Jan. 14, 2012
By Jon Cooper
Georgia Tech is looking to get back above .500 in ACC play and continue its strong road play in an afternoon tilt in Chestnut Hill against Boston College. Tip-off at Conte Forum is set for 1:00 p.m.
The Jackets snapped their two-game ACC losing streak Thursday night, outlasting Wake Forest, 71-67, at The Arena at Gwinnett Center. Ty Marshall put up her second career double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds and her 10th career 20-point game in leading the Jackets. Sasha Goodlett added 19 and six rebounds as the Jackets improved their home record to 6-1. Tech, which led by seven at the end of a tight first half, saw its 10-point, second-half lead disappear with 7:47 to play when Wake tied the game at 57, but the Jackets responded with a 7-0 run on a three by Metra Walthour, two free throws from Goodlett, and a lay-up by Mo Bennett. The Demon Deacons pulled to within two with 2:30 left but Marshall drained a jumper to bump the lead back up to four and Tech held on.
The Eagles remained winless in ACC play on Thursday night, dropping an 80-57 decision to North Carolina State at Reynolds Coliseum. Sophomore forward Kristen Doherty had 17 points, five rebounds and four assists, all team-highs, but 20 turnovers and N.C. State’s 55.6 percent three-point shooting put B.C. in an eight-point hole at the half and they would not recover, falling behind by as much as 20 in the second half.
Today’s game is the ninth in the series, which began in 1991. The teams have each won four times, but Tech is only 2-4 since B.C. became a member of the ACC in 2005. The Jackets have lost three of the last four in the series and are 0-3 all-time at Conte Forum.
Fans can be catch the game on ACC RSN and ESPN3.com. Of course, 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. 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 got 16 points and six assists from Metra Walthour and a 15-point, 10 rebound double-double from Alex Montgomery in downing Boston College, 67-54, last Jan. 23 at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Mo Bennett added 10 points on 5-for-7 shooting and Chelsea Regins added nine points off the bench for the Jackets, who used a 10-1 run to turn around a seven-point deficit and take a seven-point lead into the half. Tech led throughout the second half, breaking the game open with a 19-6 run that extended the lead to 19 then cruised home. The Jackets had an 18-9 edge off the offensive glass led by Deja Foster, who grabbed seven of her eight rebounds on the offensive end, while Regins and Montgomery each gathered three offensive caroms.
An Up-Hill Battle: Chestnut Hill has not been kind to Georgia Tech, as Tech is 0-3 in its three visits there, all since 2006. Offensive struggles are a big reason why. Tech hasn’t scored more than 55 points in a game and point totals have dropped in each successive visit — going from 55 in a heartbreaking 57-55 defeat on Feb. 9, 2006, to 53 in the 62-53 loss on Feb. 18, 2008, to 51 in the 77-51 defeat on Jan. 17, 2010. Tech has had only one half in which it has shot as high as 40 percent and has yet to have a half in which it has connected on 30 percent of its threes. In fact, they are 0-for their last 11 from behind the arc at Conte. Alex Montgomery made Tech’s last three at the 13:08 of the second half of the Feb. 18, 2008 game. But the Jackets missed their final five attempts in that game then went 0-for-6 in their last visit.
Triple Threat: Metra Walthour is a good candidate to break Tech’s three-pointer hex, as she, has been hitting the three at a career-best 37.2 percent in 2011-12 (her previous best was 35.9 percent last year). Walthour’s 29 three-point field goals are five more than the rest of the team combined. She’s been smoking from behind the arc in ACC play, as in Tech’s four games, Me-Me is hitting 44.0 percent, fourth in the ACC, (11-for-25) and that takes into account the dip her percentage took following a 2-for-7 game against Wake Forest. The senior continues her ascent up the career-record books, as her 92 career threes (2.8 per game, third in the conference) leave her only nine away from tying Selena Baldwin (1990-93) for seventh place on Tech’s all-time list.
Me-Me Can Help, Too: With Walthour ranking among the ACC’s top three-point threats and in the top 20 in scoring — she begins play 20th in the conference, putting in 11.3 ppg — it’s easy to forget that she’s also one of the best passing point guards in the conference. Me-Me is handing out 4.8 assists per game, fifth-best in the ACC, and is seventh in the conference with a 1.3 assists-to-turnover ratio. Walthour could make a jump in the Tech history books in career assists today, as she begins play with 329, only three away from passing Nina Bärlin (2000-03) for eighth. Seventh-place also is on the horizon, as Kisha Ford had 335 assists between 1994 and ’97.
Two-Way Ty: Everyone knew that Ty Marshall could score and thus far in 2011-12 she has done that, ranking fourth in scoring in ACC play (17.5 ppg). But Marshall’s play without the ball has been as noteworthy. The sophomore is 12th in the conference in rebounding, grabbing 7.5 rpg, which is second on the team to Goodlett’s 8.5 rpg, she is tied for fourth in offensive rebounding with a team-leading 4.0 orpg, and is fifth in the conference and tops on the team in steals, with 2.8 spg. Marshall has even been clutch late in the game on the foul line, where she’s shooting 85.7 percent. That’s tied for 9th in the conference and a big reason why Georgia Tech ranks in the top half of the ACC in foul shooting — they’re sixth, at 72.3 percent.
The Sixth Man: Senior forward Chelsea Regins is proving what kind of positive impact one can make when she works hard enough long enough. Regins has cracked the top 20 in the ACC in rebounding, grabbing 6.3 boards per game (19th), and offensive rebounding, where she’s pulling in 3.3 per game (tied for 11th). Regins, who came into her final season averaging 2.7 rebounds, 1.2 off the offensive glass, has grabbed 70 boards, including 34 offensive rebounds. Only Goodlett,and Marshall the team’s top two rebounders, have more. But Regins has done her dirty work in only 19.4 minutes, substantially less than Goodlett, who plays 27.4 mpg, and Marshall, who logs 28.8. Regins also is having her best year shooting, as she’s converting at 55.9 percent. Her career-best shooting year was last season, when she scored at 53.6.
BOSTON COLLEGE LEADING SCORER: Katie Zenevitch, 10.6 ppg
LEADING SCORER (ACC): Kristen Doherty, 15.3 ppg
BOSTON COLLEGE LEADING REBOUNDER: Katie Zenevitch, 6.8 rpg
LEADING REBOUNDER (ACC): Kristen Doherty, 6.7 rpg
GEORGIA TECH SCORING/ACC: 73.2/71.5
BOSTON COLLEGE SCORING/ACC: 58.7/50.0
BOSTON COLLEGE PLAYER TO WATCH: Kristen Doherty – The 5-11 sophomore forward has turned up her game since the start of ACC play. She’s led the Eagles in scoring in the last two games (20.5 ppg), and in rebounding over the last three, (6.7 rpg). In conference games the durable Doherty, who plays 37.0 minutes a game (sixth in the ACC) is putting in 15.3 ppg (ninth), and committing 2.3 steals (sixth)), while hitting 2.0 three-pointers (seventh) and shooting 35.3 from behind the arc (11th). She also can hit the boards as she’s grabbing 5.7 defensive rebounds a game, third in the ACC.