Dec. 5, 2003
Game No. 6: Georgia State
Georgia Tech (4-1) vs. Georgia State (2-1)
December 6, 2003 * 2 p.m. * GSU Sports Arena * Atlanta, Ga.
WREK-FM 91.1 * WRAS-FM 88.5
Tech Travels Across Town
Georgia Tech will face cross-town rival Georgia State in its third game in seven days and fourth of the season away from the friendly confines of Alexander Memorial Coliseum. The Jackets and Lady Panthers will tip at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon at the GSU Sports Arena. Tech enters the contest with a 4-1 record, while the Lady Panthers stand at 2-1 this season. Both Tech and State will be broadcasting the game in Atlanta, as Yellow Jackets fans may listen to WREK-Radio, 91.1 FM (and online at www.wrek.org), while the Lady Panthers broadcast can be found on WRAS-Radio, 88.5 FM.
Today’s meeting will mark the 27th time in history that these two teams have met on the hardwood. The first meeting was during the 1975-76 season, with State winning 80-30. The Lady Panthers went on to win the next five meetings before Tech stopped the run with a 57-51 victory at Alexander Memorial Coliseum in 1982. The Jackets have held the edge of late, as they’ve won the last four times the two have met, while taking nine of the last ten meetings, including a 65-46 win at AMC last year. The records are very similar, regardless of arena, as Tech holds a 7-5 edge at home and is 7-6 on State’s home court.
Today’s game will be Tech’s second meeting with an Atlantic Sun opponent this year, as Tech earned a 73-62 victory over Florida Atlantic to open regular season play. The Lady Panthers are the three-time defending A-Sun Conference Tournament Champions, holding a 65-28 record over the last three years. With the win against FAU, Georgia Tech now holds a 34-18 edge over Atlantic Sun opponents. Last Time Out for Tech
The Yellow Jackets returned home for their first game in Alexander Memorial Coliseum for the 2003-04 season and pulled out a 60-54 victory late in the second half over Davidson. The Jackets were led by Fallon Stokes, who poured in 23 points and pulled down 13 rebounds and Alex Stewart, who had eight points, seven rebounds, four steals and four assists in the contest. Stokes scored the go-ahead basket with 3:31 remaining in the game and then scored four points over the last three minutes while picking up three rebounds. Neither team went ahead by more than eight points in a game that saw poor shooting from both ends. Tech shot just 29 percent in the contest, as compared to the Wildcats’ 37, but stayed in the game by forcing 22 Davidson turnovers, as compared to its six. The Jackets also converted on 22-of-36 from the charity stripe, while the Wildcats went to the line just 15 times, converting on 11.
Georgia State Preview
Georgia State is coming off a 63-56 victory over conference foe Mercer on Monday. Yvette Tisdale led the Lady Panthers with a career-high 27 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. She also blocked two shots for Georgia State. Patchia Hartmen contributed 17 points for GSU, along with a game-bests of seven assists and five steals, while Dee Dee Merriweather added a career-high 10 points.
Lady Panther Threats: Tisdale, 15.3 ppg, 10.0 rbg, 5 blocked shots; Hartman, 12.7 ppg, 12-for-14 from charity stripe, eight assists and eight steals;Holly Coates, 10.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, six assists.
Yellow Jacket Injury Update
Georgia Tech senior guard Nina B?rlin has been sidelined indefinitely as she continues to recover from her second knee surgery in two years to repair a torn ACL. B?rlin missed the final 12 games of the 2002 season with a torn ligament in the same left knee and suffered the second tear just two minutes into the season-opener with Charlotte in November, 2002. She underwent a successful surgery and continues to recover at this time.
Between Georgia Tech and Georgia State, there are 10 players from the Atlanta area, 15 from the state of Georgia, and 24 from the southeastern United States. Tech has seven players from the Atlanta area, including seniors Alex Stewart (Norcross), Megan Isom (Decatur), and Fallon Stokes (Atlanta), sophomores Megan Harpring (Dunwoody), Jessica Williams (Riverdale), and Kasha Terry (Douglasville), and freshman Stephanie Higgs (Lawrenceville). State juniors Patechia Hartman (Atlanta) and Dee Dee Merriweather (Powder Springs) are also from the metro area, as is Lady Panther freshman Alisea Rucker (McDonagh).
