March 3, 2006
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Stephanie Higgs scored a game-high 22 points, 10 of which came from the free-throw line, to lead Georgia Tech (14-14) to its first ACC Tournament victory in three years with a 79-62 win over Miami (16-12) Thursday night at the Greensboro Coliseum.
“It’s just a special win for my team,” said Georgia Tech head coach MaChelle Joseph. “I’m just really happy for them. We’ve had highs and lows this year and we have had some struggles of late. But deep down, we know that we are a good team and we know that we can compete with anybody.”
With the victory, the Jackets advance to face third-seeded and fourth-ranked Maryland in the quarterfinals Friday at 9:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast by the Regional Sports Network, which includes FSN South, Comcast SportsNet, Sun Sports and the New England Sports Network.
The Jackets’ last ACC Tournament win came against Florida State in the 2003 tournament.
Higgs recorded the fourth double-double of her career, and her third of the season, against the Hurricanes, with a 22-point, 10-rebound performance. Higgs’ first double-double of the season came against Miami in Atlanta.
After Miami pulled within one point with 7:20 remaining in the game, the Yellow Jackets went on a 9-0 run, seven of which came from Chioma Nnamaka, to take a 60-50 lead with just under five minutes remaining in the game. Prior to that run, the Hurricanes had held the Jackets’ leading scorer off the scoreboard, but the Uppsala, Sweden native finished with 13 points and four rebounds in the contest.
Before Higgs’ basket with one second remaining, Nnamaka hit the Jackets’ final bucket on a three-pointer at 3:17, but Tech converted on 14-of-16 from the free throw line over the next three minutes to maintain its lead in the game.
Joining Higgs and Nnamaka in double-figures were Janie Mitchell, with 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting, and sophomore point guard Jill Ingram, who had 13 points, five rebounds, four steals and two assists in the game.
Kasha Terry had a season-high 12 rebounds as Tech outrebounded the Hurricanes 47-31 after pulling down 26 more rebounds than Miami in last Sunday’s contest.
Tech’s defense centered around Tamara James, who scored 37 points against the Jackets last Sunday, but scored just 18 for the Hurricanes in the ACC Tournament. Lamese James had 13 points for Miami while Renee Taylor and Melissa Knight scored 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Ingram had 10 points in the first half and the Yellow Jackets held a 25-16 rebounding edge to take a 36-32 lead into the locker room at halftime. Lamese James led the Hurricanes with 11 points while also pulling down a team-high five rebounds in the frame. The Jackets scored 22 of their 25 points in the paint, 13 of which were as a result of Tech’s 10 offensive rebounds in the half.