Dec. 31, 2002
ATLANTA – Led by 23 points from junior guard Megan Isom, the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team recorded its 10th-straight win by capturing the Atlanta Marriott NW Invitational title on Tuesday afternoon, defeating East Carolina by an 88-75 score at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Isom garnered MVP honors in the tournament as the Yellow Jackets (11-1) are off to the best start in school history.
The Yellow Jackets and Pirates (5-5) opened up in a tight contest, with Tech taking the lead at the start of the game and being unable to open up more than a six-point advantage until midway through the half. The Jackets’ took a 23-10 advantage with 12:42 remaining on a layup by freshman forward Kasha Terry. East Carolina then closed the game to six at 33-27 with 5:48 to play, before the Jackets staged a 16-3 run to close out the period and claim a 47-30 lead at the intermission. Four points from senior center Sonja Mallory keyed the run for the Jackets.
In the half, Tech had three players in double figures, led by Isom with 13 and 10 apiece from Mallory and junior forward Fallon Stokes. The Jackets defense in the first half was outstanding, forcing 15 Pirate turnovers and turning those into 23 points.
At the start of the second half, the Jackets looked to take control of the contest, opening up a 21-point lead at 58-37 with 15:39 to play on a layup by Isom. The Pirates then staged a defensive stand of their own midway through the half, rattling off a 16-1 run to close the game to 61-56 with 10:18 to play. Tech committed five turnovers in the span, which ECU turned into six points, while getting contributions from four different players led by five points Stefanie Warner. A three-pointer by Jennifer Jackson capped the run.
The Jackets then steadily pulled away down the stretch by hitting all seven of their opportunities at the free throw line, including four by Alex Stewart, who has hit her last 20 attempts at the charity stripe.
Isom led four Yellow Jackets in double figures in the game with her 23 points, hitting on 10-of-18 attempts from the field, to go along with five steals. Mallory and Stokes were next in the scoring column for Tech, finishing with 19 and 18 points respectively. Mallory added eight rebounds and two steals, while Stokes had eight boards. Stewart was the fourth Jacket in double figures, finishing with 10 points and just missing a double-double with nine assists.
Courtney Willis led the Pirates in the game with 21 points and 15 rebounds, while Jennifer Jackson added 20 and Alisha Bishop netted 11.
Georgia Tech will have little time until its next game, as it opens ACC play on Thursday by hosting 11th-ranked North Carolina at 7 p.m. at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.
ATLANTA MARRIOTT NW HOLIDAY INVITATIONAL ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM MVP -Megan Isom, Georgia Tech Sonja Mallory, Georgia Tech, Alex Stewart, Georgia Tech Fallon Stokes, Georgia Tech Jennifer Jackson, East Carolina Danielle Rainey, St. John’s