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Tech Opens Two-Game Road Trip at Savannah State Wednesday

Feb. 10, 2009

Game Notes | Listen

ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech women’s basketball team will open a two-game road trip Wednesday when it travels to Savannah State (5-18). Tipoff at Tiger Arena is slated for 7 p.m.

Fans can listen to Richard Musterer call the play-by-play on WREK Radio (91.1 FM/, Georgia Tech women’s basketball’s flagship station

The Yellow Jackets (17-6) will play four of their next five games on the road including this trip to Savannah State. Tech defeated the Lady Tigers, 82-28, last season in Atlanta. Alex Montgomery leads the team with 13.1 points a game, while averaging a team-leading 7.0 rebounds.

The Lady Tigers, who have won two of their last three games, are coming off a 61-49 win over Longwood. Lashara Smith led Savannah State with 19 points and six boards in the win over the Lancers.

The Yellow Jackets, who are 3-0 this season against in-state opponents, are 1-0 all-time against the Lady Tigers after last season’s victory.

• Georgia Tech is 1-0 against Savannah State. The win came last season, an 82-28 win in Atlanta.
• Three Yellow Jacket freshmen (Mo Bennett, LaQuananisha Adams and Metra Walthour) grew up outside Savannah.
• With a win over the Lady Tigers, Tech will move to 4-0 against in-state teams this season.

The Yellow Jackets will travel to North Carolina Sunday for the second meeting of the season between the two rivals. The game at the Dean E. Smith Center is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m., and will be broadcast on the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Regional Sports Network (Fox Sports South in Atlanta). Tech took the first meeting of the season, defeating the No. 2 Tar Heels, 66-62, in Atlanta on Jan. 22.

On Sunday, in almost every sense, the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team was in the pink. Especially Sasha Goodlett. The 6-foot-5 freshman center had her best game as a Yellow Jacket, leading all scorers with 20 points and leading Tech to a 67-54 victory over North Carolina State (9-14, 1-7 ACC).

The win, Tech’s third in its last four games, improves the Jackets to 17-6 overall, 5-4 in the ACC. But as coach MaChelle Joseph told an Alexander Memorial Coliseum crowd of 2,132 afterward, “This game was about more than winning and losing. It’s about a battle against something much bigger than basketball.”

The Yellow Jackets did not win any trophy or cup but they did accomplish of their main goals coming in to the season, Tech has defeated Kennesaw State, Georgia State Georgia. With a win over Savannah State later this week, Tech will be able to call itself the top team in the state of Georgia for the 2008-09 season. The last time Georgia Tech defeated three in-state teams was in 2002-03, when Tech defeated Georgia, Georgia State and Mercer.

In just her sixth season at the helm, Coach MaChelle Joseph is already has recorded the second-most wins in Tech history. Joseph has registered a 101-72 (.584) record and is the fastest coach in school history to win 100. She has led Tech to its first back-to-back 20-win seasons and two straight NCAA Tournaments. She registered her 100th victory on Feb. 1, 2009 against Clemson.

The Georgia Tech women’s basketball program in conjunction with the Atlantic Coast Conference has participated in the “Chow 4 Yow” Initiative. All ACC women’s basketball coaches have come together in support of former NC State head women’s basketball coach Kay Yow.

Tech head Coach MaChelle Joseph and her staff have organized an exciting opportunity for individuals to win “A Day at the GTAA”. Yellow Jacket fans had the opportunity to go online and bid on this event through Feb. 7 in support of the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer FundTM. The winners were announced at the Pink Zone game against NC State on Feb. 8. Tech raised $2,000 from the “Chow 4 Yow” initiative and over $4,000 from the entire Pink Zone event.

The Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer FundTM is the sole charity beneficiary of the WBCA. With 100 percent of the league’s women’s basketball coaches and administrative staffs supporting the initiative, each school will conduct a “Meal with the Coach” fundraiser this season at his or her institution. All proceeds will be pooled together as a single donation to the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer FundTM.

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., recorded her 279th career steal on Nov. 22, 2008 against Mississippi Valley State for a new school record, surpassing Kisha Ford and Tiffany Martin on the all-time steals list. Williams plans to obliterate the previous record during the remainder of the season.

