Dec. 5, 2008
ATLANTA – A key 11-2 run early in the second half sparked the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team (7-2) to a 57-42 win over Georgia (7-2) in front of 6,212 raucous fans at Alexander Memorial Coliseum Friday night, the second largest crowd since 1984.
“I am very proud of this win,” head coach MaChelle Joseph said. “Nobody on my team has beaten Georgia. This is a big win for them and a big win for our program. I am just happy to be a part of this and happy for our program.”
Sophomore Iasia Hemingway led all scorers with 18 points, while junior Brigitte Ardossi chipped in with 15 points and a career-high 10 rebounds for her first career double-double. Alex Montgomery added 11 points, seven boards and four assists. She had two three-pointers during the Jackets’ decisive run.
“Brigitte is the glue of our team,” Joseph said. “I have challenged her to step up over the last three games and she has come through.”
Tech is now 3-28 in the all-time series against archrival Georgia, but all three of those wins have come in the last seven years and two of them have been under sixth-year head coach MaChelle Joseph while the third came when she was an assistant coach. It was also the biggest win for the Jackets in the series against UGA, while the 42 points scored by Georgia is the fewest Tech has allowed in 31 career meetings.
“Andy Landers has done a tremendous job at Georgia,” Joseph said. “I want Georgia Tech women’s basketball to get the same respect year in and year out that Georgia gets. I have tremendous respect that he has taken his team to the top and has stayed there. That is what it is about and why I am here at Georgia Tech. It is one thing to go out and beat Georgia, but now we have to sustain that success and beat them over the long haul. We have to be consistent with it and that is our next challenge.”
Tech was 19-for-27 (.704) from the free throw line, while Georgia attempted just four shots from the charity stripe and made two of them. Tech held the Bulldogs to 35 percent (18-for-51) shooting from the field and forced 23 turnovers. In addition, the Jackets held the five UGA starters to just 12 points. The Jackets shot 38 percent (17-for-45) from the field and had seven steals, three apiece from Ardossi and senior Jacqua Williams.
Despite being played at a frenzied pace, the first half was a defensive struggle until both teams began to heat up towards intermission. A three-pointer by Tech sophomore Alex Montgomery from the top of the key at the buzzer gave the Jackets a 28-25 lead at halftime. It was a see-saw battle throughout as the largest lead for either team was four points by Tech, 4-0.
The two teams combined for 24 turnovers as Georgia shot 46 percent (11-for-24) from the field compared to Tech’s 40 percent (10-for-25) clip. Montgomery as well as junior Brigitte Ardossi led the way for the Yellow Jackets with eight points apiece. Tech was 5-for-6 from the free throw line, while the Bulldogs did not get to the charity stripe.
The Jackets continued to play stellar defense and a quick burst increased their lead to seven points at 34-27 and forced a quick Georgia timeout with 17:52 left in regulation. Tech continued strong and a three-point play by Iasia Hemingway 14:14 mark gave the Jackets their largest lead of the game at 41-31.Montgomery followed that up with her second three-ball of the game and forced another UGA timeout as the Jackets now led 44-31 with 13:23 left.
The Yellow Jackets got their lead up to as much as 16 points, 48-32, before Georgia began chipping away. A basket by the Lady Bulldogs’ Jaleesa Rhoden at the 10:48 mark snapped a drought of 4:33 without a field goal. Overall it was a 10-1 run for the Jackets that got their lead.
Georgia reeled off nine of the next 11 points to get back within nine at 50-41 with 6:05 left in regulation, but Tech held strong and never let the Bulldogs get their deficit back into single-digits.
Rhoden led the Lady Bulldogs with 13 points off the bench. Danielle Taylor chipped in 12 points and five rebounds.
The Yellow Jackets will take a break for final exams before returning to action against Oregon in the Pape’ Jam, Saturday, Dec. 13, at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore. The game will tip-off at 5:30 p.m. and Yellow Jacket fans can catch the game on Comcast Sportsnet Northwest (DirecTV channel 687 and Dish Network channel 426.
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