Dec. 21, 2010
By Jon Cooper
Most of Georgia Tech may be traveling into uncharted territory tomorrow night when they take the floor at Hec Edmundson Pavilion to face the University of Washington — it will be the school’s first trip to the Evergreen state — but senior Alex Montgomery, a Tacoma, Wash., won’t. She’ll be right at home. With the positive history on its side, Tech should feel that way, too.
The Yellow Jackets have played five games in school history against the conference, with three of the games being played at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, with two others played on neutral sites (although one of those was played against Oregon in Portland). Tomorrow night’s game will be Tech’s second venture into Pac-10 territory. They’re hoping for a repeat of its previous success.
If precedent means anything, home, neutral or faux-neutral, Georgia Tech has had the upper hand against the Pac-10, boasting a 4-1 all-time record against the conference.
Tech owns a win under Bernadette McGlade, 65-59, over Arizona on Jan. 7, 1985, at AMC, with the only other game in the Pre-Joseph era an 81-69 loss to UCLA on Dec. 19, 1994, in the Northern Lights Invitational, held in Anchorage, Alaska, under Joseph’s predecessor, Agnus Berenato.
The Yellow Jackets’ record against the Pac-10 has mushroomed under head coach MaChelle Joseph.
Joseph’s teams are 3-0, having hosted — and toasted — visitors from the west, taking care of Oregon on Dec. 16, 2009, then, blasting Arizona, 70-48, four days later, winning 87-69. Prior to that, they beat the Ducks on their turf.
Then there’s the Montgomery factor. The senior, who starred at Lincoln High School, will be making a homecoming visit to Seattle. It’s the same kind of victory lap of sorts that Connecticut’s Maya Moore made when she came to Atlanta. Montgomery and the Jackets hope for Moore and UConn Huskie-like results against the Washington Huskies.
The way she’s played against the Pac-10, that’s a good possibility
She has really enjoyed facing the Pac-10. In three games against the conference (two against Oregon, one against Arizona), Montgomery has averaged 17.0 points a game, on 45.9 percent shooting, 43.5 from three and also grabbed 5.3 rebounds a game.
Her demolition began at the 11th Annual Papé Jam, held in Portland’s Rose Garden on Dec. 13, 2008. Then a sophomore, Montgomery scored a game-high 18, in Tech’s 74-59 rout of the Ducks to win the tournament. Current Jackets Chelsea Regins, Mo Bennett, Sasha Goodlett, LaQuananisha Adams and Metra Walthour all got a taste of the West Coast as freshmen.
Almost a year to the day, this time at AMC, Montgomery again torched UO, this time for 16, as Tech routed Oregon, 86-69. Deja Foster had 21 points, three off her career high, and 11 rebounds, both game-highs, and Brigitte Ardossi chipped in with 19. Oregon shot a mere 22.2 percent from three (6-for-27).
Four days later the Wildcats came to town and would similarly be run out of the building, 70-48. Again, Montgomery was on fire, scoring 17 and pulling down a team-high eight rebounds. Ardossi had a team-high 18 points. Tech smothered the Ducks, holding them to 35.0 percent shooting and below 10 percent from three.
It’ll be little wonder that Montgomery will be fearless. After all, she’ll have home court advantage.