Jan. 20, 2011
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will face arguably their most daunting task of the season when they travel to Durham, N.C., for a Friday night game against the third-ranked and undefeated Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Each side enters the game undefeated in conference play, with the Jackets having faced one more league foe than the Blue Devils. Tech improved to 4-0 in ACC play for the first time with a 54-46 win at Wake Forest Jan. 17, while the Blue Devils moved their mark to 3-0 with a 57-43 win at Virginia Tech Jan. 16. The Jackets will be looking to extend their record 13-game winning streak and unbeaten ACC start to five games, while trying to snap a 31-game losing streak to the Blue Devils.
Duke is led by senior All-American Jasmine Thomas who is sixth in the ACC in scoring, averaging 15.6 ppg. Thomas is also seventh in the league in steals, picking off 2.5 per game.
Tech’s dynamic duo of Alex Montgomery and Tyaunna Marshall each toss in 14.5 ppg. Mongtomery is the Jackets’ leading rebounder at 8.5 per game, which ranks her third in the conference for boards per game.
Last season at this point, Tech was 16-4, 2-2 ACC after stepping out of conference and beating Savannah State, 80-51 in Atlanta on Jan. 21.
Tech posted its 13th straight win with the victory over Virginia on Jan. 13. It is the longest single-season winning streak in school history. The longest consecutive streak is 13 games, which includes the last three games of the 1976-77 season and the first 10 games of the 1977-78 season.
Tech opened ACC play 4-0 for the first time ever, with the 54-46 win at Wake Forest on Jan. 17. The Jackets had only posted one other 3-0 start to league play, which came in 1992-93. That squad beat NC State, 86-79, in Raleigh on Jan. 8 to improve to 3-0, but would lose at Wake Forest, 85-70, Jan. 10.
The Jackets’ 13-game winning streak is tied for the fourth longest active streak in the country. Of the seven teams that currently boast a double digit game streak, three hail from the ACC.
Tech will be looking to break its second double digit game winning streak this season as the Blue Devils have won 17 straight games, which is tied with Miami for the longest active run in the nation. The Jackets previously ended North Carolina’s 14-game winning streak on Jan. 6, which was the nation’s second longest active winning streak at the time. Tech will also be trying to break Duke’s current 17 game home winning streak, which is tied for the ninth longest active streak nationally.
Since the return of senior Deja Foster, Tech is 13-1. Foster, made her season debut against Tennessee after recovering from a knee injury in the offseason, but did not play against Tennessee State.
Freshman Ty Marshall has earned ACC Rookie of the Week honors five times this season. She was named co-rookie after week one, and named top rookie after weeks two, four, eight and nine.
Marshall’s five weekly accolades are the second most Rookie of the Week honors earned by a Yellow Jacket in her first season on The Flats. Niesha Butler won the award seven times in her rookie year of 1998-99 on her way to winning the 1999 ACC Rookie of the Year. The record for most ACC Rookie of the Week honors is held by Wake Forest’s Tracy Connor, who earned the award nine times in 1992-93.
Marshall is currently tied with teammate Alex Montgomery for eighth in the ACC in scoring with 14.5 ppg, and she is the highest ranked freshman in the league. In ACC games, Marshall is seventh in scoring with 16.8 ppg and is the highest ranked rookie.
In conference action, Marshall is tied for 15th in assists with 3.3 helpers a game and is one of only two freshman in the top 18 (the other is NC State’s Myisha Goodwin-Coleman). Marshall is also the highest ranking freshman in ACC games, converting 85.7 percent of her free throw attempts, seventh in the league.
Marshall has finished in double digit scoring in 15 of her 20 career games, including in four of five against ranked opponents, and has led Tech in scoring in 10 of 20 games.
Junior point guard Metra “MeMe” Walthour is fourth in the ACC in all games, dishing out 4.3 assists per game and is the highest ranked non-senior. In all contests, she is eighth in the ACC with 2.5 steals per game and third in the critical assist/turnover ratio with twice as many assists as turnovers.
In ACC games, Walthour is third with 5.5 helpers an outing, fifth with 3.0 steals a game and fifth in assist/turnover ratio at 2.2.
TECH’S WINS AGAINST RANKED FOES
All-time, Tech has notched 30 wins against ranked foes. Tech has defeated North Carolina six times when the Tar Heels have entered the contest ranked.
The highest ranked squad the Yellow Jackets have defeated was when UNC was ranked #2/3 and left the AMC with a 66-62 loss on Jan. 22, 2009.
Of the 10 Tech players who saw action against the Tar Heels, five are active for this matchup with Duke. On the bench for that game was current head coach MaChelle Joseph.
The then-sophomore Alex Montgomery led the Yellow Jackets to victory over UNC with 17 points and 10 rebounds. She also grabbed four steals and dished out three assists against the Tar Heels.