Feb. 13, 2005
ATLANTA – Sarah Pfeifer scored 24 points to lead Arkansas (15-8, 3-7 SEC) to a 71-59 win over Georgia Tech (13-9, 4-6 ACC) at the Russell Athletic Shootout, held for the first time at the Arena at Gwinnett Center Sunday afternoon.
The Lady’Backs outscored the Yellow Jackets, 42-30 in the second half and had four players to score in double figures while outrebounding Georgia Tech, 31-30, in the contest. After Tech shot over 46 percent from the field in the first half, the Arkansas defense held the Jackets to just 25 percent shooting in the second frame, while connecting on 52 percent from the floor.
“Arkansas stepped up and hit some key shots today,” said Georgia Tech head coach MaChelle Joseph. “I was happy that we came back in the first half of the game to tie the score, but we missed a lot of shots in the second half and that hurt us.”
“We came out and started getting (defensive) stops in the second half,” added rookie Chioma Nnamaka, “and we knew that we had to come down to our end and score, but we just couldn’t convert today.”
Georgia Tech had four players score in double figures on the afternoon, including all three freshmen starters, Nnamaka, Jill Ingram and Janie Mitchell. Nnamaka paced the Yellow Jackets with 17 points in the game while Ingram added 15 and Mitchell, 12. Sophomore Stephanie Higgs and junior Jessica Williams rounded out the Tech scoring on the afternoon, with 13 and two points, respectively.
“I’m very proud of the effort that we showed today,” said Joseph. “I have to be proud of the determination that we showed in coming back today, and we’ve got four games left that we have to keep fighting and digging to win. We lost a lot when we lost Trina (Wilson) this week, and you could see that as we struggled with our depth in the post today.”
Ingram led the Jackets on defense, recording five of Tech’s eight steals on the day, while also recording four rebounds and three assists. The Yellow Jackets also recorded nine blocks against the Lady’Backs, led by a career-high four blocks by rookie Daphne Mitchell, with Nnamaka and Stephanie Higgs recording two apiece. Williams paced the Jackets on the boards with eight rebounds, while Janie Mitchell added five.
The Yellow Jackets never held a lead in the contest after Pfeifer scored the first two buckets of the game to go up 4-0 at 18:25. The Yellow Jackets pulled within two points on four occasions in the first half and finally tied the contest at 29-29 with under 10 seconds remaining on a driving layup by Higgs.
Arkansas came out in the second half with a 10-3 run before the Jackets pulled within one point on a three-pointer by Nnamaka at 12:18, but Georgia Tech could not capitalize as the Lady’Backs went on a 7-0 run, with Pfeifer scoring five of the seven Arkansas points in the run. Georgia Tech would again pull to within two points at 4:51 on a three-pointer by Ingram with one second remaining on the shot clock, but could not hang on as Arkansas converted on 8-of-9 free throws over the last four minutes to seal the victory.
The Yellow Jackets will return to action Wednesday when they travel to Blacksburg to face Virginia Tech at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the Georgia Tech student station, WREK 91.1 FM, and online at www.wrek.org, and livestats will be available at www.ramblinwreck.com.