The Yellow Jackets have one more player from the state in April Johnson, a redshirt freshman from Macon, while State adds four more in senior April Clyburn (Augusta), junior Andrea Neely (Blairsville), sophomore Ashley Strickland (Newnan) and freshman Robyn Gilbert (Madison).
Tech has just two more players from the southeast, as sophomore Cheytoria Phillips hails from Raleigh, NC, and freshman Kentrina Wilson is from Deerfield Beach, Fla., while Georgia State has four from Alabama, two from Florida and one from Tennessee.
Tech Among ACC Leaders
Stokes, a forward from Atlanta, ranks in the top six in three different statistical categories, including being third in scoring (19.4 ppg), third in defensive rebounds (5.6 pg) and sixth in total rebounds (7.8 rpg).
Stewart joins Stokes in the top 15 in scoring, as she has 12.8 points per game herself, but she also stands in the top 10 in six other ACC categoris. Stewart rates third in assists (5.0 pg), fourth in three-point field goal percentage (.467), fifth in steals (2.4 pg), seventh in assist/turnover ratio (2.08), and ninth in field goal percentage (.525) and three-pointers made (1.4 pg).
Tech also has two more players that rank in the top five in a single category in Kasha Terry and Megan Harpring. Terry stands fifth in the ACC in blocked shots per game (1.5), while Harpring has not missed on 12 free-throw shots, tying her for the lead in percentage from the charity stripe.
Stewart Movin’ On Up the Charts
Yellow Jackets senior guard Alex Stewart keeps on moving up the Georgia Tech career charts with a stellar senior campaign. With 25 assists already this season, Stewart brings her career total to 365, which is now the fourth-highest career average in Tech history. She is just 37 assists away from Tory Ehle, who has 402 behind Tiffany Martin (559) and Georgia Tech Hall of Famer, Ida Neal, who had 508. Martin stills stands sixth in the ACC record books while Neal is 15th.
“Ice” Two Shy of 100
Tech senior Megan Isom is just two three-pointers shy of 100 in her career at Tech. She currently stands fifth in the Jackets’ career standings, behind Danielle Donehew (241), Karen Lounsbury (205), Carla Munnion (165) and Selena Baldwin, with 101. Isom also stands fourth in Tech history in three-point field goals attempted, with 291.
Tech Hot in Home Openers
With its win against Davidson on December 2nd, Tech is now 19-7 in home openers, dating back to the 1978-79 season. From 1974-78, it is not known where the Yellow Jackets’ games were played, but during that time, Tech was 50-52. The first home victory came against Georgia College on November 18, 1978 as the Jackets won, 85-49, while Tech won 67-57 over Charlotte on November 15, 2002 for the last home-opener victory before this season. The last time that Tech lost a home-opener was in 2001 against Kansas State, by a score of 74-70.
We Be Jammin’
Georgia Tech traveled to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, to participate in the Paradise Jam over the Thanksgiving holiday. The Jackets opened the tournament with a 60-53 victory over James Madison, led by senior point guard Alex Stewart. Stewart had 18 points in the contest, along with three steals and two rebounds. Fallon Stokes and April Johnson contributed 12 and 11 points, respectively. The following night, Tech dropped a 75-61 decision to West Virginia. The Mountaineers hurt the Jackets by converting on 7-of-15 from three-point range, including three from senior Kate Bulger. Tech was led by Stokes, who had 19 points and eight rebounds, and sophomore Mallorie Winn (12 points.) The Jackets went into the final game with a 1-1 record against the undefeated Southwest Missouri State, and emerged with a 78-71 victory over the Lady Bears. Senior Megan Isom led the Jackets with 22 points, including five from beyond the arc. Isom and Stokes combined for 28 second-half points in Tech’s come-from-behind victory to force a tie-breaker in determining the tournament winner. Because SMS, West Virginia, and Tech all finished with a 2-1 record, point deferential was the determining factor in the event. Georgia Tech earned a third place finish, and placed two players on the all-tournament team in Stokes and Stewart.
Joseph Begins First Year on Winning Note
Georgia Tech Head Coach MaChelle Joseph began her first season as a head coach with a 73-62 victory at Florida Atlantic. Prior to her promotion, Joseph served two years as an assistant at Tech under Agnus Berenato. Joseph became just the sixth head coach in Georgia Tech’s 29 years of women’s basketball and only the third to win their season opener in their first year. She holds a 3-1 record to open the 2003-04 season.