Feb. 4, 2005
Winston-Salem, NC – The Jackets will conclude their ACC road swing by traveling to Winston-Salem to face the Wake Forest Demon Deacons Sunday at 3 p.m. after falling to 20th-ranked Maryland Thursday night in College Park. The game will be played at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum and will be broadcast on the Georgia Tech student station, WREK 91.1 FM in Atlanta, and online at www.wrek.org. Livestats for the contest will also be available at www.ramblinwreck.com.
Georgia Tech enters the game with a 3-5 record in conference games in 2004-05, while the Demon Deacons stand at 2-5 in ACC play. The Yellow Jackets hold an overall mark of 12-7 this season, and Wake Forest stands at 13-7 under first-year head coach Mike Petersen.
Following the game against Wake Forest, the Yellow Jackets will return to Atlanta to host NC State Thursday at 7 p.m.
Georgia Tech Tidbits
LIVING UP TO THE HYPE: Prior to the season, the Yellow Jackets voted and 50 percent of the squad said that Stephanie Higgs would be the player that would surprise people this season…she’s lived up to that hype through 19 games by standing second on the team in scoring (13.2 ppg) and assists (37) and third in steals (26). She is also averaging 4.4 rebounds per contest.
INTO THE FIRE: Freshmen Jill Ingram and Chioma Nnamaka were thrown into the starting lineup prior to the season opener and have performed well, as they are second and third, respectively, in scoring. Nnamaka has started every game for the Jackets this season while Ingram has been in the starting lineup in all but one contest.
LOVING THE MISS: Jessica Williams is again one of the top rebounders in the league, as she is averaging 7.1 per game while scoring 5.1 points per contest.
LOOKING AT THE BENCH: Just because the starters are out doesn’t mean Tech’s opponents can relax…through the first 19 games of the season, the Jackets’ bench is averaging 18.9 points per game (360 total), while the starters are averaging 41.8 points (794 total).
SUB, PLEASE!: After finishing the 2003-04 season with just five active players averaging more than 15 minutes per game, the Jackets currently have eight players playing more than 15 minutes per contest, with six of those averaging more than 20 minutes per game.
THE JACKETS ON “D”: Through 19 games of the season, Georgia Tech has forced 327 turnovers by its opponents, which have led to 163 Yellow Jackets steals (8.6 per game). In comparison, the Jackets have turned the ball over 18 fewer times, leading to just 127 opponent steals in 19 games (6.7 per game).
IMPORTANCE OF GETTING TO THE LINE: The Yellow Jackets have posted a stellar 11-1 record when converting on more free throws than their opponents, including a 3-1 mark against ACC teams. Conversely, when their opponents have made more shots from the charity stripe, Tech is just 1-6, including an 0-4 mark against conference foes. When taking more free throw attempts, Georgia Tech is 11-2 on the season and 3-1 in ACC play, but the Jackets are just 1-5 overall and 0-4 in conference matchups when their opponents reach the line more.
MAKING THE MOST OF “FREE” POINTS: Since dropping the pair of games at Tulsa and St. John’s in which the Yellow Jackets shot just 50 percent from the free-throw line (15-of-30), Georgia Tech had been much stronger from the charity stripe. In the five games following that road trip, the Jackets went 5-0 and connected on 80 percent of their free throws (64-of-80), including a season-high 90 percent mark against Alcorn State in the championship game of the GT/Atlanta Marriott NW Holiday Invitational. Overall, in their six losses this season, the Jackets have made just 70 free throws in 115 overall attempts, converting just 60.9 percent from the line. In comparison, Georgia Tech has converted on 180-of-247 free throws (72.9 percent) in their 12 victories, a 13-point difference.
Jackets vs. the Demon Deacons
The Jackets and Demon Deacons will be meeting for the 50th time in history, with Georgia Tech holding a 27-22 edge in the series.
