Jan. 3, 2005
ATLANTA – Sophomore Stephanie Higgs scored 18 points and freshman Chioma Nnamaka added 16 as Georgia Tech (9-2) defeated UAB (3-10), 74-49 in its final contest prior to the start of ACC play Monday night at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.
After trailing by just one point at halftime, UAB’s Crystal McFadden hit a trey with 19:34 remaining in the second half to give the Blazers a two-point lead at 30-28. The Jackets then went on a 29-4 run to take a comfortable 58-35 lead at 6:36, during which Higgs scored 10 points while Nnamaka added nine. After shooting 35.5 percent from the field in the first half, Georgia Tech rebounded by converting on 61.5 percent in the second frame of the game.
“I think the first thing that was evident is that we need to come better ready to play in the first half,” said Tech head coach MaChelle Joseph. “With our pressure, we start to wear people down and that helps us to play better offensively later in the game, and that was evident today. We are able to knock down those shots because our conditioning is where it needs to be, and you could see that today with our shooting 65 percent in the second half.”
The Jackets’ Janie Mitchell scored 12 points, going 4-for-4 from the field, including hitting both three-point attempts, while also converting on both free-throw attempts. Jessica Williams added eight points for Tech on 4-for-7 shooting, while Megan Harpring added five.
“I was really glad to see Janie hit some shots today,” said Joseph. “We all saw what she was capable of doing in Costa Rica and have been wondering where she has been, but it was great to see her knocking down those shots again today. Megan was playing with the flu today and I was just so impressed with her effort level the entire game.”
Higgs pulled down seven rebounds and dished out five assists to go along with her game-high 18 points, and fellow sophomore Kentrina Wilson led all players with eight rebounds in the contest. The Jackets outrebounded the Blazers, 45-23. Rookie Jill Ingram led both teams with six assists, while the Jackets had six different players with blocks in the contest.
Georgia Tech led by just one point at the half after the Blazers ended the frame on a 6-0 run, capped by a layup from Domaneice Moore with 35 seconds remaining. The Jackets shot just 35.5 percent from the field in the frame, while UAB converted on 45 percent of its shots, including 4-of-7 from beyond the three-point arc. With four lead changes and a pair of ties in the frame, the Jackets remained in the contest by outrebounding the Blazers, 23-10.
The Yellow Jackets return to action Thursday when they travel to Florida State for their first ACC contest of the season when they meet the Seminoles at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on WREK-Radio, 91.1 FM in Atlanta and on the web at www.wrek.org. Livestats for the contest will be available at www.ramblinwreck.com.