Jan. 4, 2015
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech head women’s basketball coach MaChelle Joseph became the all-time winningest coach in Georgia Tech history after the Yellow Jackets (11-5, 1-1 ACC) defeated Clemson (9-6, 1-1 ACC), 74-66, at McCamish Pavilion Sunday afternoon.
Joseph is now the all-time winningest coach in Georgia Tech women’s basketball history with a career record of 224-139. She surpassed Agnus Berenato’s record of 223-209 which Berenato accomplished in 15 seasons. Joseph is in the middle of her 12th season at the helm of the Yellow Jackets.
“I’m proud of the way our team played today,” Joseph said. “I thought that when you get four people in double figures that says you are sharing the basketball and you are playing as a team. I was really impressed with the play of Roddreka Rogers. I’ve never seen anyone rebound the basketball the way she does.”
Rogers was a force against Clemson, leading the Jackets in rebounds with a career-high 18 boards, on her way to her fourth double-double of the season. Rogers scored 16 points against Clemson shooting 72 percent (8-for-11) from the floor. Rogers’ nine career double-doubles rank seventh in the conference among active ACC players.
Rogers and her fellow teammates knew this was an important game to bounce back with after suffering their first ACC loss on Friday, but they also knew how much this win would be to Joseph.
“She’s a great coach,” Rogers said. “She sees potential in you when you don’t even see it in yourself. She will push you beyond your limits. She’s great. She knows what she is doing and she deserves this so much.”
Both sophomore Kaela Davis and junior Aaliyah Whiteside each scored a team-high 17 points. Davis has scored in double-figures in 28-straight games and every game this season. The Suwanee, Ga. native has 919 career points, putting her just 81 points away from becoming the 28th Yellow Jacket to score 1,000 career points. Senior Sydney Wallace reached the 1,000 career point mark this season and she was honored before today’s game for achieving the feat.
Whiteside has scored exactly 17 points in three-straight games. Whiteside also set a new career record today, handing out a career-best seven assists against the Tigers. Freshman Zaire O’Neil contributed 14 points, four assists and nine rebounds against Clemson.
This is the sixth time this season that at least four Yellow Jackets have scored in double-figures during a single game. Georgia Tech won the rebounding battle for the 12th time this season, holding a 49-36 advantage on the glass. The Yellow Jackets have won 17 out of the last 19 meetings against Clemson.
The Yellow Jackets and Tigers, who were meeting for the 73rd time in school history, battled for the lead in the opening five minutes of the game. An offensive board and put back from Aaliyah Whiteside gave the Jackets their first lead of the game at 10-8. A 3-pointer from sophomore Katarina Vuckovic extended Tech’s lead to, 13-8, at 13:56.
The Jackets shot 6-for-7 from the floor to go ahead 20-16 over the span of 4:08 against the Tigers. Tech would build on that momentum, outscoring Clemson 9-2 to go ahead 27-18 with 7:39 to go until the half. Rogers led the Jackets to a 38-28 lead at halftime recording her fourth double-double of the season in the first half alone. Rogers cleaned up the glass in the first half, grabbing 12 rebounds in the first 20 minutes and scoring 10 points.
Clemson would score the first basket out of halftime but Tech would hold the Tigers scoreless for 3:19, scoring eight unanswered points to run to a 16 point lead, 46-30. The 16 point advantage was the largest of the game for the Jackets, but Clemson would soon close the gap. The Tigers began to crawl back, cutting their deficit to seven points, 54-47, after piecing together a 9-0 run with 8:34 on the clock.
With 5:54 remaining, Clemson’s Cha’nelle Perry made back-to-back layups to come within five points of Tech’s lead, 56-51. A three point play by Whiteside would spark a 9-2 run to put Tech on top, 65-53.
The Tigers didn’t give up, scoring seven points in the final 1:15 of the game, but a 3-pointer from Whiteside with 1:01 to go sealed the deal for the Jackets as they won their first ACC game of the season, 74-66.
Next up, the Yellow Jackets travel to Boston College on Thursday to face the Eagles at 7 p.m.