Nov. 28, 2008
ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech women’s basketball team will open play Saturday at the FAU Thanksgiving Tournament when it meets #9/11 Texas in the first round. Tipoff at FAU Arena is scheduled for 5 p.m.
The winner of the opening round matchup will either face host Florida Atlantic or Tennessee Tech in the championship game Sunday at 5 p.m.
Fans can listen to Richard Musterer and LaChina Robinson call all the action this weekend on WREK Radio (91.1 FM/www.wrek.org), Georgia Tech women’s basketball’s flagship station.
The Yellow Jackets and Texas will play for the first time in the history of the programs. The Longhorns, coached by former Duke head coach Gail Goestenkors, are off to 5-0 start for the first time since 2003-04.
The Jackets will face a top-10 opponent for the second time this season. The last time Tech played two teams ranked in the nation’s top 10 this early in the season was in 1983-84 when the Yellow Jackets faced No. 3 Georgia and No. 9 Maryland in games four and five.
TECH VS. TEXAS
Georgia Tech will meet Texas for the first time on Saturday.
Texas head coach Gail Goestenkors was 28-3 against the Yellow Jackets when she was head coach at Duke from 1992-93 to 2006-07.
The Jackets are 2-3 all-time against teams in the Big 12. The Jackets fell to Iowa State in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament.
Tech head coach MaChelle Joseph will coach her first game at FAU Arena since making her debut with Yellow Jackets on Nov. 21, 2003 with a 73-62 win over Florida Atlantic.
HEMINGWAY’S DOUBLE-DOUBLE LEADS TECH PAST GEORGIA STATE, 74-56
Iasia Hemingway recorded her first career double-double to help the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team to a 74-56 win over Georgia State (1-1) Wednesday at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.
Hemingway finished with 21 points and a career-high 11 rebounds for the Yellow Jackets (4-1). Senior Jacqua Williams scored 15 points and registered four steals, while junior Brigitte Ardossi added 10 points and six boards.
PICK A POCKET OR TWO
After three-plus seasons on the Flats, senior Jacqua Williams has earned the reputation as one of the best defenders in the nation. The speedster from Seattle, Wash., recorded her 279th career steal on Nov. 22, 2008 against Mississippi Valley State for a new school record, surpassing Kisha Ford and Tiffany Martin on the all-time steals list. Williams plans to obliterate the previous record over the next four months.
Last season, Williams finished with a single-season school record 118 steals, leading the ACC and ranking fourth in the nation with 3.8 per game. She has registered at least one steal in 44 straight games and even held the ACC single game record for steals with 11 (later broken by former Yellow Jacket Jill Ingram with 14). This season she leads the Jackets with 22 steals and has 283 on her career.
SENIOR CLASS PILING UP WINS
Georgia Tech’s 2008-09 senior class of Tabitha Turner and Jacqua Williams have been a part of 61 wins since beginning their careers on the Flats. The two Jackets have helped Tech to back-to-back record-setting seasons and are on pace to become the most successful class in the history of the program. With 9 more wins this season, the pair will accumulate the most wins by any senior class to ever play for the Yellow Jackets. Last year’s seniors finished with a school-best 69 wins in their careers.
AUSSIE, AUSSIE, AUSSIE … OYE, OYE, OYE
Junior Brigitte Ardossi started 26 games during her freshman season and helped the Jackets to their first win in the NCAA Tournament. Last season she was regulated to the first big off the bench and made the most of her opportunity by scoring 3.9 points per game and grabbing 2.8 rebounds in 14.5 minutes. Coach Joseph expects big things from her Aussie post-player in 2008-09 and has inserted her back into the starting lineup. She has played in 70 straight games, every game since coming to the Flats, and has started 31 of those games.
SHE CAN DO IT ALL
Anyone who watched Alex Montgomery play last season knows she can really do it all. She is not only the team’s top returning scorer (10.8) and rebounder (5.4), Montgomery has also shown she can dish it, steal it, block it or even win a jump ball. A starter of 26 games as a freshman, Montgomery has become the center of the Yellow Jackets offense. She is averaging13.2 points, has grabbed 5.4 rebounds a game and is shooting 46 percent from beyond-the-arc.
Sophomore Iasia Hemingway excelled as an undersized post player for the Jackets last season, scoring over 20 points against the likes of Maryland’s Crystal Langhorne and Tasha Humphrey of Georgia. This season, Coach Joseph has added some taller players to the Jackets roster that will allow Hemingway to take her game outside to the wing. Hemingway will now have a chance to not only post up players her height, she will also be able to take the ball to the basket and box out smaller guards for rebounds.
Hemingway is averging a team-leading 14.6 points and 4.6 rebounds a game. She recorded her first career double-double against Georgia State (21 pts, 11 reb.) on Nov. 26, 2008
GOODLETT IS GOOD
For the second straight year, Coach Joseph started a freshman on opening night. 6-5 Sasha Goodlett made a “big” impression on the coaching staff this preseason and has added a new dimension to the Yellow Jackets lineup. Joseph called her 2007-08 squad “the best 6-0 and under team in the country” but by adding Goodlett will give the Jackets the true center they have been missing. Along with Goodlett, Tech now lists five players at 6-2 or taller. Goodlett has started four of the Jackets first five games.
Most teams are lucky enough to have a solid starting five, maybe even a sixth player that can step in and replace someone in the lineup. This season, Joseph feels she can list seven starters on her roster. Sophomore’s Deja Foster and Shaday Woolcock have shown the ability to step on the court and make an instant impact for the Jackets. Foster is averaging 18.5 minutes off the bench for the Jackets and Woolcock is playing 13.0 minutes in a reserve role.
STILL “MO”RE TO COME
Ranked as high as the 29th-best prospect coming out of high school, Mo Bennett has burst on the college scene with some impressive performances. In her debut, the Statesboro, Ga., native scored eight points and grabbed seven rebounds against Troy. Two days later, Bennett dropped 19 points in 30 minutes on No. 1 UConn at Gampel Pavilion. Members of the newly created ACC Blue Ribbon Panel were so impressed that they named Bennett the ACC Rookie of the Week on Nov. 17. Something tells me there will be “Mo”re to come.
The 2008-09 Georgia Tech roster is noticeably young with 10 players listed as sophomores and freshmen. Though young, the team is the most athletic team Coach Joseph has had since taking over at Georgia Tech.
FULL COURT PRESS
Last season, Georgia Tech finished the season with a school record 456 steals and led the NCAA with 14.3 steals per game. This has to be credited to Coach Joseph’s pressing defense. Joseph will press for 40 minutes with numerous pressing schemes to keep the offensive off-balance. Joseph wants her team to “be an impressive running defensive team that creates opportunities for the offense.” Even though it is early in the season, Tech is averaging a staggering 16.2 steals a game.
WINNING WITH COACH JO
In just her sixth season at the helm, Coach MaChelle Joseph is already has registered the second-most wins in Georgia Tech history. Joseph has registered an 88-67 (.568) records. She has led Tech to its first back-to-back 20-win seasons and two straight NCAA Tournaments.