Feb. 5, 2012
By: Jon Cooper
– No. 24/22 Georgia Tech looks to celebrate its return to the top 25 and stay hot heading toward postseason as it takes on No. 10/9 Maryland. Tip-off at The Arena at Gwinnett Center is set for 7:00 p.m.
The Yellow Jackets, who have six games remaining in their regular season schedule heading into tonight, have won four straight and six of seven. Their last time out, Thursday night, the Jackets needed overtime but took care of North Carolina State, 75-68, completing a season sweep of the Wolfpack. Center Sasha Goodlett scored a game-high 21 points, seven in the extra session, as Georgia Tech scored the first 11 points of overtime then held off stubborn State. Forward Chelsea Regins had a 10-point, 11-rebound double-double for Tech, which overcame a 36-31 halftime deficit only to let a nine-point lead slip away in the final 2:26 of regulation.
The Terrapins snapped a two-game losing streak, routing Boston College, 86-44, Thursday night at the Comcast Center. Lauren Mincy and Brene Moseley each had 16, to lead four-double-digit scorers. The Terrapins led 51-13 at the break, outscoring B.C. 38-3 over the final 15 minutes of the half, including closing on a 20-0 run over the final 8:08. Senior center Lynetta Kizer had 10 points, two assists, a steal and a rebound in the run. The Terps shot 75.0 percent from three (6-of-8), and outscored B.C. 16-0 off turnovers in the half, while holding the Eagles to 12.9 percent shooting.
Today’s game is the 63rd in the series, which began in 1979. The Yellow Jackets trail in the series, 44-18, but have split the last four meetings. The Jackets could easily be riding a four-game winning streak, as their last two losses came in heart-breaking fashion. Last Feb. 3 at AMC, Maryland escaped on a buzzer-beating, game-winning three, then, back on Jan. 6, at the Comcast Center, the Jackets let a 20-point, second-half lead slip away, falling, 77-74, with the winning points coming in the final 17 seconds.
Tonight’s game will be televised on RSN, with Mike Hogewood and Debbie Antonelli doing the broadcast. Fans can always catch the action 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 tonight’s game.
The Last Time We Met: Sasha Goodlett had 20 points and 10 rebounds and Ty Marshall added 16, but Alyssa Thomas and No. 5 Maryland forged a huge second-half rally and snapped the Yellow Jackets’ season-high, six-game winning streak, 77-74, on Jan. 6. The Jackets led 56-36 with 17:39 left in the game, but the Terps got back in the game, going on a 17-1 run in a little over five minutes, which set up Thomas’ heroics. The ACC’s leading scorer completed the comeback, with a three-point play with 17 seconds remaining.
(Wake-up) Call and Response: Ty Marshall may be a little more locked in than usual tonight. Marshall, the ACC’s fifth-leading scorer (15.6 ppg), is looking to bounce back from Thursday night, when she scored six points and made two field goals in eight attempts in Georgia Tech’s victory over NC State. Both were season lows. The single-digit game was her second of the season but the first since the season opener, when she shot 3-for-8 (her low for FGMs prior to Thursday) in 15 minutes of action. Following that game, Marshall averaged 16.6 points over the next three games and shot 53.7 percent (22-for-41).
Maryland, My Maryland: The Terrapins may prove the perfect tonic for Marshall, who always seems to have big games against her home school. The Upper Marlboro, Md., native has averaged 15.5 points in four games against the Terrapins, having scored 16 in each of the last three games and has not scored fewer than six field goals in a game against the Terps. Her 39.7 shooting against is a bit misleading, as she endured through a 6-for-21 effort the first time the teams met this year. Prior to that, she’d shot 59.4 percent (19-for-32) against them.
Great-lett: Remember the first ACC game of the season when Sasha Goodlett had eight points? That’s ancient history for the senior center, who hasn’t been held to single-digits since. Goodlett has twice re-set her career-high in points this seasons, including going off for her current career-high of 26 at Boston College on Jan. 15. She has matched or passed her career-high coming into the season (21) five times and has seven 20-point games. She’s been as much of a terror on the boards, having grabbed double-digit rebounds five times in ACC play, seven times overall. Goodlett was one rebound shy of completing her third consecutive double-double Thursday night, pulling in three offensive and six defensive boards. She also matched her career-high with three steals. It was the eighth time in her career she’s made three swipes in a game and the third time this season.
Lucky 7: Chelsea Regins’ 11 rebounds on Thursday night included a season-high seven on the offensive end. It was the third time a Yellow Jacket pulled in seven offensive rebounds this season. Sasha Goodlett did it Jan. 15th at Boston College and LaQuananisha Adams did it in the first meeting this season with Maryland. Thursday was the second time in three games and the fourth time this season (all in ACC play) that the senior grabbed at least five offensive rebounds in a game. Coincidentally, she grabbed 11 rebounds in both games against NC State, pulling in five offensive boards and six defensive boards in the first meeting. Regins’ 3.0 offensive rebounds per game tie her for 11th in the conference, one-tenth of a point out of tie for eighth. She also earned four assists Thursday night, matching Metra Walthour as team leader and tying for game-high honors. The helpers were her high in a conference game this season, and were one off her season-high (set Nov. 13 against Old Dominion) and career-high, which she accomplished twice before heading into this season.
The Sixth Man: The Jackets defied some odds on Thursday against NC State, proving they could win even when their ‘A’ game abandons them. They were outshot (41.2 percent to 38.1), trailed at the half (36-31), allowed an opponent to shoot better than 40 percent, shot less than 40 percent, and were out-rebounded (46-43). Their records in those situations were 3-5, 3-3, 7-5, 2-4, 5-5 — a combined 20-22.
MARYLAND LEADING SCORER: Alyssa Thomas, 17.0 ppg
LEADING SCORER (ACC): Alyssa Thomas, 18.6 ppg
MARYLAND LEADING REBOUNDER: Tianna Hawkins, 9.7 rpg
LEADING REBOUNDER (ACC): Tianna Hawkins, 9.8 rpg
GEORGIA TECH SCORING/ACC: 72.0/69.6
MARYLAND SCORING/ACC: 81.6/76.7
MARYLAND PLAYER TO WATCH: Tianna Hawkins – Georgia Tech knows all about Alyssa Thomas — a little too much — but Tianna Hawkins also is worth watching. Hawkins does a lot of dirty work as well as scoring her share. She’s the ACC’s leading rebounder, the conference’s leading offensive rebounder (4.4 ORPG) and the third-best shooter, converting at 56.6 percent. The 6-3 junior forward ranks third all-time in shooting in the Maryland record books (58.7 percent — one-one thousandth of a point out of second). Hawkins has nine double-doubles on the season and has pulled down double-digit rebounds in 11 games, just missing her 12th on Thursday, when she had nine boards, a team- and game-high-tying four on the offensive glass.