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Tech Continues Homestand Against Mississippi Valley State Saturday

Nov. 21, 2008

Game Notes | Gametracker | WREK Radio

ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech women’s basketball team continues its three-game homestand Saturday when Mississippi Valley State travels to Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.

Fans can listen to Richard Musterer and Kurt Hoyt call all the action on WREK Radio (91.1 FM/, Georgia Tech women’s basketball’s flagship station.

The Yellow Jackets (2-1) will meet the Delta Devilettes for the third time in the history of the two programs with Tech holding a 2-0 advantage in the series. Last season, Janie Mitchell and Chioma Nnamaka each topped the 20-point plateau to lead Tech to a 79-67 win in Itta Bena, Miss.

The Devilettes, who will open their 2008-09 season against the Jackets, are coming off a 69-41 win in an exhibition game against Wesley College Wednesday. The Devilettes were led by Ashley Brown and Latoia Mackey. Brown had a game high 20 points with four rebounds and two assists, while Mackey added 11 points and five rebounds.

The Yellow Jackets will close out their three-game homestand Wednesday, Nov. 26 against Georgia State. The cross-town rivals will meet for the 32nd time with Georgia Tech holding a 20-11 advantage in the series. The Jackets have won nine straight games over the Panthers. Last season, Tech defeated the Panthers, 79-67, in the Georgia State Sports Arena on Dec. 22, 2007.

• Georgia Tech is 2-0 in the series with Mississippi Valley State, including a 79-67 win over the Delta Devilettes on Dec. 18, 2007 in Itta Bena, Miss.
• Georgia Tech freshman Sasha Goodlett is the only Yellow Jacket that hails from Mississippi. MVSU has no players from Georgia on its roster.
• The Delta Devilettes will make two trips to Atlanta this season. They will play in Georgia State’s tournament on Dec. 29 and 30th.

Sophomore Iasia Hemingway scored 13 of her 16 points in the second half to lead the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team to a 77-49 win over Kennesaw State at Alexander Memorial Coliseum Wednesday evening.

Hemingway was one of four Yellow Jackets (2-1) to score in double figures against the Owls. Sophomore Alex Montgomery finished with a team-high 17 points and senior Jacqua Williams added 10 points, six steals and five assists in the win. Freshman Sasha Goodlett scored 13 points and swatted two shots.

After three-plus seasons on the Flats, senior Jacqua Williams has earned the reputation as one of the best defenders in the nation. The speedster from Seattle, Wash., has racked up 275 steals so far and is just 4 shy of breaking the school record. Last season, Williams finished with a single-season school record 118 steals, leading the ACC and ranking fourth in the nation with 3.8 per game. She has registered at least one steal in 42 straight games and even held the ACC single game record for steals with 11 (later broken by former Yellow Jacket Jill Ingram with 14).

Williams is not only one of the best defenders in the nation, she is also one of the fastest players. Williams has competed in two straight NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in the 200-meter dash. Last season, Williams qualified for the national event after only one and a half months of competition.

Georgia Tech’s 2008-09 senior class of Tabitha Turner and Jacqua Williams have been a part of 59 wins since beginning their careers on the Flats. The two Jackets have helped Tech to back-to-back record-setting seasons and are on pace to become the most successful class in the history of the program. With 11 more wins this season, the pair will accumulate the most wins by any senior class to ever play for the Yellow Jackets. Last year’s seniors finished with a school-best 69 wins in their careers.

Jacqua Williams is the only Georgia Tech women’s basketball player to ever register at least 150 points, 100 steals and 100 rebounds in the same season when she did it last year.

Junior Brigitte Ardossi started 26 games during her freshman season and helped the Jackets to their first win in the NCAA Tournament. Last season she was regulated to the first big off the bench and made the most of her opportunity by scoring 3.9 points per game and grabbing 2.8 rebounds in 14.5 minutes. Coach Joseph expects big things from her Aussie post-player in 2008-09 and has inserted her back into the starting lineup. She has played in 68 straight games, every game since coming to the Flats and has started 29 of those games.

Anyone who watched Alex Montgomery play last season knows she can really do it all. She is not only the team’s top returning scorer (10.8) and rebounder (5.4), Montgomery has also shown she can dish it, steal it, block it or even win a jump ball. A starter of 26 games as a freshman, Montgomery has become the center of the Yellow Jackets offense. She is averaging a team-leading 16.3 points, has grabbed 5.3 rebounds a game and is shooting 53 percent from beyond-the-arc.

Sophomore Iasia Hemingway excelled as an undersized post player for the Jackets last season, scoring over 20 points against the likes of Maryland’s Crystal Langhorne and Tasha Humphrey of Georgia. This season, Coach Joseph has added some taller players to the Jackets roster that will allow Hemingway to take her game outside to the wing. Hemingway will now have a chance to not only post up players her height, she will also be able to take the ball to the basket and box out smaller guards for rebounds.

For the second straight year, Coach Joseph started a freshman on opening night. 6-5 Sasha Goodlett made a “big” impression on the coaching staff this preseason and has added a new dimension to the Yellow Jackets lineup. Joseph called her 2007-08 squad “the best 6-0 and under team in the country” but by adding Goodlett will give the Jackets the true center they have been missing. Along with Goodlett, Tech now lists five players at 6-2 or taller.

Most teams are lucky enough to have a solid starting five, maybe even a sixth player that can step in and replace someone in the lineup. This season, Joseph feels she can list seven starters on her roster. Sophomore’s Deja Foster and Shaday Woolcock have shown the ability to step on the court and make an instant impact for the Jackets. Foster is averaging 15.7 minutes off the bench for the Jackets and Woolcock is playing 14.7 minutes in a reserve role.

Ranked as high as the 29th-best prospect coming out of high school, Mo Bennett has burst on the college scene with some impressive performances. In her debut, the Statesboro, Ga., native scored eight points and grabbed seven rebounds against Troy. Two days later, Bennett dropped 19 points in 30 minutes on No. 1 UConn at Gampel Pavilion. Members of the newly created ACC Blue Ribbon Panel were so impressed that they named Bennett the ACC Rookie of the Week on Nov. 17. Something tells me there will be “Mo”re to come.

The 2008-09 Georgia Tech roster is noticeably young with 10 players listed as sophomores and freshmen. Though young, the team is the most athletic team Coach Joseph has had since taking over at Georgia Tech.

Last season, Georgia Tech finished the season with a school record 456 steals and led the NCAA with 14.3 steals per game. This has to be credited to Coach Joseph’s pressing defense. Joseph will press for 40 minutes with numerous pressing schemes to keep the offensive off-balance. Joseph wants her team to “be an impressive running defensive team that creates opportunities for the offense.”

In just her sixth season at the helm, Coach MaChelle Joseph is already has registered the second-most wins in Georgia Tech history. Joseph has registered an 86-67 (.562) records. She has led Tech to its first back-to-back 20-win seasons and two straight NCAA Tournaments.


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