Dec. 31, 2003
ATLANTA – Led by 14 points from senior Fallon Stokes, Georgia Tech (9-3) won the Atlanta Marriott Northwest Holiday Invitational with an 84-45 victory over Florida A&M Wednesday at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. For her efforts, Stokes was named the MVP of the tournament while sophomore Jessica Williams was also named to the all-tournament team.
Stokes went 6-for-14 from the field and hit two free throws to lead Tech offensively; she also pulled down six rebounds and added two assists in the game. Sophomore Kasha Terry and freshman Stephanie Higgs also scored in double figures for the Jackets, with 10 and 12, respectively.
“Kasha and Jessica are really both starting to step up,” said head Tech coach MaChelle Joseph. “They are two young post players that got quality minutes as freshmen and now they’re starters as sophomores, and now as we get into the ACC play, it is good to see them both start to come into their own.”
The Yellow Jackets got 39 points off their bench against the Lady Rattlers, while holding FAMU to just nine. Tech was led by Higgs and April Johnson, who added eight.
“We’ve been talking with the team over the past couple of games about getting scoring from players other than our starting five,” said Joseph. “I think we’re starting to see the development and growth of some of our freshmen and sophomores, and the fact that we had 39 points off our bench is just amazing. It’s the most that we’ve ever scored since I’ve been at Tech, and it might be the most that I’ve been a part of as a coach. That’s a lot of points for your players off the bench to score.”
Eleven of 13 Tech players scored points in the contest, while all but one player pulled down at least one of Tech’s season-high 57 rebounds. The Jackets held the Lady Rattlers to 40 boards.
“We talked to our players about one of the keys of the game being controlling the boards,” Joseph said. “We said that if we could control the defensive boards, then we could run, and we’ve been emphasizing a lot with our team. Coming into the game, we had serious concerns about Florida A&M because their only four losses were to Big 10, ACC, and SEC opponents. We thought that it was really important that we got off to an early start defensively against them.”
Tech shot 48 percent from the field in the first half, and held the Lady Rattlers to just 23 percent shooting in the frame. The Jackets, usually prone to giving up the three-point shot, held Florida A&M to 0-for-11 from beyond the arc, while making 3-of-7 on their end of the court, including one apiece from Alex Stewart, Mallorie Winn, and Megan Harpring. Tech outrebounded the Lady Rattlers in the half, 29-21, yet turned the ball over seven more times than FAMU, which made the game close. Winn led the Jackets with seven points going into the lockerroom, while Jessica Williams and Fallon Stokes added six apiece.
Earlier in the day, William & Mary defeated Charleston Southern, 77-52, in the consolation game to take home third place in the tournament. Kyle DeHaven led the Tide with a career-high 22 points while Christin Gethers contributed 16 and Kyra Kaylor added 12.
Georgia Tech will return to action when it hosts Florida State in the conference opener Friday at 7 p.m. in Alexander Memorial Coliseum. It will be the Yellow Jackets’ third game in four days after taking New Year’s Day off. The Yellow Jackets’ radio broadcast can be heard on WREK-Radio, 91.1 FM in Atlanta, and online at www.wrek.org, while livestats for the contest can be found at www.ramblinwreck.com.
Atlanta Marriott NW Holiday Invitational Team Standings1. Georgia Tech-Champion2. Florida A&M3. William & Mary4. Charleston Southern
All-Tournament Team. 1. Fallon Stokes-Georgia Tech-MVP 2. Jessica Williams-Georgia Tech 3. Yolanda Dixon-Florida A&M 4. Kim Watson-Florida A&M 5. Kyle DeHaven-William & Mary