Nov. 8, 2013
THE FLATS –Freshman Kaela Davis led the rv/rv Georgia Tech women’s basketball team (1-0) to a 79-57 win against Coppin State (0-1) in the season-opener at McCamish Pavilion this evening.
“I thought that we struggled a little at first trying to find ourselves,” head coach MaChelle Joseph. “Then we changed our offensive set and we were able to get some easy baskets. I thought that got us going offensively.”
In her first game as a Yellow Jacket, Davis recorded a double-double, scoring 20 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. The Suwanee, Ga. native was hot from behind the 3-point line, making four baskets from behind the arc.
“Kaela put us on her back a little back,” Joseph said. “She led us in scoring and rebounding and I thought she really made her presence felt.”
Davis was one of three Tech players who scored in double figures against the Eagles. Sophomore Nariah Taylor added a career-high 14 points, while recording seven rebounds and sophomore Aaliyah Whiteside contributed 10 points and six boards.
Senior Dawnn Maye had a team-high six assists while scoring eight points and recording three steals.
“It’s such a luxury to have a senior point guard with her type of experience that comes off of the bench,” Joseph said. “Dawnn plays on both ends. She plays hard defensively. She plays hard offensively and she just makes plays.”
After a slow start, the Yellow Jackets found their offensive groove in the second half. The Jackets would lead by as much as 29, which was the end result of a 7-0 Tech run with 5:38 left in the game. A Whiteside 3-pointer kicked off the 7-0 run for the Jackets. Whiteside scored eight of her 10 points in the second half, including two 3-point baskets.
Tech also used a 7-0 run to open up the contest. Sophomore Sydney Wallace recorded five of those points during the run while the Jacket defense held the Eagles scoreless for the first 3:55 of the game.
Both teams struggled in the first half to get points on the board and the Eagles took the lead away from the Jackets with 6:38 left in the first half, 12-11, after a jump shot by Omaah Tayong.
Rogers didn’t allow Coppin State to have the advantage for long, completing a three point play at 6:26, putting the Jackets ahead, 14-12.
An offensive outburst led by Maye with 4:30 left helped the momentum swing in Tech’s favor. Maye scored four points and assisted on a Taylor layup that propelled the Jackets to a six point lead, 20-14.
The Yellow Jackets used an 11-1 run that lasted 1:46 to jump to a 33-17 lead. During the run, Davis found her shot, scoring eight points in 1:08. The freshman hit two 3-pointers during the run.
Heading into the locker room, the Yellow Jackets were up, 37-20.
Following the break, the Eagles started off the second half with a 5-0 run. Freshman Katarina Vuckovic hit her first jump shot of her Yellow Jacket career to end the Eagle’s run. She followed up her jump shot with a 3-pointer and ended her debut with five total points and three assists.
Taylor, whose career-high 14 points bested her previous career-high of eight, recorded six points during another 7-0 run by the Yellow Jackets at 15:39 to extend Tech’s lead by 20, 49-29.
The win gives the Jackets a 29-11 all-time record on opening day and a 10-1 mark during season-openers under Coach Joseph.
The Yellow Jackets host Western Carolina on Sunday at 2 p.m. at McCamish Pavilion. Every Sunday this season will be Kids Day with children admitted free of charge. There will be a KidsZone every Sunday that will start at 1 p.m.