Georgia Tech Travels to New York for Two Games
Georgia Tech vs. Wagner, December 19
Georgia Tech vs. Hofstra, December 21
The Opening Tip
Georgia Tech embarks on a two-game, four-day trip to New York for games at Wagner (3-5) and Hofstra (3-5). The Yellow Jackets begin the trip with a 4-3 record after defeating Dartmouth, 79-62, in Atlanta on Sunday. By the end of December, the Yellow Jackets will have played eight games in seven different venues during the month.
From the Locker Room
Three Yellow Jackets are averaging in double figures in scoring, led by sophomore Niesha Butler. Butler has scored at least 20 points in each of the last three games and is among conference leaders with a 17.3 points per game average. Butler also leads the team with 17 steals and is third with 15 assists. Junior Milli Martinez is second on the squad with 13.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. She leads the team and is among conference leaders with a .500 field goal percentage and her team-best .818 average from the free throw line ranks her near the top of the ACC. Sophomore Tamika Boatner is averaging 11.0 points per contest and is tied for second on the team with 6.6 rebounds per game. Senior Jaime Kruppa, who led the Yellow Jackets in scoring and rebounding last season, is averaging 8.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. She turned in a 22-point, 10-rebound performance against Georgia on Dec. 8. Sophomore Nina Barlin set a career high with 22 points on Nov. 25 and is averaging 7.7 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. She is second on the team with 18 assists. Sophomore Alex Stewart leads the team with 24 assists and is second with 15 steals. She has averaged 6.6 points and 4.3 rebounds per contest. Sophomore Sonja Mallory made the most of her first career start on Sunday, posting career bests with 18 points and 13 rebounds while recording her first career double-double. She is averaging 9.2 points and a team-best 7.0 rebounds per game. All 10 active players have seen action in each of the last two games.
Wagner has won three of its last four games after dropping its first four contests of the season and enters the matchup with Georgia Tech with a 3-5 record. Sophomore Toni Roker leads theam with 12.5 points per game. Freshman Carrie Walker posted her second career double-double (12 points, 11 rebounds) against Albany on Saturday. She is second on the team with a 9.9 scoring average and leads the squad with 7.0 rebounds per game. Tara Gallagher is 34-32 in her third year at the helm of the Seahawks.=20
The Series With Wagner
Georgia Tech and Wagner have not met since Dec. 29, 1984, when the Yellow Jackets won the only meeting between the two programs, 81-70.
Hofstra is 3-5 and has dropped its last three games. The Pride have not played since losing to Boston University, 66-62, on Dec. 10. Sophomore Jen Brickey leads Hofstra with 17.2 points per game. Junior Kimberley Coke is averaging 12.4 points and a team-best 7.0 rebounds per game. Sophomore Lauren Hall-Gregory leads the team with 44 assists. Head coach Leslie Schlegel-Danowski has compiled a 76-124 record and is her eighth year at Hofstra.=20
The Series With Hofstra
Georgia Tech leads the series with Hofstra, 2-0, with two wins over the Pride in Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets defeated Hofstra, 89-61, on Nov. 27, 1999, in their last meeting. This is the first time Georgia Tech has played at Hofstra.
Head Coach Agnus Berenato
In her 13th season as head coach at Georgia Tech, Agnus Berenato owns a 178-172 (.509) record. Under Berenato’s guidance, the Yellow Jackets have advanced to the NCAA Tournament once and the WNIT twice, including last year. Berenato was named the 2000 GAHPERD College Coach of the Year and was named to ‘Who’s Who in America’ by Marquis Who’s Who in 1999. Berenato was named the 1992 State of Georgia Division I Coach of the Year by the Atlanta Top-off Club after leading the Yellow Jackets to the NWIT title. A 1980 graduate of Mount St. Mary’s, Berenato received an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters from her alma mater in 1995. She also became the first alumnus to return to her school as a commencement speaker. Berenato became Georgia Tech’s head coach in 1988 after spending two years as an assistant coach of the Jackets.
Mallory Makes Most of First Career Start
Sophomore Sonja Mallory made the most of her first career start on Sunday, posting career bests with 18 points and 13 rebounds for the first double-double of her career. The 6-4 center was 7-of-14 from the field and 4-of-6 from the free throw line. She also equaled her career high with four steals.
New York, New York
Two Yellow Jackets are returning home on this trip to New York. Redshirt sophomore Niesha Butler was a first-team All-New York City selection as a senior at Riverdale County in New York. Sophomore Sonja Mallory, a native of the Bronx, led her Brooklyn Technical High School team to the quarterfin= als of the playoffs.
Butler on a Tear
Redshirt sophomore Niesha Butler is back in game-form. After missing most of last season with a torn ACL, the 5-8 guard has picked up speed. She has scored at least 20 points in the last three games (two against ranked teams) and leads the Yellow Jackets with 17.3 points per game.
