Feb. 16, 2013
By Jon Cooper
Georgia Tech has had a week off to prepare for today’s game against North Carolina State and four weeks to think about avenging the last time they met. Tip-off at Reynolds Coliseum is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.
The Yellow Jackets bring a two-game losing streak into today’s game, but should be encouraged with their effort in both games. Their last time out, last Sunday, they nearly upended No. 16/18 North Carolina, but fell short, 60-58 at McCamish Pavilion. Ty Marshall had another sensational day, going for 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Danielle Hamilton-Carter (10 and 8) and Dawnn Maye (nine points, seven assists, seven steals) also came up big. Despite playing its second game in 39 hours — Tech tipped off at 11:30 a.m., following a Friday night game — the Jackets gave the Heels all they could handle. Tech, which trailed by five at the half and by as much as nine in the second half, fought back, taking a one-point lead with 46.5 seconds left on a Marshall steal and lay-up. But they couldn’t get stops on UNC’s final two possessions and an Aaliyah Whiteside three at the buzzer that would have tied the game didn’t fall.
The Wolfpack comes into today’s game having won five of six and riding a wave of momentum after upsetting No. 19/20 Florida State, 79-69, Thursday night in Tallahassee. Kody Burke put on a dominating performance, scoring a career-high 26 on 11-of-17 shooting to lead four Wolfpack double-digit scorers. State closed the first half on a 10-4 run to take 36-35 lead into the break, then started the second half with an 11-3 run to open a nine-point lead. They’d lead by as much as 11 and shot 50 percent in the second 20, while holding FSU to 36.7 percent shooting, assuring that the game never got within one possession.
Today’s game will be the final regular season meeting this season and 64th in a series that dates back to 1980, making State the fifth-most-common opponent for the Jackets. The Wolfpack holds a 41-22 overall edge and are 21-7 at home, but the Jacket are 8-5 against the ‘Pack in the MaChelle Joseph Era, have won seven of the last nine and two of the last three at Reynolds.
The game can be seen on ESPN2 with Joe Davis and Debbie Antonelli calling the action. The game also can be heard on WREK, 91.1 FM, or online at www.WREK.org with Richard Musterer and LaQuananisha Adams on the call. Fans can get live stats on RamblinWreck.com and also can get instant updates by following the team on Twitter at @GTWBB and can get more information on the team by liking them on Facebook, GTWomensBasketball.
And now, the Starting Five for today’s game.
The Last Time We Met: Georgia Tech started was done in by an ice-cold second half, losing 78-66 to NC State on Jan. 27 at McCamish Pavilion. Sydney Wallace had 21, Brittany Jackson added 17, including 10-for-10 from the line, and Ty Marshall had a 10-point, 11-rebound double-double. Tech led by 11 in the first half, by six at the break and by nine after a Wallace three on the first possession of the second half, but then went cold, going more than six minutes without a basket, then allowing an 18-2 run over the next six minutes, to fall behind by 16. Another Wallace three pulled Tech to within nine, but they wouldn’t get any closer. The Jackets shot 17.6 percent in the second half, while allowing State to shoot over 63 percent, and they were outscored 42-18 in the paint, mostly on transition baskets. The Pack held a 32-2 edge in fast break points.
Steal Magnolias: Tech’s defense has been one of the best in the ACC when it comes to steals. The Jackets enter today’s game third in the conference with 135 in conference play, trailing only North Carolina (174) and Duke (163), and are one of three teams to average more than 10 steals a game (10.4 spg). The lightest fingers on the Jackets belong to Ty Marshall, who is making 2.6 steals per game and Dawnn Maye, who is right behind Marshall at 2.5. They are second and third in the conference. Marshall has 13 steals in her last four games (3.25 per game), with 10 multi-steal games in her last 12, while Maye has 11 in her last two. Seven of those came against North Carolina and accounted for half of the team’s total. The 11 steals are one fewer theft than she had in her previous seven games.
That Rebound Was Offensive: Georgia Tech has been ferocious on the offensive glass this season. Heading into this weekend, the Jackets led the ACC in offensive rebounds per game, with 17.9 per game. That’s nearly two more than their nearest ACC foe (Miami grabs 16.1 per game) and ranks fourth in the nation amongst teams making up the “Big Six” conferences. Marshall is Tech’s leader in cleaning the offensive glass, as her 4.0 offensive rebounds per game rank second in the ACC behind only Maryland’s Tianna Hawkins, who stands 6-3, six inches taller than Marshall.
