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Georgia Tech Opens Two-Game Road Trip at Clemson

Feb. 21, 2009

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ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech women’s basketball team will look to try and snap its two-game losing streak when it travels to Clemson (13-14, 2-10 ACC) Sunday. Tipoff at Littlejohn Coliseum is scheduled for 1 p.m.

The game will be televised live on Fox Sports South. Mike Hogewood and Charlene Curtis will call all the action. Fans can also listen to Richard Musterer and LaChina Robinson describe the play-by-play on WREK Radio (91.1 FM/www.wrek.org), Georgia Tech women’s basketball’s flagship station.

The Yellow Jackets (18-8, 5-6), who were outscored by No. 9/7 Maryland, 87-79, Thursday evening, have won six straight against the Tigers and two in a row at LittleJohn. Alex Montgomery leads the team with 13.1 points a game, while averaging a team-leading 6.8 rebounds.

The Tigers, who have dropped three straight games, are coming off a 75-58 loss to No. 11/12 Florida State Thursday evening. Junior Lele Hardy leads the team in scoring (17.0) and rebounding (8.8).

Yellow Jacket senior Jacqua Williams and Hardy are ranked one and two in steals, respectively, in the ACC this season.

Clemson leads the all-time series, 41-19.

TECH VS. CLEMSON
• Clemson leads the all-time series, 41-19.
• The Yellow Jackets have won six straight against the Tigers, including a 49-41 win in Atlanta on Feb. 1, 2009.
• Tech Head Coach MaChelle Joseph is 7-4 against Clemson.

NEXT UP: VIRGINIAT TECH
The Yellow Jackets will take their final road trip of the regular season when they play at Virginia Tech Thursday evening at 7 p.m.

LOOKING BACK: GEORGIA TECH FALLS TO NO. 9 MARYLAND, 87-79
ATLANTA (AP) – – With a national title in 2006 and five straight NCAA appearances, the Terrapins want to keep building momentum as they prepare for March. Another step to achieving their goals was to beat Georgia Tech’s difficult full-court press.

Marissa Coleman scored 23 points and Lynetta Kizer had a career-high 22 points with 10 rebounds to help No. 9 Maryland win its sixth straight game in an 87-79 victory over the Yellow Jackets on Thursday night.

Georgia Tech (18-8, 5-6) has dropped two straight after winning four of five. The Yellow Jackets, who were coming off a 23-point loss Sunday at North Carolina, trailed by 23 at the 8:22 mark, but they went on a 27-11 run that ended on Brigitte Ardossi’s two free throws with 44 seconds remaining.

COACH JO GETS NUMBER 1-OH-OH
In just her sixth season at the helm, Coach MaChelle Joseph is already has recorded the second-most wins in Tech history. Joseph has registered a 102-74 (.580) record and is the fastest coach in school history to win 100. She has led Tech to its first back-to-back 20-win seasons and two straight NCAA Tournaments. She registered her 100th victory on Feb. 1, 2009 against Clemson.

PICK A POCKET OR TWO
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 during the remainder of the season.

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 65 straight games and even held the ACC single game record for steals with 11 (later broken by former Yellow Jacket Jill Ingram with 14). This season she leads the Jackets with 94 steals and has 355 on her career. She now ranked seventh all-time in the ACC after passing former North Carolina standout Marion Jones. She currently leads the ACC and ranks fifth in the nation in steals with 3.6 per game.

NOT JUST A DEFENDER
Jacqua Williams has been known as a defensive-specialist since she came to Georgia Tech but those have come to an end. Not only has she become one of the best defensive players in the ACC but she is just as strong on the offensive side of the ball. Williams is averaging 11.4 points per contest and has scored in double-figures in 18 of Tech’s 26 games. She also leads the team with 89 assists on the year and has grabbed 3.2 rebounds a game.

SENIOR CLASS PILING UP WINS
Georgia Tech’s 2008-09 senior class of Tabitha Turner and Jacqua Williams have been a part of 75 wins since beginning their careers on the Flats. The two Jackets have helped Tech to back-to-back record-setting seasons and are now the most successful class in the history of the program. The pair has accumulated the most wins by any senior class to ever play for the Yellow Jackets. Last year’s seniors finished with a then school-best 69 wins in their careers.

