Nov. 18, 2001
ATLANTA — Led by a career night from junior forward Tamika Boatner, the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team picked up its first win of the young 2001-02 season in an 80-49 decision over Long Island University at the Schwartz Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
The Yellow Jackets (1-1) took control of the contest early on, taking a quick 17-5 lead with 14:13 to go in the first half. The run was led by senior Regina Tate and junior Sonja Mallory, each of whom scored six points over the span. Tech continued to apply defensive pressure on the Blackbirds (0-1) throughout the half, forcing 11 turnovers and recording seven steals. The Jackets went into the locker room with a 44-24 lead at the intermission.
“I thought it was a total team effort for us today,” said Tech head coach Agnus Berenato. “I felt that we improved and learned from our game on Friday, which was key. Anytime you can go on the road and beat a team that was in the NCAA Tournament last year and returns all five starters and beat them convincingly, it’s very good for the team’s confidence and right now, it’s all about building confidence.”
In the second half, Boatner turned up her play, and with the score 56-37, she went on a personal run, scoring the Yellow Jackets’ next nine points, as Tech upped its advantage to 65-40 with 7:06 remaining in the game. Boatner finished the half with 11 of her career-high-tying 16 points. Mallory was also solid in the post for the second-straight game, as she led all scorers with 18 points and pulled down a team high seven rebounds.
“Tamika was brilliant for us today,” said Berenato. “She is a key for us and she struggled a little bit on Friday, but she came back on Sunday and was great. Defensively she was strong as she guarded MacMillan and did not allow her to hit an outside shot in that time. I think Tamika really went to the next level today.”
To go along with solid defensive play, Tech also did a great job of taking care of the ball in the game. The Jackets forced LIU into 18 turnovers, while only committing seven giveaways of their own, a total that matched the second-lowest single-game turnover mark in school history.
Tech finished the game with four players scoring in double figures, led by Mallory and Boatner. Tate and sophomore Fallon Stokes each finished the contest with 10 points, with both also recording six rebounds and Tate finishing with three assists and two steals. Junior guard Nina B?rlin matched her career high for assists in the game, as she handed out six helpers to claim game-high honors.
“Sonja (Mallory) has been really working hard this year,” said Berenato. “Both her offensive and defensive skills have improved and you saw that today. Our post players in Sonja and Regina (Tate) have really come up big for us this year.”
Georgia Tech will now be off until Friday, November 23, when it hosts the Atlanta Marriott NW Classic at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. The two-day tournament will have games a 1 and 3 p.m. on both days, with the Jackets opening up against UNC Asheville at 1 p.m. on Friday, followed by Eastern Washington vs. Harford at 3 p.m. The consolation game with tip off at 1 p.m. on Saturday, with the championship game to follow at 3 p.m.