March 17, 2016
THE FLATS – The Georgia Tech women’s basketball team (20-12) downed Mercer (24-9) 73-56 on Thursday evening during the first round of the WNIT at McCamish Pavilion.
“I thought we did a good job of getting our seniors the ball in the middle of the floor,” head coach MaChelle Joseph said. “I thought Mercer had a hard time with Roddreka Rogers. She basically fouled out their center and two of their other post players had four fouls. I thought it was because she is just so physical down there going after rebounds. She had 15 rebounds and basically dominated the paint on both ends.”
The win was the 20th victory of Georgia Tech’s season, marking Joseph’s eighth 20 win season of her 13 year career. The Yellow Jackets host Tulane on Monday at 7 p.m. at McCamish Pavilion for the WNIT second round.
How it Happened
Junior Katarina Vuckovic scored the Yellow Jackets’ first four points and scored six of Georgia Tech’s 16 points in the first quarter. The Yellow Jackets led by just one, 16-15, after the first 10 minutes of play but a 13-4 run towards the end of the second quarter would give the Yellow Jackets a 27-19 lead. Tech went into halftime with an eight point lead, 29-21.
In the third frame, the Yellow Jackets pulled ahead by as much as 13, 43-30, but the Bears clawed back to get within four points, 48-44, at the end of the quarter. After holding Mercer to just six points in the second period, the Bears scored 23 against the Jackets in the third.
However, the Yellow Jackets came out hot in the beginning of the fourth period, outscoring the Bears 10-2 over 3:55 to jump ahead 58-46. The Jackets held the Bears scoreless for the first 2:57 of the fourth frame. Tech would outscore Mercer 10-1 over the final 2:19 to record a 73-56 victory.
The win against Mercer puts the Yellow Jackets at 20-12 this season, marking the eighth 20 win season of head coach MaChelle Joseph’s 13 year career. The Yellow Jackets now have an overall 7-4 record in the WNIT and are 2-1 in the tournament under Joseph. Georgia Tech is now 14-21 overall in the postseason and 7-8 under Joseph’s direction.
Against Mercer, senior Aaliyah Whiteside moved into second all-time on Tech’s single season scoring list with 619 points. She surpassed former Yellow Jacket Tyaunna Marshall’s 609 points for second. Her 17 points tonight marked her 37th time scoring in double figures in the past 39 games. It was her 22nd time this season leading the Yellow Jackets in scoring.
Roddreka Rogers recorded her seventh double-double of the season and the 24th of her career, scoring 15 points and grabbing a team-high 15 rebounds. It was the 17th time this season she has led the Jackets in rebounding. Her 24 career rebounds are tied for the lead among all active ACC players.
Career High for Tilford
Sophomore Imani Tilford tallied a career-high 12 points and grabbed a career-best nine rebounds against the Bears. She has now scored in double figures in three of the past five games. Her previous career-high was 11 points against Wake Forest on Feb. 28, 2016. She has scored at least 10 points in four games this season.
- This was the 21st all-time meeting against Mercer. Georgia Tech leads the all-time series 15-6 and has won 14 of the past 15 meetings, including eight-straight.
- This is the second-straight year that the Yellow Jackets have advanced to the second round of the WNIT.
- Tonight’s win was the 252nd win of head coach MaChelle Joseph’s career. She is Tech’s all-time winningest coach and is 252-161 in her career.
- Four Yellow Jackets scored in double-figures tonight – Whiteside (17), Rogers (15), Tilford (12) and Vuckovic (12).
Moving Through The Record Book
- With her 15 rebounds against Mercer, Roddreka Rogers has 956 career rebounds and is in third on Georgia Tech’s all-time rebounding list. She is the third Yellow Jacket in women’s basketball history to have at least 900 career rebounds. Dolores Bootz is second on the all-time list with 978 career rebounds.
- After scoring 17 points against the Bears, Aaliyah Whiteside has 1,555 career points and is ninth on Georgia Tech’s all-time scoring list. Whiteside needs two more points to tie Joyce Pierce for eighth with 1,557 career points.
- Whiteside is now second all-time on Tech’s single season scoring list with 619 points. She surpassed former Yellow Jacket Tyaunna Marshall’s 609 points for second.
- Whiteside became the all-time leader in career free throws against Boston College. Tonight she went 9-for -9 from the foul line and has 492 career made free throws. Heading into tonight’s game, Whiteside ranked second in the nation in career free throws made and was ninth in career free throws made among active players in the NCAA.
- Whiteside is also 10th on Georgia Tech’s all-time 3-pointers made list with 107 made 3-pointers in her career.
The Yellow Jackets play Tulane in the second round of the WNIT at McCamish Pavilion on Monday at 7 p.m.