Dec. 2, 2010
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders
When: Friday, December 3, 7 p.m.
Where: Alexander Memorial Coliseum, Atlanta, Ga.
On the Air: 91.1 FM WREK/www.WREK.org, Richard Musterer (PxP) and Kyle Tait (color)
Live Stats: www.RamblinWreck.com
The Georgia Tech women’s basketball team will face a first time opponent for the fourth time in 10 games this season when the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders come to Alexander Memorial Coliseum for a 7 p.m. match-up Dec. 3.
In the previous three games against first-time foes this year, the Jackets are 2-1 with wins over Prairie View A&M and Missouri, and a loss to Georgetown. Tech enters the contest coming off a thrilling 67-63 win over Northwestern in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. With the victory, Tech improved to 4-0 all-time in the Challenge and 3-1 against the Wildcats.
The Blue Raiders are 5-1 on the campaign after claiming a 71-58 road win at Tennessee Tech Dec. 1. MTSU is led by freshman forward Ebony Rowe, who is averaging a double-double with 16.5 ppg and 10.2 rpg through her first six collegiate contests. Senior guard Anne Marie Lanning and junior guard Tina Stewart add 10.8 ppg and 10.3 ppg, respectively for head coach Rick Insell’s club.
Tech is led by senior Alex Montgomery’s 14.3 ppg and 9.0 rpg. Montgomery hit a three with 12.6 seconds left to beat Northwestern Wednesday night at AMC. Senior Deja Foster is averaging 9.3 ppg and 7.0 rpg in only three games since returning from a knee injury.
SCOUTING THE BLUE RAIDERS
The Blue Raiders entered the 2010-11 season without the nation’s leading scorer for the first time in two years with the graduation of Alysha Clark. Coach Insell has found a more balanced attack for this year’s incarnation of the Blue Raiders. Freshman Ebony Rowe leads the squad with 16.5 ppg and 10.2 rpg, and has scored in double digits in five of MTSU’s six games this season, including a 25 point performance against South Florida in her collegiate debut.
Senior Anne Marie Lanning adds 10.8 ppg for MTSU, as well as 4.5 apg and 3.8 rpg. Lanning is sixth in the Blue Raider annals with 186 career three-pointers made and is averaging 2.7 threes per outing this year.
Coaches always say that knowing how to win is an important piece of the puzzle and head coach Rick Insell has certainly instilled that into the Blue Raider program. MTSU has tallied at least 20 wins in each of Insell’s previous five years at the helm and has the highest winning percentage among Sun Belt coaches entering this season. During his tenure, MTSU has been to four NCAA Tournaments, won four Sun Belt Conference tournament titles and three conference regular season crowns. Four Blue Raiders have earned All-America honors and three times he has coached the nation’s leading scorer at MTSU.
Last season at this point, Tech was 5-1 after defeating Penn State, 64-60, in a Big Ten/ACC Challenge game in University Park, Pa., on Dec. 2, 2009.
TECH VERSUS THE SUN BELT CONFERENCE
Georgia Tech is 4-1 all-time against teams from the Sun Belt Conference. The Blue Raiders are the only Big Ten foe the Jackets will see this season. The last time Tech faced a Sun Belt team was the Jackets’ final game of the `09-10 season. Tech fell 63-53 to Arkansas-Little Rock in an NCAA First Round game in Norman, Okla.
STEPPING UP TO THE CHALLENGE
Senior Alex Montgomery showed why head coach MaChelle Joseph wants her taking more shots against Northwestern in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Montgomery scored a career-high 28 points on 10-of-15 shooting against the Wildcats. Her biggest shot of the night – a three-pointer with 12.6 seconds left – ended a span of 5:47 without field goal and gave Tech a 65-63 lead. After Northwestern missed an open three of its own, Montgomery grabbed her 11th rebound of the night, was immediately fouled and hit both free throws to ice the game for the Jackets.
Montgomery has scored in double digits in three of her four ACC/Big Ten Challenge games. Last season, at Penn State, she tossed in 14 and as a sophomore against a ranked Michigan State team, Montgomery scored a game-high 20 points.
Montgomery’s three against the Wildcats isn’t the first time she’s hit a big three-pointer from that corner of the AMC. As a freshman against Miami on Jan. 13, 2008, she hit a three from nearly the identical spot at the buzzer to send Tech past the Hurricanes, 68-65.