Yellow Jackets Among Conference Leaders
Several Yellow Jackets are among conference leaders as of Dec. 13. Sophomore Niesha Butler is third in the ACC with 16.7 points per game and is 10th in free throw percentage with a .771 mark. Junior Milli Martinez ranks among conference leaders in several categories. She is fifth in field goal percentage (.485), second in free throw percentage (.850), ninth in rebounding (6.8 rpg) and fourth in offensive rebounds (3.67 orpg). Sophomore Tamika Boatner leads the conference in offensive rebounds with 4.17 per game and is fifth in rebounding with 7.5 per game. She is sixth in field goal percentage with a .475 mark. Sophomore Alex Stewart is sixth in the ACC with 2.33 steals per game, eighth with 3.5 assists per contest and ninth with a 1.17 assist/turnover ratio. Sophomore Nina Barlin is sixth with a .789 mark from the free throw line. Senior Jaime Kruppa is 10th in the conference with 4.17 defensive rebounds per game.
Kruppa Boasts Season Bests Against Georgia
Jaime Kruppa broke through with her best game of the season against Georgia on Dec. 8. The senior forward led the Yellow Jackets with 22 points and 10 rebounds against the fifth-ranked Bulldogs, establishing season highs in both categories.
At the Stripe
Entering Sunday’s game against Dartmouth, Milli Martinez was second in the ACC in free throw percentage with an .850 average. Nina Barlin was sixth in the conference (.789) and Niesha Butler was 10th (.771). Georgia Tech is the only school with three players ranked in the top 10 from the free throw line. Butler improved upon her mark with a perfect 4-for-4 day and now stands at .795. Martinez was 1-for-2 and fell to .818. Barlin had an off day at the strip on Sunday and dropped to a .720 average. As a team, Georgia Tech is just seventh in the conference with a .643 average from the charity stripe as of Dec. 13.
Tech Totals 18 Steals Against Georgia State
Georgia Tech tallied 18 steals against the Georgia State Lady Panthers on Nov. 29. Every player who saw action grabbed at least one steal, and Jaime Kruppa, Niesha Butler and Milli Martinez had four apiece. The 18 steals were the most by the Yellow Jackets since Nov. 23, 1999, when Tech stole 24 from Georgia State.
Boatner Claims MVP Honors
Sophomore Tamika Boatner was named Most Valuable Player of the Atlanta Marriott Northwest Classic after averaging 15.5 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. She posted a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds in her first career start on Nov. 24, setting new personal bests in both categories. She then scored 16 points and set a career best with two blocked shots against Mount St. Mary’s on Nov. 25.
Three Yellow Jackets Earn All-Tournament Honors
Junior Milli Martinez and redshirt sophomore Niesha Butler joined Tamika Boatner on the Atlanta Marriott Northwest Classic All-Tournament team last weekend. Butler scored a game-high 20 points against Cornell and followed that performance with 12 points against Mount St. Mary’s. Martinez posted a double-double with 18 points and 10 reboounds against the Mountaineers after recording 11 points and eight rebounds against Cornell.
Butler Named Pre-Season Player-of-Year Candidate
For the second-straight year, Tech guard Niesha Butler was selected as one of 30 preseason candidates for the Naismith Player of the Year Award by the Atlanta Tip-Off Club. Butler earned ACC Rookie of the Year honors in 1999 after leading the Jackets with 19.3 points per game and 120 assists. She tore her ACL on Nov. 30 last year and received a medical redshirt.
Butler Tabbed Preseason First Team All-ACC
Niesha Butler was named to the preseason All-ACC team by the media at the ACC Women’s Basketball Media Day in October. She joins North Carolina senior LaQuanda Barksdale, Virginia sophomore Schuye LaRue, Duke senior Georgia Schweitzer and Virginia senior Svetlana Volnaya on the team.
Yellow Jackets Picked Sixth in ACC Preseason Poll
Georgia Tech was picked to finish sixth in the ACC by the conference’s media at the ACC Media Day in Greensboro, N.C., in October. Duke is the preseason favorite, followed by Virginia, North Carolina State, North Carolina and Clemson. Maryland, Florida State and Wake Forest were picked to finish seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively.
Barlin Selected One of Atlanta’s Most Beautiful People
Tech guard Nina Barlin was chosen as one of Atlanta’s 50 Most Beautiful People by Jezebel Magazine. She is featured in the November issue, along with celebrities such as Julia Roberts, Kenny Rogers, Michael Stipe, Dikembe Mutombo and Miss Georgia Patti Dunn.
Yellow Jackets Select Team Captains
The Yellow Jacket players selected team captains for the 2000-01 season. Leading the squad as captains are: senior Jaime Kruppa, sophomoe Alex Stewart and sophomore Niesha Butler.
Georgia Tech Lands One in Early Signing Period
Georgia Tech signed center Eva Kadlecova to a national letter of intent in the early signing period. Kadlecova, a 6-4 post player from the Czech Republic, averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds per gameas a freshman at Genesee Community College in Batavia, N.Y., last season. She was named to the All-Region first team and All-Tournament Team after helping lead her squad to the regionals last year.
Senior F Regina Tate will be out until at least Jan. 13 with a severe stress fracture in her left shin. Tate scored 6.7 points per game last season and was second on the squad with 6.8 rebounds per contest.