Dec. 30, 2003
ATLANTA – Sophomore Jessica Williams scored a career-high 16 points and senior Fallon Stokes recorded her third double-double of the year to help Georgia Tech (8-3) to a 67-57 victory over William & Mary (3-6) Tuesday at Alexander Memorial Coliseum in the first round of the Atlanta Marriott Northwest Holiday Invitational. With the win, the Yellow Jackets advance to the championship game on New Year’s Eve at 3 p.m. while the Tribe will play in the consolations at 1 p.m.
“I talked to our players this week,” said Georgia Tech head coach MaChelle Joseph, “and I told them that others needed to step up and score for us, headed into ACC play. I also told m that we didn’t need to have a weak link on the floor, but have five strong players out there at all times.”
Williams went six-for-six and made four-of-nine from the charity stripe while pulling down seven rebounds and dishing out two assists to lead the Jackets on the afternoon. Her previous career high in points was 10, set against Georgia last year. Stokes recorded the sixth double-double of her career and third of the season when she hit two free-throws with 36 seconds remaining in the game, giving her 10 points and 10 boards in the contest. Also scoring in double figures for the Jackets was redshirt freshman April Johnson, as she had 11 points in 21 minutes of play.
“I was very proud of our sophomores,” said Joseph. “They went to the mat today and stepped up in a big way for us. Jessica went six-for-six and scored a career high in her starting role, and really played well. April was one of three people in double-figures in scoring while Mallorie (Winn) and Megan (Harpring) combined to go 5-for-11, including hitting three from beyond the three-point arc, and all three girls had some quality minutes off the bench for us.”
William & Mary jumped out to a 5-1 lead to begin the game, but wouldn’t see the lead again after Alex Stewart stole a pass with 15:14 on the clock in the first half, which led to a layup by Harpring. Tech used a 17-1 run in the frame that covered over six minutes in which the Tide would not score a basket. The Jackets would lead by as many as 11 in the half before heading into the locker room with a six-point lead. The Jackets built the lead to 10 in the half, using a 17-1 run Tech shot just 39 percent from the field, compared to the Tide’s 43, but almost doubled William & Mary in rebounds, 46-28.
“I have to give credit to William & Mary,” said Joseph. “They played hard and played with a lot of confidence. They are obviously a very well-coached team.”
The Jackets will continue play in the tournament Wednesday afternoon against the winner of the Florida A&M, Charleston Southern game, which began at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon. The game is scheduled to begin 30 minutes following the conclusion of the consolation game, which will tip at 1 p.m. Tech’s broadcast can be heard on WREK-Radio, 91.1 FM in Atlanta, and online at www.wrek.org, while livestats can be found at www.ramblinwreck.com.