ATLANTA (Feb. 7) — Georgia Tech’s women’s basketball team faces a pair of important Atlantic Coast Conference road games this weekend when the Yellow Jackets travel to Duke and North Carolina for a crucial juncture in Tech’s season.
The Jackets (12-9 overall, 5-6 ACC) face 12th-ranked Duke at 7 p.m. Friday at Cameron Indoor Stadium and North Carolina at 1 p.m. Sunday at Carmichael Auditorium.
“These games come at a tough time of the season for us, especially with both of them being on the road,” said Tech head coach Agnus Berenato. “Duke is one of the best teams in the conference, and Carolina seems to be getting back on a roll. Our goal is to win both games, but we definitely need a split, and that would be a great feat.
“This 72 hour period will put us to the test, and we will see if our kids can rise to the occasion and handle it. This will show how much they have matured.”
Junior Jaime Kruppa (Lithonia, Ga.) continues to lead the team in scoring with 11.3 points per game. Senior Danielle Donehew (Canton, Ga.) is the only other player averaging in double figures at 10.5 points per game, but Tech has gotten added contributions from some its younger players of late.
Sophomore Milli Martinez (Imlay City, Mich.) came off the bench to spark the Jackets to a 60-54 win against Wake Forest at home Sunday. Martinez had 10 of her 12 points in the second half and was equally active on the defensive end.
Freshman Nina Brlin (Katrineholm, Sweden) had nine points against the Demon Deacons and put Tech up to stay on a jumper with 2:24 remaining. She also had a key steal in the closing moments to help Tech thwart any attempt of a Wake comeback. Freshman Sonja Mallory (Bronx, N.Y.) played just two minutes against Wake, but had an important blocked shot and a key defensive rebound down the stretch.
Junior Regina Tate (Columbus, Ga.) has played strong of late, averaging 8.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in Tech’s last four games.
At 12-9 overall and 5-6 in the ACC, the Yellow Jackets are one win away from matching their overall and conference win totals from last year. Tech is currently fifth in the league standings, but still needs more wins to keep its goal of qualifying for the NCAA Tournament in sight.
“Right now we are in an OK position in the ACC,” Berenato said. “We are one game under .500, but we are in fifth place. The players know every game is important from here on out. Our goal is still to make the NCAA Tournament, and we know that is based on wins. We know we have to get those wins in the conference, and those games are dwindling down.”
SERIES VS. DUKE
Georgia Tech and Duke meet for the 42nd time Friday in the series that dates back to Jan. 13, 1979. The Blue Devils lead the all-time series with the Yellow Jackets 34-7.
Duke has won the last 12 meetings between the two schools, including a 64-45 win earlier this season on Jan. 9 in Atlanta. Tech’s last win against the Blue Devils came on Feb. 27, 1994 when the Jackets won 61-56 in Atlanta. The Jackets last win at Duke came on Jan. 29, 1993 when the Jackets took an 86-80 overtime decision in Durham.
SERIES VS. NORTH CAROLINA
Georgia Tech and North Carolina meet for the 43rd time Sunday in the series that dates back to Jan. 9, 1980. The Tar Heels lead the all-time series 34-9, but Tech has won two of the last three meetings. The Jackets downed the 15th-ranked Tar Heels in their first meeting this season.
The Jackets have not won in Chapel Hill since Feb. 22, 1991, when Tech won 83-63.
DONEHEW CONTINUES TO CLIMB ACC THREE-POINT SHOOTING CHARTS
With 222 career three-pointers, senior Danielle Donehew (Canton, Ga.) ranks fifth on the ACC career list. Donehew moved past Virginia’s Tora Suber, who has 220 career threes, in the Yellow Jackets’ 66-65 loss to Virginia Thursday, Feb. 3. Donehew is six threes away from passing North Carolina’s Stephanie Lawrence, who ranks fourth in ACC all-time with 227 career threes. NC State’s Jennifer Howard is the ACC career leader with 315 threes.
Donehew also ranks sixth all-time in the ACC with 583 career three-point attempts. She moved past North Carolina’s Tonya Sampson, who has 573 career three-point attempts, in the Yellow Jackets’ 66-65 loss to Virginia on Thursday, Feb. 3. Donehew is five away from passing Clemson’s Tara Saunooke, who ranks fifth all-time in the ACC with 587 career three-point attempts. NC State’s Jennifer Howard is the all-time ACC leader with 717 carer three-point attempts.
Donehew also ranks eighth on the ACC career list for three-point shooting at 38.1 percent. Duke’s Leigh Morgan is seventh at 39.3 percent, and NC State’s Jennifer Howard is the ACC career leader at 43.9 percent.
BARLIN AMONG TECH’S FROSH ASSIST, STEALS LEADERS
Georgia Tech point guard Nina Brlin (Katrineholm, Sweden) already ranks among the Yellow Jackets’ top-10 for assists and steals by a freshman.
Through 21 games, Brlin has 81 assists, which is the sixth highest season assist total by a freshman in school history. Brlin also has 41 steals to date, which ties with Mary Rucker for the eighth-best steal total by a Tech freshman.
MOST ASSISTS BY A TECH FRESHMAN
Rk. Player (Year) G Ast. Avg.1. Carmen Davis (1989-90) 30 173 (5.8)2. Niesha Butler (1998-99) 27 120 (4.4)3. Kisha Ford (1993-94) 27 108 (4.0)4. Ida Neal (1985-86) 27 97 (3.6)5. Tory Ehle (1983-84) 28 91 (3.3)6. Nina Brlin (1999-2000) 21 81 (3.9)7. Tiffany Martin (1993-94) 23 77 (3.4)8. Mary Giambruno (1979-80) 25 70 (2.8)9. Carla Munnion (1994-95) 30 67 (2.2)10. Anita Malone (1981-82) 24 65 (2.7)11. Kate Brandt (1980-81) 26 63 (2.4)
MOST STEALS BY A TECH FRESHMAN
Rk. Player (Year) G St. Avg.1. Kisha Ford (1993-94) 27 92 (3.4)2. Tiffany Martin (1993-94) 23 56 (2.4)3. Anita Malone (1981-82) 24 52 (2.2) Aimee Weiss (1989-90) 30 52 (1.7)5. Kate Brandt (1980-81) 26 47 (1.8) Niesha Butler (1998-99) 27 47 (1.7)7. Carmen Davis (1989-90) 30 46 (1.5)8. Mary Rucker (1979-80) 25 41 (1.6) Nina Brlin (1999-2000) 21 41 (2.0)9. Allison Echols (1988-89) 27 39 (1.4) Ida Neal (1985-86) 27 39 (1.4)