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Jackets Begin Season Friday at UAB

Nov. 16, 2005

ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech women’s basketball team will begin its 2005-06 campaign Friday evening in Birmingham, Alabama, when they meet the Blazers of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) at 7 p.m. CT at Bartow Arena. The game will be broadcast on the Georgia Tech Radio Network, 91.1 FM in Atlanta, and online at www.wrek.org.

The Yellow Jackets lead the series with UAB, 4-1, including winning the last meeting between the two schools, 74-49, last season at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Tech is 21-10 in season openers, and has a 3-3 record (since the 1978-79 season) in openers that occur on the road. Under head coach MaChelle Joseph, Georgia Tech is 2-0 in the first game of the season.

“I know that the players and the staff are excited about the opportunity to finally be starting the season,” said Joseph. “We look forward to playing against a very good UAB team that returns everyone from a year ago. It will be a good challenge for this team to open up on the road, and fortunately we had the opportunity to play an exhibition game at the Georgia Dome, which gave us the opportunity to play at a neutral site.”

This season’s Yellow Jacket squad includes all five starters and a total of 12 letterwinners from the 2004-05 team that went 13-14. Returning starters include senior Jessica Williams, junior Stephanie Higgs, and sophomores Jill Ingram, Janie Mitchell and Chioma Nnamaka. Other returning letterwinners include seniors Kasha Terry, Lauren Sauer, Megan Harpring and Cheytoria Phillips, junior Kentrina Wilson and sophomores Daphne Mitchell and Giuliett Ancora.

“It’s been a real luxury this year to have five seniors, five veteran, experienced players that understand what it takes not only to compete at this level, but to win at this level,” said Joseph. “They have NCAA Tournament experience, and to have that many experienced players back is a definite asset.”

Three newcomers will make their Tech debuts on Thursday. The 2005-06 freshman class is made up of Jacqua Williams (Seattle, Wash.), Tabitha Turner (Miami, Fla.) and April Phillips (Long Beach, Calif.) Sitting out the game will be redshirt sophomore Meagan Samis, who transferred to Tech from UNC Wilmington during the offseason, and Ancora, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament at the end of the summer.

“We’re really excited to see not only what we’re going to get out of returning starters and veteran players, but also to see April Phillips, Jacqua Williams and Tabitha Turner in a game-like situation,” said Joseph. “They’ve been progressing fairly well to this point, and we’re looking for them to make significant contributions to our success this year.”

Following the game Friday night, the Yellow Jackets will return to Atlanta for a three-game homestand at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, facing Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Nov. 20), College of Charleston (Nov. 23) and Appalachian State (Nov. 27).

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