This season’s junior class (Brigitte Ardossi and Tiffany Blackmon) have been a part of 61 wins and should move into the top five by the time the two are seniors.

SHE CAN DO IT ALL
Anyone who has watched Alex Montgomery play knows she can really do it all. She was the team’s top returning scorer (10.8) and rebounder (5.4) and has also shown she can dish it, steal it, block it or even win a jump ball. This season, Montgomery has become the center of the Yellow Jackets offense. She is averaging 13.1 points and has grabbed 6.8 rebounds a game.

Montgomery has registered five double-doubles this season and six in her career.

FROM BEYOND THE ARC
With the graduation of Chioma Nnamaka, the program’s all-time leader in three’s made, coach Joseph needed someone to step up and knock down a big three for the Jackets. Alex Montgomery has become that threat. She has nailed 60 trey’s this season and 92 for her career, moving her into seventh-place on the Georgia Tech all-time three-pointers made list. She is also shooting 34 percent from beyond-the-arc.

BIG SHOT MONTGOMERY
With under 10 seconds remaining on the clock and the Jackets need someone to knock down a big shot, Alex Montgomery has not shied away from taking it. Last season, Montgomery hit a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer to lift Tech past Miami at home (1/15/08). Montgomery has continued to show no fear when a big shot is needed, knocking down a three-pointer as time expired before halftime in three straight games (Michigan State, Georgia and Oregon) earlier in the season. and once again prior to the half at Savannah State.

AUSSIE, AUSSIE, AUSSIE … OYE, OYE, OYE
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 91 straight games, every game since coming to the Flats, and has started 47 of those contests.

Ardossi, who has elevated her game to a new level, is scoring 7.3 points a game and is grabbing 4.0 rebounds per game. She is also knocking down her free-throw attempts at an 82% clip. She had hit 19 straight free-throws going back to the Winthrop game, before missing one at Wake Forest.

MOVING OUT
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, with the addition of some taller players to the Jackets roster, Hemingway has been able to move to the wing. She has had a chance to not only post up players her height, she has taken the ball to the basket and has boxed out smaller guards for rebounds.

Hemingway is averaging 10.3 points and is registering 5.0 rebounds a game. She recorded her first career double-double against Georgia State (21 pts, 11 reb.) on Nov. 26, 2008. Hemingway has also shown a knack for getting to the free-throw line, with 103 attempts so far and is shooting 63 percent from the charity stripe.

GOODLETT IS GOOD
During the preseason, 6-5 Sasha Goodlett made a “big” impression on the coaching staff 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” and Goodlett has not dissapointed. She has become the true center the Yellow Jackets have been missing. Along with Goodlett, Tech now lists five players at 6-2 or taller. She has started 24 of the Jackets 26 games and has scored in double-figures in five ACC games including a career-best 20 points vs. NC State. Her performance during the ACC portion of the schedule has made her an ACC All-Freshmen Team candidate.

SIXTH (WO)MAN
Most teams are lucky enough to have a solid starting five. This season, Joseph feels she can list six starters on her roster. Sophomore Deja Foster has shown the ability to step on the court and make an instant impact for the Jackets. Foster is averaging 25.6 minutes and has started eight games this season, including the last four contests.

Foster is scoring 8.4 points a game and is averaging 4.6 rebounds and 2.0 steals. Against Michigan State, she sparked Tech in the final five minutes with her first career three-pointer and back-to-back three-point plays on her way to a then career-high 13 points. Foster registered a new career-high 17 points and grabbed nine boards against Maryland.

MAKING A POINT
Freshman Metra Walthour, the only true point guard on the roster, has started three straight games for the Yellow Jackets and has shown the ability to control the offense and play Yellow Jacket defense. She has stepped up to become the point guard the team has needed all season long. After playing a career-high 34 minutes in Tech’s win over NC State, “Me-Me” dished out eight assists and registered only one turnover in her homecoming against Savannah State. She has started the last four games and is averaging 29.5 minutes in those starts.

YOUNG GUNS
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.

FULL COURT PRESS
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.” More than half way through the season, Tech is once agains leading the nation by averaging a staggering 13.9 steals a game.

The Yellow Jackets have scored 601 points off of turnovers and are averaging 23.1 points per contest off opponent turnovers.

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