Nov. 23, 2001
ATLANTA – Senior forward Regina Tate continued to impress in the young 2001-02 season, as she scored a career-high 25 points to lead Georgia Tech to an 88-56 victory over UNC Asheville in the first round of the Atlanta Marriott NW Classic at Alexander Memorial Coliseum on Friday afternoon.
“I was disappointed by the way that we came out of the box, because we felt like we were really prepared to play today,” said Tech head coach Agnus Berenato. “Early on we really let them play with us and we weren’t happy with how we played at half time. In the second half we got it together and I thought Regina Tate had a great game and Milli (Martinez) and Nina (Barlin) played well also. I was just disappointed with how we started the game.”
The Yellow Jackets (2-1) had to contend with a scrappy Bulldog (0-3) squad in the first half as Tech shot a solid 54.5 percent from the field in the half, but only took a 15-point lead into the intermission at 45-30. The Jackets opened the game with a 19-10 run that was sparked by eight points from Milli Martinez, but UNCA battled back and closed the score to 22-20 before the Jackets pulled away at the end of the half. Five points from Gillian Murray led a 10-3 Bulldog run over the span. Tate paced Tech in the half as she led all scorers in the period with 14 points.
In the second half, the Jackets turned up the defensive pressure as they forced the Bulldogs into 14 turnovers, after only inducing six in the first half. Tech also had seven steals in the second stanza to help with the rally that allowed it to pull away in the contest. Junior center Sonja Mallory led the Jackets in the second half, as she netted 15 of her 19 points in the game after the intermission. Tech outscored the Bulldogs 43-26 in the half to ensure the final 88-56 margin.
The difference in the game came on the boards, as Tech claimed a 47-29 advantage in that category, while also shooting 49.3 percent from the field in the contest, while limiting the Bulldogs to 36.5 percent shooting in the game.
Tate led four Jackets in double-figures with her 25-point performance and the fourth-year performer added a game-high 12 rebounds and four assists in the contest as well. Mallory followed Tate with 19 points and nine rebounds, while also recording a game-high three steals from her post position as well as two blocks. Martinez was the third Yellow Jacket in double digits as she scored a season-high 16 points and recorded four assists. The final Tech player in double digits was junior guard Nina Barlin, who had 12 points to go along with six assists.
“Regina has really been on a mission this year to get the job done both offensively and defensively,” said Berenato. “For so long she’s been known as a defensive player and we’ve been really trying to get her to realize that she’s a total player. She had a great game today and was really the back bone of our team.”
UNC Asheville had three players in double figures, led by Murray, who finished with 20 points, including 4-for-6 shooting from three-point range. Joining Murray in double digits was Ashley Sharpton with 13 and Jessica Guarneri with 10.
Georgia Tech will face Eastern Washington (1-3) in Saturday’s championship game which will tip off at approximately 3:00 p.m., while UNC Asheville will square off with the Hawks (0-4) in the consolation game beginning at 1:00 p.m. at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.