40-fied: The number 40 has become a significant one for the Yellow Jackets this season when it comes to shooting percentage. The Jackets are 7-4 when shooting at least 40 percent but 3-10 when they’re below 40. The 40 percent mark makes an equally profound difference when it comes to opponents. The Jackets are 3-12 when opponents shoot 40 percent or higher, 7-2 when holding foes under 40. For the season, the Jackets are shooting 37.9 percent (36.8 in ACC play), while allowing opponents 41.4 percent (45.9 in Conference play).
Taylor Made: Freshman center Nariah Taylor showed her maturity in the game against North Carolina. She played a career-high 31 minutes but scored three points, on 1-for-7 shooting (1-for-2 from the line). Instead of letting her shooting difficulties negatively affect her, she found other ways to contribute. Taylor grabbed three rebounds, her fourth multi-rebound game in the last five, and set a career high by handing out three assists. Taylor had a total of two helpers all season coming into the game — one each at North Carolina on Jan. 13 and the next game, Jan. 17, at Miami. She also had a steal against the Heels, her first in six games.
The Sixth Man: Georgia Tech has not played a game this season in which it’s been tied at the half. They’ve led in 12 games at halftime and trailed at intermission in the other 12. They’re 7-5 when leading at the half, 3-9 when down…Senior forward Danielle Hamilton-Carter just missed her first double-double of the season against UNC, scoring 10 points and grabbing eight rebounds. Hamilton-Carter has come alive offensively over the last four games, averaging 7.8 points, with two double-digit-scoring games and a nine-point game, while shooting 62.5 percent (10-for-16). She’s also found her way to the foul line, taking 15 free throws over her last four games, making 12 of them — an 80 percent clip…Freshman Roddreka Rogers continues to hit the offensive boards, having pulled in at least two in seven of the last eight games…Today’s game is NC State’s eighth annual Hoops 4 Hope game. The day is dedicated to breast cancer awareness and fundraising for Hoops 4 Hope. Longtime NC State women’s basketball coach Kay Yow bravely fought breast cancer for more than two decades before succumbing to the disease.
GEORGIA TECH LEADING SCORER: Tyaunna Marshall, 16.9 ppg
NC STATE LEADING SCORER: Kody Burke, 14.5 ppg
GEORGIA TECH LEADING SCORER (ACC): Tyaunna Marshall, 17.7 ppg
NC STATE LEADING SCORER (ACC): Marissa Kastanek, 13.8 ppg
GEORGIA TECH LEADING REBOUNDER: Tyaunna Marshall, 8.7 rpg
NC STATE LEADING REBOUNDER: Kody Burke, 7.1 rpg
GEORGIA TECH LEADING REBOUNDER(ACC): Tyaunna Marshall, 8.5 rpg
NC STATE LEADING REBOUNDER (ACC): Kody Burke, 6.7 rpg
GEORGIA TECH SCORING: 66.2/65.5 ppg.
OPPONENT: 67.2/71.4 ppg.
NC STATE SCORING: 70.8/65.5 (ACC) ppg.
OPPONENT: 65.2/67.8 (ACC) ppg.
NC STATE PLAYER TO WATCH: Marissa Kastanek – The 5-9 senior guard makes the Wolfpack go offensively. The 2012 ACC Women’s Basketball Scholar Athlete of the Year, Kastanek begins the day 12th in school history in scoring with 1,560 points, and needs only nine to break into the top 10. The Lincoln, Neb., native has been lethal from behind the arc, as she ranks 18th in the nation in three-point shooting (40.9), leads the league in threes per game (2.5) and is third in three-point field goal percentage (44.0). Kastanek, who is tied for 15th in ACC history in three pointers made (227, she needs three to tie for second in school history) and is second among active players (seven behind Boston College’s Kerri Shields), has had the hot hand over her last 13 games, shooting over 46 percent and has made at least two three-pointers in all 13 games. She matched her season-high the last time she saw Tech, going for 24 points on 9-for-14 shooting, 3-for-7 from three. Kastanek also can play shutdown defense, as she held FSU star Alexa Deluzio to two points on 0-for-7 shooting in their upset of FSU.