Dec. 28, 2008
ATLANTA – After a 10-day layoff, the No. 23/25 Georgia Tech women’s basketball team returns to action when it hosts Florida A&M (4-5) Tuesday evening as part of a doubleheader with the Yellow Jacket men’s team. Tipoff for the women’s game is slated for 6 p.m., with the men’s game against Tenneessee State scheduled for 8:30 p.m.
Fans can listen to Richard Musterer and Kurt Hoyt 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 Jacket women (10-2), who are currently on a six-game win streak, return home for the first time since defeating Georgia, 57-42, on Dec. 5. Alex Montgomery is averaging a team-leading 13.5 points and 5.5 rebounds a game, while Jacqua Williams ranks second in the nation and first in the Atlantic Coast Conference with 4.5 steals a game.
The Rattlers enter the game on a three-game losing streak and will face their third ranked opponent in their last four games.
Georgia Tech is 1-0 all-time against Florida A&M, defeating the Rattlers 84-45 during the 2003-04 season.
Due to the parking restrictions for the men’s game, women’s basketball fans should utilize Peter’s Parking Deck.
Fans can purchase tickets for Wednesday afternoon’s game at Gate 1 of the Coliseum. Tickets are $4 for adults, $2 for children 18 and under. Season tickets are on sale at www.ramblinwreck.com/tickets, or can be purchased on the AMC concourse. Women’s basketball fans interested in staying for the men’s game will be asked to locate an open seat at the conclusion of the game. Men’s ticketholders will be allowed into the women’s game free of charge.
TECH VS. FLORIDA A&M
Georgia Tech leads the all-time series 1-0, winning the only meeting, 84-45, on Dec. 31, 2003 in Atlanta.
The Rattlers list two players from the Peach State. Senior Deidra Jones is from Powder Springs and Soph. Jawquella Woods hails from Columbus.
Tech is 4-0 all-time against MEAC opponents.
LOOKING BACK: NO. 25 GEORGIA TECH SNEAKS PAST UT-ARLINGTON, 63-56
Jacqua Williams scored 16 of her career-high 20 points in the second half to lead the No. 25 Georgia Tech women’s basketball team (10-2) to a 63-56 win over UT-Arlington (4-6) in the championship game of the Bahamas Sunsplash Shootout Saturday.
Williams went nine-of-10 from the free-throw line, dished out five assists and had four steals on her way to being named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Alex Montgomery, who finished with 15 points and five rebounds, was named to the All-Tournament Team.
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 50 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 54 steals and has 315 on her career. She currently leads the ACC and ranks second in the nation in steals with 4.5 per game.
SENIOR CLASS PILING UP WINS
Georgia Tech’s 2008-09 senior class of Tabitha Turner and Jacqua Williams have been a part of 67wins 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 three 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.
RECOGNITION WELL DESERVED
Alex Montgomery led Georgia Tech with 18 points and four rebounds in a 74-59 win over Oregon at the Rose Garden. For her effort, Montgomery was named the Pape Jam Most Valuable Player.
At the Bahamas Sunsplash Shootout, Jacqua Williams tied her career-high with 20 points by scoring 16 in the second half to help Tech defeat UT-Arlington in the championship game to earn the tournament’s MVP. Montgomery was named to the All-Tournament team for her successful play during the weekend.
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 77 straight games, every game since coming to the Flats, and has started 38 of those games.
Ardossi, who has elevated her game to a new level, is scoring 8.8 points a game and is grabbing 4.8 rebounds per game. She is also knocking down her free-throw attempts at an 78% clip. Against Tennessee Tech on Nov. 30, 2008, Ardossi scored a career-high 18 points to lead Tech to the win. On Dec. 5, Ardossi helped Tech defeat its archrival Georgia with her first career double-double (15 pts, 10 reb).
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 averaging 13.5 points, has grabbed 5.5 rebounds a game and is shooting 38 percent from beyond-the-arc.
Montgomery registered her second career double-double (16 pts, 10 reb) in the Yellow Jackets 65-27 win over Winthrop on Dec. 18, 2008.
BIG SHOT MONTGOMERY
With under 10 seconds remaining on the clock and the Jackets need someone to knock down a big shot, Alex Montgomery has not shyed away from taking it. Last season, Montgomery hit a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer to lift Tech past Miami at home (1/15/08). Montgomery has continued to show no fear when a big shot is needed, knocking down a three-pointer as time expired before halftime in three straight games (Michigan State, Georgia and Oregon).
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 11.6 points and is registering 4.5 rebounds a game. She recorded her first career double-double against Georgia State (21 pts, 11 reb.) on Nov. 26, 2008. Hemingway has also shown a knack for getting to the free-throw line, with 59 attempts so far and is shooting 70 percent from the charity stripe.
Most teams are lucky enough to have a solid starting five. This season, Joseph feels she can list six starters on her roster. Sophomore’s Deja Foster has shown the ability to step on the court and make an instant impact for the Jackets. Foster is averaging 22.9 minutes and started her first career game on Nov. 30, 2008 against Tennessee Tech.
Foster is scoring 7.7 points a game and is averaging 4.5 rebounds. Against Michigan State, she sparked Tech in the final five minutes with her first career three-pointer and back-to-back three-point plays on her way to a career-high 13 points.
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 14.6 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 94-68 (.580) records. She has led Tech to its first back-to-back 20-win seasons and two straight NCAA Tournaments.
TECH IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
Georgia Tech cracked the top 25 in the Dec. 15, 2008 Associated Press poll. It the second time in the last year when Tech found itself ranked. Tech was also ranked on Jan. 21, 2008. Prior to last season, the Yellow Jackets were not ranked for 14 years to the week, with the last time coming on Jan. 19, 1993. The Jackets are ranked 23 in the current AP poll, tying it’s highest ever AP ranking. Tech is ranked No. 23 in AP poll for the fifth week all-time. The Yellow Jackets entered the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll at No. 25 on Dec. 23, 2008.