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 62 straight games and even held the ACC single game record for steals with 11 (later broken by former Yellow Jacket Jill Ingram with 14). This season she leads the Jackets with 85 steals and has 346 on her career. She now ranked seventh all-time in the ACC after passing former North Carolina standout Marion Jones. She currently leads the ACC and ranks third in the nation in steals with 3.7 per game.

Jacqua Williams has been known as a defensive-specialist since she came to Georgia Tech but those have come to an end. Not only has she become one of the best defensive players in the ACC but she is just as strong on the offensive side of the ball. Williams is averaging 12.3 points per contest and has scored in double-figures in 17 of Tech’s 23 games. She also leads the team with 81 assists on the year and has grabbed 3.1 rebounds a game.

Georgia Tech’s 2008-09 senior class of Tabitha Turner and Jacqua Williams have been a part of 74 wins since beginning their careers on the Flats. The two Jackets have helped Tech to back-to-back record-setting seasons and are now the most successful class in the history of the program. The pair has accumulated the most wins by any senior class to ever play for the Yellow Jackets. Last year’s seniors finished with a then school-best 69 wins in their careers.

This season’s junior class (Brigitte Ardossi and Tiffany Blackmon) have been a part of 60 wins and should move into the top five by the time the two are seniors.

Alex Montgomery led Georgia Tech with 18 points and four rebounds in a 74-59 win over Oregon at the Rose Garden. For her effort, Montgomery was named the Papè Jam Most Valuable Player. At the Bahamas Sunsplash Shootout, Jacqua Williams tied her career-high with 20 points by scoring 16 in the second half to help Tech defeat UT-Arlington in the championship game to earn the tournament’s MVP. Montgomery was named to the All-Tournament team for her successful play during the weekend.

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 13.1 points and has grabbed 7.0 rebounds a game. Montgomery has registered five double-doubles this season.

With the graduation of Chioma Nnamaka, the program’s all-time leader in three’s made, coach Joseph needed someone to step up and knock down a big three for the Jackets. Alex Montgomery has become that threat. She has nailed 52 trey’s this season and 84 for her career, moving her into eighth-place on the Georgia Tech all-time three-pointers made list. She is also shooting 34 percent from beyond-the-arc.

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 88 straight games, every game since coming to the Flats, and has started 47 of those games.

Ardossi, who has elevated her game to a new level, is scoring 7.3 points a game and is grabbing 4.1 rebounds per game. She is also knocking down her free-throw attempts at an 84% clip. She had hit 19 straight free-throws going back to the Winthrop game, before missing one at Wake Forest.

Against Tennessee Tech on Nov. 30, 2008, Ardossi scored a career-high 18 points to lead Tech to the win. On Dec. 5, Ardossi helped Tech defeat its archrival Georgia with her first career double-double (15 pts, 10 reb).

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.

Hemingway is averaging 10.4 points and is registering 4.7 rebounds a game. She recorded her first career double-double against Georgia State (21 pts, 11 reb.) on Nov. 26, 2008. Hemingway has also shown a knack for getting to the free-throw line, with 87 attempts so far and is shooting 64 percent from the charity stripe.

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. Goodlett has started 21 of the Jackets 23 games. She has scored in double-figures the last four games including a career-best 20 points vs. NC State.

Most teams are lucky enough to have a solid starting five. This season, Joseph feels she can list six starters on her roster. Sophomore Deja Foster has shown the ability to step on the court and make an instant impact for the Jackets. Foster is averaging 26.0 minutes and has started four games this season, including her first career start on Nov. 30, 2008 against Tennessee Tech.

Foster is scoring 7.6 points a game and is averaging 4.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals. Against Michigan State, she sparked Tech in the final five minutes with her first career three-pointer and back-to-back three-point plays on her way to a career-high 13 points.

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.” More than half way through the season, Tech is once agains leading the nation by averaging a staggering 14.0 steals a game.

The Yellow Jackets have scored 534 points off of turnovers and are averaging 23.2 points per contest off opponent turnovers.

The Yellow Jackets did not win any trophy or cup but they did accomplish of their main goals coming in to the season, Tech has defeated Kennesaw State, Georgia State Georgia. With a win over Savannah State later this season, Tech will be able to call itself the top team in the state of Georgia for the 2008-09 season. The last time Georgia Tech defeated three in-state teams was in 2002-03, when Tech defeated Georgia, Georgia State and Mercer.


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