Feb. 25, 2005
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech will close out the 2004-05 regular season by playing host to the Florida State Seminoles Sunday at 2 p.m. The game will be played at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, where the Yellow Jackets hold a 10-5 mark this season, and will be broadcast on the Georgia Tech student radio station, WREK-91.1 FM, and online at www.wrek.org. Richard Musterer will call the play-by-play for the game, while Kurt Hoyt provides the color analysis. Livestats for the Yellow Jackets’ final home game will also be available by visiting www.ramblinwreck.com.
The Yellow Jackets are in the midst of a five-game losing streak in which they have hosted No. 23 NC State, met Arkansas in the Russell Athletic Shootout in Duluth, Ga., traveled to Blacksburg for a matchup with ACC newcomer Virginia Tech, hosted No. 3 Duke, and made a bus trip to Clemson. Tech is currently 13-12 this season with a 4-9 record in conference games and is currently tied for eighth in the conference standings, while Florida State enters with a 22-6 mark on the year while standing at 8-5 against ACC opponents.
Following Sunday’s game, the Yellow Jackets will next be in action at the 2005 ACC Tournament, which is being held in Greensboro, NC at the Greensboro Coliseum March 4-7. Georgia Tech will find out who its first round opponent will be Monday evening.
Georgia Tech Tidbits
LIVING UP TO THE HYPE: Prior to the season, the Yellow Jackets voted and 50 percent of the squad said that Stephanie Higgs would be the player that would surprise people this season…she’s lived up to that hype in 2004-05 by leading the team in scoring (13.6 ppg) and standing second in assists (47) and steals (40). She is also averaging 4.5 rebounds per contest.
INTO THE FIRE: Freshmen Jill Ingram and Chioma Nnamaka were thrown into the starting lineup prior to the season opener and have performed well, as they are third and second, respectively, in scoring. Nnamaka has started every game for the Jackets this season while Ingram has been in the starting lineup in all but one contest. Two other freshmen, Janie Mitchell and Daphne Mitchell, have also appeared in the starting lineup at some point this season, and the Jackets have started eight games in 2004-05 with three freshmen in the starting lineup.
LOOKING AT THE BENCH: Just because the starters are out doesn’t mean Tech’s opponents can relax…through 25 games this season, the Jackets’ bench is averaging 16.0 points per game (401 total), while the starters are averaging 42.5 points (1063 total).
MEGAN THE MAINSTAY: In the last three years (including this season), Georgia Tech has played 85 games, all of which Megan Harpring has been a part of. As a matter of fact, she is the only non-freshman on this year’s roster to have played in every single game in her career. Rookies Jill Ingram, Chioma Nnamaka and Janie Mitchell are the only other players that have played in every game in their career.
IMPORTANCE OF GETTING TO THE LINE: The Yellow Jackets have posted a stellar 11-4 record when converting on more free throws than their opponents, including a 3-4 mark against ACC teams. Conversely, when their opponents have made more shots from the charity stripe, Tech is just 2-8, including a 1-5 mark against conference foes. When taking more free throw attempts, Georgia Tech is 11-3 on the season and 3-2 in ACC play, but the Jackets are just 2-9 overall and 1-7 in conference matchups when their opponents reach the line more.
MAKING THE MOST OF “FREE” POINTS: Since dropping the pair of games at Tulsa and St. John’s in which the Yellow Jackets shot just 50 percent from the free-throw line (15-of-30), Georgia Tech had been much stronger from the charity stripe. In the five games following that road trip, the Jackets went 5-0 and connected on 80 percent of their free throws (64-of-80), including a season-high 90 percent mark against Alcorn State in the championship game of the GT/Atlanta Marriott NW Holiday Invitational. Overall, in their 12 losses this season, the Jackets have made 148 free throws in 212 overall attempts, converting just 69.8 percent from the line. In comparison, Georgia Tech has converted on 185-of-256 free throws (72.3 percent) in their 13 victories.
TIME TO WAKE UP: This season, the Yellow Jacket offense has, at times, had problems getting started…but that doesn’t mean they don’t eventually “wake up.” In games where the Yellow Jackets have a higher shooting percentage in the second half as compared to the first, Georgia Tech is 8-6, but when the Jackets shoot lower in the second frame, they are 5-6. When the Jackets have scored equal to or more points in the second half, they are 9-9 on the season, but when scoring fewer points in the final frame, they are just 4-3.
HOLDING THEM UNDER 60: Georgia Tech has held its opponents to under 60 points on 14 occasions in 2004-05, and in those games, the Yellow Jackets have posted a 12-3 mark. The Jackets’ defense has held ACC opponents to under 60 points on five occasions this season and have gone 4-2 in those contests. On eight occasions this season Georgia Tech has held its opponent to less than 50 points and has posted a perfect 8-0 record in those games, with three of those victories coming against ACC foes Miami, Clemson and Wake Forest.
MEETING THE CHALLENGE: According to the latest WBCA/Summerville RPI, Georgia Tech’s 2004-05 schedule is ranked the 12th-toughest in the nation, as the Yellow Jackets will play at least 11 games against teams that are ranked in the top-25 of this week’s RPI. Among ACC teams, Georgia Tech’s schedule is only ranked behind newcomers Miami (2) and Virginia Tech (3), and Maryland (5) and Virginia (9), and it stands ahead of Duke (17), Clemson (41), NC State (44), Florida State (49), Wake Forest (63) and North Carolina (67) .
The Jackets vs. the Seminoles
The Jackets and Seminoles have met 31 times in history, with Georgia Tech holding the slight 17-14 edge in the series record after sweeping the Seminoles a year ago and opening conference play this season with a one-point victory in Tallahassee.
Georgia Tech has actually won the last five games against Florida State, and six of the last seven.
Florida State is one of just two ACC teams in which the Yellow Jackets have a winning record against, with the other being Wake Forest.
LAST TIME OUT: Rookie point guard Jill Ingram drove the lane for a basket with four seconds remaining and freshman Chioma Nnamaka scored a career-high 30 points as Georgia Tech downed Florida State, 59-58, in Tallahassee. With the Seminoles leading 55-54, Nnamaka hit a three-pointer to put the Yellow Jackets up by two with 38 seconds remaining in the game. After an FSU timeout, Ingram received the inbound pass and took the ball straight down the court, driving the lane between a pair of Seminole defenders to the basket to give the Yellow Jackets their first road ACC win since defeating the Seminoles in Tallahassee a year ago. Nnamaka shot 63.2 percent from the field, including converting on all four three-point attempts and Ingram converted on 50 percent of her shots and the two Jackets were a combined 17-of-29 from the field. Georgia Tech shot 46.2 percent in the game and made 6-of-10 from three-point range, while Florida State converted on 44.4 percent from the field. There were a total of nine lead changes, including seven over the last 4:17, and six ties in the contest. Roneeka Hodges paced the Seminoles with 19 points and Alicia Gladden added 17 against the Yellow Jackets.