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Georgia Tech Concludes Homestand Against Georgia State Wednesday

Nov. 25, 2008

Gametracker | WREK Radio | Game Notes

ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech women’s basketball team will conclude its three-game homestand Wednesday when cross-town rival Georgia State comes to Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.

Fans can listen to Richard Musterer and LaChina Robinson call all the action on WREK Radio (91.1 FM/, Georgia Tech women’s basketball’s flagship station. This game will mark the 25th anniversary of Musterer’s first season calling women’s basketball games on the Flats.

This will be the 32nd meeting between the Yellow Jackets (3-1) and Georgia State with Tech holding a 20-11 lead in the all-time series. Last season, Alex Montgomery registered her first career double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead Tech to a 79-67 win over the host Panthers.

Georgia State (1-0) opened its 2008-09 campaign with an 82-75 road win over Clemson Saturday. The Panthers’ Danyiell McKeller finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds in the upset victory.

The Yellow Jackets will celebrate the holiday by competing in the Florida Atlantic University Thanksgiving Tournament this weekend. Tech will open play against No. 11 Texas Saturday at 5 p.m. The winner will play in Sunday’s championship game at 5 p.m., with the loser competing in the consolation game at 3 p.m. Also participating in the tournament is host Florida Atlantic and Tennessee Tech.

• Georgia Tech is 20-11 in the series with Georgia State, including a 79-67 win over the Panthers on Dec. 18, 2007 in the Georgia State Sports Arena.
• Georgia Tech has won nine straight games against the Panthers with its last loss coming on Dec. 19, 1998.
• Georgia Tech senior Tabitha Turner and Georgia State’s Stacie Young both call Miami, Fla., home.

The Georgia Tech women’s basketball team tied the 15-year school mark of 27 steals on its way to a 72-37 win over Mississippi Valley State (0-1) at Alexander Memorial Coliseum Saturday afternoon.

Senior Jacqua Williams recorded four steals including the 279th of her career to become the Yellow Jackets all-time record holder. Williams moved past former Tech standouts Kisha Ford and Tiffany Martin, who each have held the record since 1997.

Williams led the Yellow Jackets (3-1) with 14 points. Sophomore Iasia Hemingway finished with 11 points and a career-high seven steals.

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 over the next four months.

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 43 straight games and even held the ACC single game record for steals with 11 (later broken by former Yellow Jacket Jill Ingram with 14).

Williams is not only one of the best defenders in the nation, she is also one of the fastest players. Williams has competed in two straight NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in the 200-meter dash. Last season, Williams qualified for the national event after only one and a half months of competition.

Georgia Tech’s 2008-09 senior class of Tabitha Turner and Jacqua Williams have been a part of 60 wins since beginning their careers on the Flats. The two Jackets have helped Tech to back-to-back record-setting seasons and are on pace to become the most successful class in the history of the program. With 10 more wins this season, the pair will accumulate the most wins by any senior class to ever play for the Yellow Jackets. Last year’s seniors finished with a school-best 69 wins in their careers.

Jacqua Williams is the only Georgia Tech women’s basketball player to ever register at least 150 points, 100 steals and 100 rebounds in the same season when she did it last year.

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 69 straight games, every game since coming to the Flats, and has started 30 of those games.

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 a team-leading 14.3 points, has grabbed 5.5 rebounds a game and is shooting 48 percent from beyond-the-arc.

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.

For the second straight year, Coach Joseph started a freshman on opening night. 6-5 Sasha Goodlett made a “big” impression on the coaching staff this preseason and has added a new dimension to the Yellow Jackets lineup. Joseph called her 2007-08 squad “the best 6-0 and under team in the country” but by adding Goodlett will give the Jackets the true center they have been missing. Along with Goodlett, Tech now lists five players at 6-2 or taller.

Most teams are lucky enough to have a solid starting five, maybe even a sixth player that can step in and replace someone in the lineup. This season, Joseph feels she can list seven starters on her roster. Sophomore’s Deja Foster and Shaday Woolcock have shown the ability to step on the court and make an instant impact for the Jackets. Foster is averaging 15.7 minutes off the bench for the Jackets and Woolcock is playing 15.0 minutes in a reserve role.

Ranked as high as the 29th-best prospect coming out of high school, Mo Bennett has burst on the college scene with some impressive performances. In her debut, the Statesboro, Ga., native scored eight points and grabbed seven rebounds against Troy. Two days later, Bennett dropped 19 points in 30 minutes on No. 1 UConn at Gampel Pavilion. Members of the newly created ACC Blue Ribbon Panel were so impressed that they named Bennett the ACC Rookie of the Week on Nov. 17. Something tells me there will be “Mo”re to come.

The 2008-09 Georgia Tech roster is noticeably young with 10 players listed as sophomores and freshmen. Though young, the team is the most athletic team Coach Joseph has had since taking over at Georgia Tech.

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.” Even though it is early in the season, Tech is averaging a staggering 18 steals a game.

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 an 87-67 (.565) records. She has led Tech to its first back-to-back 20-win seasons and two straight NCAA Tournaments.

Since Joseph began her tenure, Georgia Tech is 59-20 (.747) at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Last season, Tech finished with a program-best 14-2 mark on the Coliseum floor and is off to a good start in 2008-09, registering a 3-0 mark so far.


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