Jan. 20, 2005
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech will head to Miami this weekend to take on the Hurricanes in the first ACC matchup between the two schools since Miami became a member of the ACC this past summer. The game is scheduled to begin Sunday at 4 p.m. at The Convocation Center and will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet (CSS) throughout the southeast with Matt Stewart calling the play-by-play while Leah Secondo provides the color commentary. Fans may listen to the game on WREK-Radio in Atlanta, 91.1 FM, and online at www.wrek.org, while livestats for the contest will be available at www.ramblinwreck.com.
The Yellow Jackets enter the contest with a 10-5 mark this season after dropping its last three ACC games to Virginia, No. 15/17 Maryland, and top-ranked Duke this past week. Prior to its game Thursday at NC State, the Hurricanes were 8-8, with an 0-3 record in conference play.
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 15 games, leading the team in scoring (13.7 ppg) while standing second in assists (34) and steals (24). She is also averaging 4.7 rebounds per 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 5.2 points per contest.
LOOKING AT THE BENCH: Just because the starters are out doesn’t mean Tech’s opponents can relax…through the first 15 games of the season, the Jackets’ bench is averaging 20.2 points per game (303 total), while the starters are averaging 41.9 points (628 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 seven players playing more than 15 minutes per contest, with six of those averaging more than 20 minutes per game.
THE JACKETS ON “D”: Through the first 15 games of the season, Georgia Tech has forced 260 turnovers by its opponents, which have led to 133 Yellow Jackets steals (8.9 per game). In comparison, the Jackets have turned the ball over 27 fewer times, leading to just 90 opponent steals in 15 games (6.0 per game).
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 four losses this season, the Jackets have made just 39 free throws in 78 overall attempts, converting just 50 percent from the line. In comparison, Georgia Tech has converted on 147-of-199 free throws (73.9 percent) in their 10 victories.
Jackets vs. the Hurricanes
The Jackets and Hurricanes have met just three times in history, with Miami winning all three meetings. Miami won the first contest on Dec. 15, 1980 by an 86-80 score in Coral Gables, Fla. Eleven years later, the two schools met again in Florida, with the Hurricanes taking a 78-63 victory over the Yellow Jackets. The last time the two teams played each other was in Atlanta, with Miami winning, 73-64, on March 13, 2002.
LAST TIME OUT: Miami came back from a nine-point halftime deficit to end the Yellow Jackets’ 2001-02 season with a 73-64 loss in the first round of the WNIT. Chanivia Broussard led four Miami Hurricanes in double figures and all scorers with 20 points in the contest, while Meghan Saake added 16 and Shaquana Wilkins and Martha Bodley contributed ten points apiece. Sonja Mallory led the Yellow Jackets, who shot 54.9 percent for the game, with 16 points in the contest while Regina Tate scored 14 for the home team. Fallon Stokes added 13 points and Milli Martinez contributed 10 points and nine assists, but it wasn’t enough as the Yellow Jackets were outscored 37-19 in the second half. Tech turned the ball over 27 times in the contest, while Miami committed just 17 turnovers in the contest.
Tech vs. First-time ACC Opponents
This weekend the Yellow Jackets are looking to record just their third win over an opponent when playing them for the first time with both teams being members of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Jackets are 2-6 in first-time meetings between ACC members.
The only two times that the Yellow Jackets have won the first contest between two teams that are members of the ACC was during the 1979-80 season, when Tech defeated Wake Forest 94-67 at the Virginia Tipoff Tournament on November 24th and during the 1991-92 season when the Jackets downed Florida State in Tallahassee, 70-68, on December 11th.
The Yellow Jackets have played six of their eight games in this situation on the road, with the only two contests in Atlanta coming against Duke and North Carolina during the 1979-80 season.
Georgia Tech has yet to face Virginia Tech with both teams being a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Home Games vs. 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 198-153 since the 1979-80 season. The Jackets are 9-2 at home this season after dropping their first contest at AMC this past week against Virginia. Conversely, Georgia Tech is 92-192 on the road since 1979-80, and 1-3 this year.
The Jackets are fairly equal in shooting percentage at home and on the road, averaging 37.1 percent on the road and 37.2 from the field at home, but opponents are hitting 41.4 percent of their shots away from Alexander Memorial Coliseum, while converting on just 33.7 percent in Atlanta. Meanwhile, the Jackets are converting on just 25.9 percent of their three-point attempts at AMC, but enjoy playing on the road, as they have shot 36.5 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 10.5 points per game at AMC, but is scoring 20.0 points in each of the four road contests. Conversely, Higgs enjoys playing in Atlanta, where she is averaging 15.4 points per game, while averaging 9.0 points on the road.
With five wins to open the season and five more following a pair of losses at Tulsa and St. John’s, the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team is just one win away from recording its 400th win in school history. It took the team nine seasons to win its first 100 games and nine years to win its next 100. The team recorded its 300th victory on November 28, 1998.
Sophomore Kentrina Wilson has recorded 13 blocked shots this season, which is ninth for most blocked shots by a sophomore.
Following its game in Miami this weekend, the Yellow Jackets will return to action Wednesday when they host the Clemson Tigers in a game that will begin at 7 p.m. at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. The contest will be broadcast on WREK-Radio and online at www.wrek.org, while livestats will again be available at the official website of Georgia Tech athletics, www.ramblinwreck.com.