Jan. 1, 2012
By: Jon Cooper
– Georgia Tech opens the 2012 portion of its schedule with a trip to Raleigh, N.C., to take on North Carolina State in both teams’ ACC opener. Tip-off at Reynolds Coliseum is at 7:00 p.m.
The Jackets finished 2011 winning five in a row and six of seven since dropping back-to-back games for the only time this season at the San Juan Shootout in late November. Tech is coming off a 74-57 rout of North Carolina A&T at the Arena at Gwinnett Center last Thursday in the team’s non-conference finale. Center Sasha Goodlett scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, while Ty Marshall added 20. The game marked the first time the Jackets had two 20-point scorers in a game since Marshall (25) and Alex Montgomery (20) did it on Jan. 2, 2011, an 81-52 win over Jacksonville State, coincidentally last season’s non-conference finale.
The Wolfpack also has won six of seven and four straight since its lone losing streak of the season, and is coming off a successful trip to Honolulu, where it won the Rainbow Wahine Invitational. After getting by Florida Gulf Coast, 69-64, State cruised by Alcorn State (85-70), then easily bested host Hawai’i, 84-54, in the championship game on Friday. Junior guard Marissa Kastanek was named tournament MVP and sophomore forward Kody Burke earned a spot on the All-Tournament team.
Tech fans can catch tonight’s game on WREK, 91.1 FM or online at www.WREK.org with Richard Musterer and Michele Van Gorp on the call. It can be streamed through NC State All-Access (GoPack.com). 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.
Now, the Starting Five for tonight’s game.
The Last Time We Met: The Yellow Jackets got 26 points and 10 rebounds from Alex Montgomery, her ninth couble-double of the season to beat N.C. State, 75-66, last Feb. 13 at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Ty Marshall added 12 points and Deja Foster just missed a double-double going for 12 points and nine rebounds (five of them coming on the offensive end), as the Yellow Jackets snapped a three-game losing streak. The Jackets scored the game’s first eight points, led by nine at the half and led by as many as 24 in the victory.
Different Under Coach Jo: N.C. State holds a dominating 40-19 edge in the series — they won 21 of the first 24 games in the series then 10 of 11 — but things have changed since MaChelle Joseph took over as Tech’s head coach. In the Joseph era, which began with the 2003-04 season, the Yellow Jackets hold a 5-4 edge in the series and have won four of the last five meetings. Several of those games have been close, as five of the nine games were decided by nine points or less. Tech is 1-3 at Reynolds Coliseum under Joseph (they are 6-21 overall), but two of the losses came by a total of 12 points. The Jackets’ lone victory was on Jan. 17, 2008, a 67-63 win,
The Hot Hand: You may want to check your hand for burns after shaking hands with Ty Marshall. In her last four games, the sharp-shooting sophomore guard, the ACC’s fifth-leading scorer at 15.9 ppg, is shooting 57.8 percent (26-for-45). The current heat wave came after a two-game stretch in which she made only 37.1 percent from the floor, going 9-for-24 at Georgia and 4-for-11 at Middle Tennessee State. Marshall is shooting 48.4 percent for the season (up from her 47.6 last season), and is 4-for-9 from behind the arc (44.4). The four threes match her freshman total, and have come in five fewer attempts.
Maye I Have That?: Dawnn Maye is showing some of the fastest hands in the ACC. She has three steals in each of her last two games, has at least one theft in seven of eight games and has eight multi-swipe games this season (five of those coming in the last eight games). The sophomore, who set her career-single-game high with seven takeaways on Nov. 22 against Kennesaw State, is taking the ball away at a 2,6 steals per game clip, which ties her for eighth in the ACC with Clemson’s Nikki Dixon. Over Maye’s last three games, she has seven steals, the exact same number as turnovers (she also has 14 assists in that span).
Blocking It Out: Center Sasha Goodlett didn’t take well to being shut out in blocked shots against SIU-Edwardsville. Even though it was the first game in seven and third all season that she didn’t record a block, Goodlett has come out swinging since. She has knocked away six shots in the last two games, four against Central Arkansas and two against North Carolina A&T. Goodlett now has five multi-block games in her last six times out and her 21 blocks (1.6 per game) rank fifth in the conference.
The Sixth Man: While on the subject of blocked shots, LaQuananisha Adams is tied for second on the team with nine swats (Marshall also has nine blocks). The senior center has already passed her sophomore and junior seasons — she blocked six each year — and is only three away from matching her career-best, set as a freshman. Adams, who is averaging 15.4 minutes a game, easily the most in her career, recently had a run of at least one block in five of six games — Nov. 26 vs. Green Bay through Dec. 19 vs. SIU Edwardsville.
N.C. STATE LEADING SCORER: Bonae Holston, 13.2 ppg
N.C. A&T LEADING REBOUNDER: Bonae Holston, 8.3 rpg
GEORGIA TECH SCORING: 73.8 ppg
OPPONENT: 55.2 ppg
N.C. STATE SCORING: 72.0 ppg
OPPONENT: 61.0 ppg
N.C. STATE PLAYER TO WATCH: Bonae Holston – The 5-11 junior forward began the season as the ACC’s top returning rebounder and third-leading scorer and has continued to produce in both categories. Holston is 14th in the ACC in scoring and is fifth in rebounding. She has 21 career double-doubles (three this year), and is five points from moving into 15th place among State’s career scorers. Over the weekend she moved into ninth place on the school’s career-rebounding list.