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Starting Five

Dec. 15, 2011

By Jon Cooper
Sting Daily

Georgia Tech looks to continue its winning ways and match its season-best by going four games over .500 when it takes on Georgia State. Tip-off at the GSU Sports Arena is set for 7 p.m.

Tech earned a big road win Sunday afternoon in Murfreesboro, Tenn., knocking off Middle Tennessee State, 58-47. Sasha Goodlett had a game-high 15 points, with nine rebounds and Mo Bennett had her first double-double of the year (10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds) as the Jackets used a 19-5 run over nine minutes bridging the first and second halves to rally from a nine-point first-half deficit.

The Panthers have won two of three and are looking for their first winning streak of the season after knocking off Kennesaw State, 65-59, Wednesday night. Chan Harris led the way for the homestanding Panthers with 14 points and eight rebounds, and the Panthers defense forced 24 turnovers and scored 23 points off those turnovers. State led by 15 with five minutes left then held off a late Kennesaw rally.

Tech fans can catch tonight’s game on WREK, 91.1 FM or online at with Richard Musterer and Michele Van Gorp on the call.

Now, the Starting Five for today’s game.

The Last Time We Met: The Yellow Jackets topped the Panthers, 66-56 at AMC, in the season opener for both clubs. Freshman Tyaunna Marshall scored a game-high 18 in her collegiate debut, Metra Walthour chipped in 15 with a perfect shooting night (6-for-6, 1-for-1 from three and 2-for-2 from the line) and Alex Montgomery added 13, with nine rebounds, six assists and five steals. The Jackets led 35-20 at intermission and cruised to their eighth straight season-opening win in the MaChelle Joseph era. Chan Harris had 12 points and a game-high 15 rebounds for GSU, while Kendra Long had a team-high 13 off the bench.

The Atlanta Beatdown: Tonight’s game is the 35th in a series in which Georgia Tech, holds a 23-11 all-time edge. The Jackets won 11 of 16 meetings at AMC, hold an 11-4 edge at the GSU Sports Arena and won the only neutral-court meeting. After dropping eight of the first 10 games between the schools, the Jackets have turned things around in a big way. Since the teams have started playing on an annual basis in 1993, Tech has won 17 of 18 and is riding a 12-game series winning streak. The Jackets have won 10 straight at GSU, last losing on Feb. 9, 1984. The last five games at State have been close, although the gap seems to be widening, as the Jackets have won by three, five, nine and by 12 the last two visits.

Clamping Down: Against Middle Tennessee State the Yellow Jackets played the kind of shutdown defense that has been emblematic of teams in the MaChelle Joseph era. The Jackets held the Blue Raiders to 27.3 percent shooting in the final 20 minutes (9-for-33) and below 10 percent from three (8.3 percent on 1-for-12 shooting). In the previous four games — ranked opponents Rutgers, Green Bay, and Georgia and Big Ten power Nebraska — opponents shot 45.1 percent in the second half.

Three-tra: Metra Walthour is finding the range from behind the arc. The senior point guard has hit three three-pointers in each of her last two games, shooting 6-for-16 (37.5 percent) in those games (3-for-8 in both). The Jackets seven threes in the two games, with Tyaunna Marshall also sinking one against MTSU. Walthour is hitting 34.1 percent for the year (45 points higher than her career average) and has 15 of the teams 24 three-point field goals for the season.

Marshall On The Take: Tyaunna Marshall’s offensive prowess is well known, as she’s led or had a share of the team’s scoring lead in six of Tech’s nine games, but she’s also done something on the defensive end that no other Yellow Jacket has done. Marshall recorded a game-high three steals Sunday against Middle Tennessee State, making her the only Yellow Jacket to have at least one steal in all nine games this season. Going back to last year, Marshall has steals in 21 of her last 22 games, including the ACC and NCAA Tournaments (the only game she went without a steal was the ACC Quarters vs. Maryland) and she hasn’t gone two straight games without a theft since Jan. 21 at Duke and 23 against Boston College. Her 21 steals this season are second on the team behind only Dawnn Maye.

The Sixth Man: Chelsea Regins has been in the spirit of giving over the last three games. With three assists against Middle Tennessee, Regins recorded her second straight three-assist game has seven helpers over the last three games, doubling her season total. The senior forward gave out seven assists in the season’s first two games then went four games without one before this current three-game run.

GEORGIA TECH LEADING SCORER: Tyaunna Marshall, 16.2 ppg




GEORGIA STATE PLAYER TO WATCH: Kendra Long – The sensational sophomore guard has lived up to her name. In 38 college games the Atlanta native has drained 76 three-pointers, five times hitting four threes in a game, including twice this season. She went 3-for-6 from three in her collegiate debut last year against the Yellow Jackets at AMC and had a team-high 13 in the game. In seven games this season, the former Mays High School star is hitting 39.6 percent from behind the arc and has 19 of the team’s 28 threes.


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