Dec. 5, 2002
ATLANTA – Behind 18 points and 12 rebounds from senior center Sonja Mallory, the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team upped its win streak to four by cruising past Mercer on Thursday night, 96-50 at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Mallory led five Yellow Jackets in double-figure scoring on the night.
The Jackets (5-1) got out of the gates slowly against the Bears (0-4), taking an 11-2 lead into the first timeout of the game at 15:08 of the first half. After staking itself to a 17-7 lead at the 11:52 mark of the half, Tech rattled off a 16-6 run over the next four minutes to put itself up 33-13 with 7:52 to play. Freshman forward Kasha Terry sparked the run with eight points. The two teams then traded baskets for the remainder of the half, with Tech taking a 43-20 advantage into the half. Both Mallory and Terry had 10 points in the first period, while the Jackets’ defense forced 14 Mercer turnovers and limited the Bears to just 25 percent shooting in the half (8-for-32).
“We really tried a lot of different combinations tonight so see what was working for us,” said Tech head coach Agnus Berenato. “We worked on a lot of things and really tried to keep the intensity level high throughout the game. I think that’s been one of our strengths this year, that we have played hard and stayed focused in every game this season.”
Georgia Tech continued to hit on all cylinders in the second half, opening the stanza with an 8-2 run, keyed by four points from junior guard Megan Isom. The Jackets emptied their bench midway through the second period, as all 14 players on the roster saw at least five minutes of court time, with 10 players logging over 10 minutes of action. Isom led all Tech scorers after the intermission, as she netted 11 of her 13 points in the second half. The Jackets scored a season-best 53 points in the second half and controlled the boards for the sixth time this season, recording a 57-34 advantage on the glass.
“Our game plan was to rebound and get the ball into the paint and we did a good job of that,” said Berenato. “It was good for us, because we got to play at lot of people tonight and any time you can have 10 players with 10 or more minutes and get a win, that’s a good thing.”
Tech was led by its inside players, as the Yellow Jackets’ 60 points in the paint in the game, was more than the Bears’ total for the contest. Mallory led the interior assault with her 18 points, she was joined in double figures by two other forwards, as junior forward Fallon Stokes finished the game with 11 points and Terry had 12 in the contest, to go along with three blocks. Isom recorded seven rebounds to go with her 13 points, while rookie Megan Harpring scored in the double figures for the first time in her career, finishing the game with 11 points. Junior guard Alex Stewart steadily guided the Tech offense, as she finished with a season-high 10 assists to go along with six points and four rebounds.
“This was a great game for us to go into a 10-day break with,” said Berenato. “Everyone got to play tonight and contribute, so now they can relax and focus on what needs to be done with finals and school work. Everybody is feeling good about themselves and what we’re doing so it was a good game for us in that respect.”
The Yellow Jackets will now have 10 days off for final exams, before returning to action on Dec. 15, when they travel to Orlando, Fla., to face Central Florida at 7:30 p.m.