Yellow Jackets Get Visit from `Canes Thursday

Jan. 28, 2009

Game Notes | Listen

ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech women’s basketball team returns to action Thursday against Miami (11-8, 1-4 ACC). Tipoff at Alexander Memorial Coliseum is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Fans can listen to Richard Musterer and Kurt Hoyt call all the action on WREK Radio (91.1 FM/www.wrek.org), Georgia Tech women’s basketball’s flagship station. The game, previously announced to be televised on Comcast Sports South, will no longer be broadcast by CSS.

The Yellow Jacket women (14-5, 2-3) will meet the Hurricanes for the second time this season. Tech defeated the `Canes, 68-50, on Jan. 12 in Coral Gables, Fla. This marks the 13th meeting between the two programs over the last four and a half seasons. Alex Montgomery leads the team with 13.8 points a game, while averaging a team-leading 6.9 rebounds.

The Hurricanes, who picked up their first ACC win of the season against NC State last Thursday, are led by freshman Shenise Johnson, who is averaging 12.2 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.1 assists.

Georgia Tech leads the all-time series 8-7 after its win earlier this season.

TECH VS. MIAMI
• Georgia Tech leads the all-time series 8-7 after a 68-50 win in Coral Gables, Fla., earlier this season.
• The two programs will meet for the 13th time in the last 4 1/2 seasons.
• Georgia Tech has won seven of the last eight meetings between the two programs.
• Three members of the Hurricanes will return home to the state of Georgia (Chrmaine Clark, LaToya Drake and Damisha Moore).

NEXT UP: CLEMSON
The Yellow Jackets will continue their two-game homestand Sunday, Feb. 1 against Clemson. Tipoff at Alexander Memorial Coliseum is scheduled for 2 p.m. The game will be televised on Comcast Sports South (CSS). Paul Crane and LaChina Robinson will call the action. Clemson leads the all-time series 41-18 but the Yellow Jackets have won five straight against the Tigers.

LOOKING BACK: YELLOW JACKETS FALL TO BLUE DEVILS, 60-34
Abby Waner scored 14 points and No. 4 Duke forced Georgia Tech into one of the worst offensive performances in school history, routing the Yellow Jackets 60-34 on Sunday for its 15th straight victory.

Chante Black and Jasmine Thomas both scored 10 points for the Blue Devils (17-1, 5-0 Atlantic Coast Conference). They never trailed, forced Georgia Tech into two extended field-goal droughts, and went on to claim a share of first place in the league with Florida State, the only other team unbeaten in ACC play.

Alex Montgomery scored 12 points and Iasia Hemingway added 10 for the Yellow Jackets (14-5, 2-3). But Jacqua Williams, who averages 13.7 points, was scoreless on 0-for-4 shooting.

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 during the remainder of the season.

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 58 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 73 steals and has 334 on her career. She currently leads the ACC and ranks third in the nation in steals with 3.8 per game.

NOT JUST A DEFENDER
Jacqua Williams has been known as a defensive-specialist since she came to Georgia Tech but those have come to an end. Not only has she become one of the best defensive players in the ACC but she is just as strong on the offensive side of the ball. Williams is averaging 13.7 points per contest and has scored in double-figures in 16 of Tech’s 19 games. She also leads the team with 71 assists on the year and has grabbed 3.3 rebounds a game.

SENIOR CLASS PILING UP WINS
Georgia Tech’s 2008-09 senior class of Tabitha Turner and Jacqua Williams have been a part of 71 wins since beginning their careers on the Flats. The two Jackets have helped Tech to back-to-back record-setting seasons and are now the most successful class in the history of the program. The pair has accumulated the most wins by any senior class to ever play for the Yellow Jackets. Last year’s seniors finished with a then school-best 69 wins in their careers.

This season’s junior class (Brigitte Ardossi and Tiffany Blackmon) have been a part of 57 wins and should move into the top five by the time the two are seniors.

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 averaging 13.8 points and has grabbed 6.9 rebounds a game.

Montgomery has registered five double-doubles this season.

FROM BEYOND THE ARC
With the graduation of Chioma Nnamaka, the program’s all-time leader in three’s made, coach Joseph needed someone to step up and knock down a big three for the Jackets. Alex Montgomery has become that threat. She has nailed 47 trey’s this season and 79 for her career, moving her into ninth-place on the Georgia Tech all-time three-point baskets made list. She is also shooting 36 percent from beyond-the-arc.

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 83 straight games, every game since coming to the Flats, and has started 44 of those games.

Ardossi, who has elevated her game to a new level, is scoring 7.3 points a game and is grabbing 4.1 rebounds per game. She is also knocking down her free-throw attempts at an 83% clip. She has hit 15 straight free-throws going back to the Winthrop game.

Against Tennessee Tech on Nov. 30, 2008, Ardossi scored a career-high 18 points to lead Tech to the win. On Dec. 5, Ardossi helped Tech defeat its archrival Georgia with her first career double-double (15 pts, 10 reb).

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 averaging 11.1 points and is registering 4.8 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 78 attempts so far and is shooting 65 percent from the charity stripe.

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 25.4 minutes and started her first career game on Nov. 30, 2008 against Tennessee Tech.

Foster is scoring 7.3 points a game and is averaging 4.6 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.” More than half way through the season, Tech is averaging a staggering 13.9 steals a game.

The Yellow Jackets have scored 445 points off of turnovers and are averaging 23.4 points per contest off opponent turnovers.

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 a 98-71 (.580) 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. Tech earned their second win over a ranked opponent on Jan. 22, when the Jackets upset No. 2 North Carolina, the highest-ranked team Tech has ever beaten. The Jackets are 2-3 this season against ranked opponents.

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