Tech has struggled away from Atlanta against the Deacs, holding a 17-6 mark against Wake in Atlanta and a 10-16 record away from Alexander Memorial Coliseum. The Jackets are 8-15 all-time at Joel Coliseum.
The Demon Deacons swept the regular series from the Yellow Jackets a year ago, and then defeated Tech in the first round of the ACC Tournament to conclude the Jackets’ season. All three losses to Wake Forest in 2003-04 were by a two-point margin.
Georgia Tech won the first game of the series on November 25, 1979 by a 94-67 mark and won the two contests against the Demon Deacons prior to last season.
LAST TIME OUT: The Yellow Jackets were sent home from the ACC tournament and eliminated from postseason play when the Wake Forest Demon Deacons defeated Tech, 61-59, at Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, NC a year ago. The Demon Deacons outscored the Jackets by 10 points in the second half to win their third contest by a two-point margin against the Yellow Jackets. Cotelia Bond-Young scored a game-high 18 points and had seven rebounds and four assists for the Deacs while Fallon Stokes paced the Jackets with 17 points and Jessica Williams added 14 off the bench. Tech outrebounded the Demon Deacons, 37-31 and shot 43 percent in the game.
Last Time Out
The Yellow Jackets fell behind early to the 20th-ranked Terrapins and could never recover, as Maryland went on to win 84-67, in College Park Thursday night. The Jackets shot just 31 percent from the field in the first half, while Maryland converted on 47 percent of its shots in the frame to take a 42-22 lead into the locker room at the half. The Jackets had three players score in double figures, as Chioma Nnamaka paced Tech with 18 points and Stephanie Higgs added 14. Janie Mitchell recorded a career-high with 17 points against the Terrapins, and recorded the first double-double of her career by pulling down 10 rebounds. Tech outscored Maryland, 45-42 in the second half of the contest, but the Jackets’ comeback attempt was too late, as the Terps had four players score in double figures, while Anesia Smith had 10 rebounds and 11 assists in the contest. Crystal Langhorne and Shay Doron led the Terps with 18 points while Kalika France added 14 and Aurelie Noirez, 12.
Home Games vs. Playing on the Road
After dropping a pair of road games in early December, the Yellow Jackets looked forward to their return to Atlanta, where the they have posted an overall record of 199-155 since the 1979-80 season. The Jackets are 10-3 at home this season after dropping three games at home in January. Conversely, Georgia Tech is 93-194 on the road since 1979-80, and 2-4 this year.
The Jackets hold an edge on the road in shooting percentage, averaging 38.2 percent away from Atlanta and just 36.3 from the field at home, but opponents are hitting 40.8 percent of their shots away from Alexander Memorial Coliseum, while converting on just 34.8 percent at AMC. Meanwhile, the Jackets are converting on just 25.6 percent of their three-point attempts at AMC, but enjoy playing shooting the trey on the road, as they have shot 36.6 percent from beyond the arc away from the Coliseum.
A couple of the most notable differences in scoring are of the Yellow Jackets’ top two underclassmen in Chioma Nnamaka and Stephanie Higgs. Nnamaka is averaging 10.9 points per game at AMC, but is scoring 19.5 points in each of the five road contests. Conversely, Higgs enjoys playing in Atlanta, where she is averaging 14.0 points per game, while averaging 11.3 points on the road.
Sophomore Kentrina Wilson has recorded 14 blocked shots this season, which is ninth for most blocked shots by a sophomore.
Jill Ingram is tied for 10th for most steals by a freshman in Georgia Tech history. She currently has 39 steals to her credit in 2004-05. The rookie from Charlotte, NC is also just 14 assists away from making the top-10 list for most assists by a freshman, as she has already dished out 54 assists this year.
Fellow rookie Chioma Nnamaka has scored 259 points in 2004-05, which is just two points shy of appearing in the top-10 for most points scored by a rookie in Georgia Tech history. The last time that a freshman scored more than 260 points was during the 1998-99 season, when Niesha Butler tallied 521 total points during her rookie campaign.