Dec. 18, 2006
EVANSTON, Ill. – Georgia Tech (6-3) fights back from early-game point deficit for an important road win over Northwestern (6-6) Monday at the Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Ill. The 82-68 victory over the Wildcats is Tech’s second road win of the season and first away from home after losing two straight road contests.
The Yellow Jackets were off to a slow start Monday, going without a field goal until nearly six minutes into the game when Janie Mitchell rebounded and came up with a tough lay in cutting the early Wildcat lead to seven. Mitchell finished with 11 points, five boards, and came away with two steals for the first time this season.
Stephanie Higgs gave her team the momentum they needed early with seven straight scores to bring the Jackets to within three and help chip away a 10-point Northwestern lead for 33-33 tie at the half. Higgs paced the Jackets with a career-high 36 points shattering her previous high 30 points against Samford on Dec. 21, 2004. Monday’s display makes the senior sensation the first Jacket to score at least 35 points in a game in ten years. Higgs is the first woman in a field of talented ACC players to score at least 30 points in a game this season. Only two other players, Wake Forest’s Yolanda Lavender and Clemson’s D’Lesha Lloyd, have scored 29 points, which was a previous league best. Former Yellow Jacket Marielle Walker’s 43 points vs. Iona in 1987 is the most points scored in a game by a Yellow Jacket. Higgs’ previous high for the season was 28 points, earned in a Nov. 17 win over Georgia State. Not to be outdone in the rebounding column, Higgs tied Chioma Nnamaka for the time high with eight boards.
Tech jumped out to a early second-half lead when they scored six unanswered points with Nnamaka nailing two three pointers paving the way to a 12-point Yellow Jacket lead midway through the second half. The Tech co-captain was second in scoring Monday, with 12.
The Jackets held their second-half lead with aggressive post play, by forcing turnovers and with tenacious rebounding on both ends. They out-rebounded the Wildcats 51 to 30 and ventured to the free-throw line nearly three times as often nailing 80 percent of their free throws.
The Jackets continue their road stand Wednesday with a 7 p.m. game against College of Charleston. Tech is 1-and-0 all time vs. the Cougars, defeating them 66-50 last season.