Aug. 14, 2001
ATLANTA – Fifteen games against nine teams that made an appearance in the 2001 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, along with six televised contests highlight the 2001-02 Georgia Tech women’s basketball schedule announced Tuesday.
Among the NCAA teams that the Yellow Jackets will face off with are Long Island (Nov. 18) and Georgia State (Dec. 18), both on the road in the pre-conference schedule, along with Atlantic Coast Conference rivals Duke, Clemson, Florida State, Maryland, NC State and Virginia. The Blue Devils are the reigning ACC Champions.
Tech’s final NCAA foe will be in-state rival Georgia. This year’s contest with the Bulldogs will take on added importance, as it will be part of the ACC/SEC Showdown, sponsored by the Peach Bowl at Philips Arena on Dec. 27. The event will include a match-up between perennial national powers Duke and Tennessee in the other half of the twin bill.
For the first time in recent memory, the Jackets will host only one regular-season holiday tournament in 2001-02. The Atlanta Marriott Northwest Classic will take place during the weekend following Thanksgiving, and will feature Eastern Washington, Hartford and UNC Asheville. Tech will face UNC Asheville in the first round on Nov. 23 at 1 p.m., with Eastern Washington and Hartford squaring off at 3 p.m. The consolation and championship games will be played on Nov. 24, with the first game slated for 1 p.m. and the final set to tip off at 3 p.m. The Jackets will compete in their second tournament of the year on the road, as they face Arkansas State in the East Carolina Tournament on Dec. 1, in Greenville, N.C.
“I think we will have a very competitive non-conference schedule this year,” said Tech head coach Agnus Berenato. “The Georgia game will make a big move this year with four great teams playing at Philips Arena and it gains even more credibility with the affiliation of the Peach Bowl. Along with that, people are saying this will be the toughest year in the ACC with some new teams near the top of the conference. Last year seven of the nine teams reached the postseason.”
The showdown with Georgia will mark the Jackets’ first television appearance of the year, as the game will be shown as part of a doubleheader on Fox Sports Net South. Tech will have four televised games in the month of January, including games against Maryland (Jan. 14) at home and a road test at Florida State (Jan. 20), both of which will be shown as part of the ACC’s regional television package on Fox Sports Net South, Comcast SportsNet and the Sunshine Network. The Jackets’ final appearance on the ACC package will be on Feb. 11 in a road contest at Virginia. Fox Sports Net South will air a pair of games in January, including home match-ups with Virginia (Jan. 10) and Clemson (Jan. 26).
After advancing to the postseason for the second-straight year, Tech returns nine letterwinners and four starters from a year ago. Included in the group of returning starters are senior Milli Martinez and juniors Nina Barlin, Niesha Butler and Sonja Mallory. The Jackets will also welcome back senior Regina Tate, who missed the 2001 season with a leg injury. Tech will welcome four newcomers to the roster this year, including a three-member freshman class and sophomore transfer Megan Isom. Isom, along with rookies Tabasha Taylor and Nefertiti Walker will provide depth in the backcourt while Maya Monroe will shore up the Jackets’ front line. The team will face its first outside competition with a pair of exhibition games November 2 against the Basketball Travelers and on November 10 versus the Southeast Pro-Am team, both at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.