoring over 20 points against the likes of Maryland’s Crystal Langhorne and Tasha Humphrey of Georgia. This season, Coach Joseph has added some taller players to the Jackets roster that will allow Hemingway to take her game outside to the wing. Hemingway will now have a chance to not only post up players her height, she will also be able to take the ball to the basket and box out smaller guards for rebounds.

Hemingway is averging 12.3 points and is registering 4.5 rebounds a game. She recorded her first career double-double against Georgia State (21 pts, 11 reb.) on Nov. 26, 2008. Hemingway has also shown a knack for getting to the free-throw line, with 47 attempts so far and is shooting 68 percent from the charity stripe.

GOODLETT IS GOOD
For the second straight year, Coach Joseph started a freshman on opening night. 6-5 Sasha Goodlett made a “big” impression on the coaching staff this preseason and has added a new dimension to the Yellow Jackets lineup. Joseph called her 2007-08 squad “the best 6-0 and under team in the country” but by adding Goodlett will give the Jackets the true center they have been missing. Along with Goodlett, Tech now lists five players at 6-2 or taller. Goodlett has started four of the Jackets first five games.

SIXTH (WO)MAN
Most teams are lucky enough to have a solid starting five. This season, Joseph feels she can list six starters on her roster. Sophomore’s Deja Foster has shown the ability to step on the court and make an instant impact for the Jackets. Foster is averaging 23.3 minutes and started her first career game on Nov. 30, 2008 against Tennessee Tech.

Foster is scoring 8.9 points a game and is averaging 4.1 rebounds. Against Michigan State, she sparked Tech in the final five minutes with her first career three-pointer and back-to-back three-point plays on her way to a career-high 13 points.

FULL COURT PRESS
Last season, Georgia Tech finished the season with a school record 456 steals and led the NCAA with 14.3 steals per game. This has to be credited to Coach Joseph’s pressing defense. Joseph will press for 40 minutes with numerous pressing schemes to keep the offensive off-balance. Joseph wants her team to “be an impressive running defensive team that creates opportunities for the offense.” Even though it is early in the season, Tech is averaging a staggering 15.5 steals a game.

WINNING WITH COACH JO
In just her sixth season at the helm, Coach MaChelle Joseph is already has registered the second-most wins in Georgia Tech history. Joseph has registered an 90-68 (.570) records. She has led Tech to its first back-to-back 20-win seasons and two straight NCAA Tournaments.

TECH VS. RANKED OPPONENTS
The Yellow Jackets played two top-10 teams in there first six games for the first time since facing No. 3 Georgia and No. 9 Maryland back in 1983. Tech went 0-2 in those games but fell by only 11 points at No. 1 UConn and then lost a tight game by eight points to No. 9 Texas in Florida. These games proved to help the Jackets as they upset No. 21 Michigan State at home on Dec. 3, 2008. This was the first win over a ranked opponent for Tech since it defeated No. 4 Maryland on Feb. 1, 2007.

THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HOME
Since Joseph began her tenure, Georgia Tech is 61-20 (.753) at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Last season, Tech finished with a program-best 14-2 mark on the Coliseum floor and is off to a good start in 2008-09, registering a 5-0 mark so far.

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