Jan. 4, 2002
ATLANTA — Paced by a career-high 25 points from senior guard Milli Martinez, the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team picked up its first Atlantic Coast Conference win of the 2001-02 season with a 65-56 decision on the road over Wake Forest at Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem, N.C.
“This was a huge win for us,” said Tech head coach Agnus Berenato. “We have had a tough time with Wake over the last few years, including a loss here a year ago. We’ve had some close games lately where we led in the second half but couldn’t close out, including against Duke and Georgia. I think we grew up as a team today and it was really a great team victory for us.”
The Imlay City, Mich., native was the spark for the Jackets (7-5, 1-2 ACC) in the first half, as she went on a personal 10-5 run beginning at the 9:43 mark of the first half with Tech trailing 12-11. Martinez closed it out by making a pair of free throws at 5:19 to give Tech a 21-17 lead. The Jackets would not relinquish the lead for the remainder of the game, settling for a 27-21 advantage at the intermission. The Demon Deacons (6-7, 0-3 ACC) stayed in the game on the strength of three three-point baskets from Tonia Brown, who finished the half with nine points.
Martinez finished the half with 17 points and five rebounds to lead all scorers. Junior center Sonja Mallory was Tech’s next-leading scorer with four points in the period.
In the second half, the Yellow Jackets took advantage of their opportunities at the free throw line, as Tech made only seven of 23 field goal attempts in the half, while hitting on 24 of 33 attempts at the charity stripe. The Jackets held their largest lead of the game with 13:23 remaining, as a pair of Tamika Boatner free throws put Tech ahead by a 37-27 score.
Wake then staged a run of its own, as six points from Tiffani Listenbee keyed a 10-4 spurt that cut the Tech lead to just four at 41-37 with 9:15 remaining. That would be as close as the Deacons would get, as the Jackets went 18-for-25 from the free throw line down the stretch to close out the game.
Martinez led all scorers in the game with her 25 points, as she also tied for game-high honors in rebounds with nine and led all players with three steals in the contest. Mallory and Boatner were second in scoring for Tech with nine points apiece, while senior Regina Tate added eight points and nine rebounds. Junior guard Nina Barlin matched Tate with eight points, while adding a game-high eight assists.
“Milli and Nina had great games for us today,” said Berenato. “Milli was huge as she scored a career high and Nina has improved her game a great deal this year. She was big for us defensively, as she took a lot away from Wake and their offense.”
Tonia Brown led Wake Forest in the game as she finished with 15 points, all of which came on a 5-of-10 shooting performance from three-point range. Brown was joined in double figures by Jennifer Johnson, who had 11 points and six assists, while Listenbee netted 10 points in the game for Wake.
The Yellow Jackets will continue their road swing on Sunday, when they travel to Raleigh for another ACC match-up against NC State beginning at 2:00 p.m. at Reynolds Coliseum.