Nov. 29, 2014
ESTERO, Fla. – The Georgia Tech women’s basketball team (5-2) defeated Villanova, 71-63, at the Gulf Coast Showcase at Germain Arena on Saturday afternoon.
With the win, Tech moves on to the fifth place game and will play the winner of the College of Charleston and Minnesota game at 2:30 p.m. tomorrow.
“I was really proud of this team being able to bounce back from a tough loss yesterday,” head coach MaChelle Joseph said. “They turned it around against a pretty good Villanova team. We were able to score 71 points. Villanova is known to keep the score in the 50s. I was proud of the fact that we struggled to score last night and were able to turn it around in less than 24 hours and come out and score the way we did. To start with 40 points in the first half, I was really proud of our bounce back ability.”
The Yellow Jackets were led on offense by sophomore Kaela Davis, who scored 24 points and grabbed six rebounds against the Wildcats. Davis has led the Jackets in every game but one in scoring this season and has scored at least 20 points in four games. She has hit the double-figures scoring mark in 19-straight games.
Junior Aaliyah Whiteside scored 13 points and recorded six rebounds for her fifth double-figure outing of the season. In her 100th career game, senior Sydney Wallace scored 12 points while grabbing one steal. Junior Roddreka Rogers grabbed a team-high 10 rebound while recording two blocks.
The Yellow Jackets outscored the Wildcats, 26-6, in the paint while shooting 45.8 percent from the floor. Both teams made 22 field goals, but 14 of Villanova’s were from behind the 3-point line. Tech used 88.9 percent free throw shooting (24-for-27) to secure its fifth victory of the season.
The Yellow Jackets were hot out of the gates, outscoring Villanova, 15-6, in the opening minutes of the game. Davis and Wallace combined for 13 of those points, with Davis scoring seven and Wallace contributing six. Tech’s defense only allowed the Wildcats to score three points in first 5:40 of the game. Five-straight points from sophomore Katarina Vuckovic gave the Jackets a 22-9 lead at 8:49 in the first half.
The Yellow Jackets went 7-for-8 from the charity stripe to go ahead, 32-21, with 3:06 left in the first half. Tech closed out the first half with an 8-2 run to take a 40-25 lead into halftime. Villanova’s first 21 points of the half were all off of 3-pointers.
The Jackets started the second half off outscoring the Wildcats, 8-3, to jump ahead 48-30 at 16:15. Wallace had four-straight points at the end of the run. Villanova cut the Jackets’ lead to eight, 56-48, after going on an 11-2 run halfway through the second half.
The Wildcats kept it close, coming within six points of Tech’s, 62-56, lead with 5:50 remaining after holding Tech scoreless for 4:01. Whiteside completed a three point play and tacked on two made free throws to put Tech up, 67-58, with 2:31 left.
Tech would go 4-for-6 from the foul line in the final 43 seconds to maintain its lead and secure its fifth victory of the season.
– Sophomore Kaela Davis extended her double-figure scoring streak to 19 straight games dating back to the 2013-14 season. Davis has scored in double figures in 36 of her 39-game career.
– Davis scored 20 points for the 18th time in her career and fourth time this season. Tech is 13-5 when Davis scores at least 20 points.
– Today’s victory was the first-ever against Villanova for the Yellow Jackets. The series is tied at 1-1.
– Coach Joseph is now 218-136 in her career, putting her six wins shy of becoming the all-time winningest coach in Georgia Tech history.
– The win is Georgia Tech’s 593rd program win, putting it seven wins away from reaching the 600 win milestone.
– This is the 11th overall win against a team from the BIG EAST and Tech’s record against BIG EAST opponents is 11-15.
– Senior Sydney Wallace played in her 100th career game and scored in double figures for the 43rd time in her career and fifth this season.
– Wallace’s 154 career made 3-pointers are sixth in Georgia Tech history while Davis’ 97 career made 3-pointers rank 10th.