Jan. 25, 2005
ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech women’s basketball team returns home to face the Clemson Tigers Wednesday at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. The Yellow Jackets will face the Tigers for the first time this season and enter with an 11-5 overall record and a 2-3 mark in ACC play, while Clemson comes to town with an overall mark of 7-10 and a record of 1-4 in conference games. The game will tipoff at 7 p.m. and be broadcast on the Georgia Tech student station, WREK-Radio, 91.1 FM in Atlanta and online at www.wrek.org. Richard Musterer will call the play-by-play for the game, and he will be joined on the broadcast by Kurt Hoyt, providing the color commentary. Livestats for the game will be available at www.ramblinwreck.com.
Georgia Tech Tidbits
LIVING UP TO THE HYPE: Prior to the season, the Yellow Jackets voted and 50 percent of the squad said that Stephanie Higgs would be the player that would surprise people this season…she’s lived up to that hype through 15 games, leading the team in scoring (13.9 ppg) while standing second in assists (34) and steals (25). She is also averaging 4.4 rebounds per contest.
INTO THE FIRE: Freshmen Jill Ingram and Chioma Nnamaka were thrown into the starting lineup prior to the season opener and have performed well, as they are second and third, respectively, in scoring. Nnamaka has started every game for the Jackets this season while Ingram has been in the starting lineup in all but one contest.
LOVING THE MISS: Jessica Williams is again one of the top rebounders in the league, as she is averaging 7.3 per game while scoring 5.3 points per contest.
LOOKING AT THE BENCH: Just because the starters are out doesn’t mean Tech’s opponents can relax…through the first 15 games of the season, the Jackets’ bench is averaging 19.3 points per game (309 total), while the starters are averaging 42.8 points (684 total).
SUB, PLEASE!: After finishing the 2003-04 season with just five active players averaging more than 15 minutes per game, the Jackets currently have seven players playing more than 15 minutes per contest, with six of those averaging more than 20 minutes per game.
THE JACKETS ON “D”: Through the first 16 games of the season, Georgia Tech has forced 271 turnovers by its opponents, which have led to 138 Yellow Jackets steals (8.6 per game). In comparison, the Jackets have turned the ball over 21 fewer times, leading to just 98 opponent steals in 16 games (6.1 per game).
MAKING THE MOST OF “FREE” POINTS: Since dropping the pair of games at Tulsa and St. John’s in which the Yellow Jackets shot just 50 percent from the free-throw line (15-of-30), Georgia Tech had been much stronger from the charity stripe. In the five games following that road trip, the Jackets went 5-0 and connected on 80 percent of their free throws (64-of-80), including a season-high 90 percent mark against Alcorn State in the championship game of the GT/Atlanta Marriott NW Holiday Invitational. Overall, in their five losses this season, the Jackets have made just 39 free throws in 78 overall attempts, converting just 50 percent from the line. In comparison, Georgia Tech has converted on 165-of-220 free throws (75.0 percent) in their 11 victories, a 25-point difference.
TIME TO WAKE UP: In games where the Yellow Jackets have a higher shooting percentage in the second half as compared to the first, Georgia Tech is 7-2, but when the Jackets shoot lower in the second frame, they are just 4-3. When the Jackets have scored equal to or more points in the second half, they are 8-2 on the season, but when scoring fewer points in the final frame, they are just 3-3.
Jackets vs. the Tigers
The Jackets and Tigers will be meeting for the 52nd time in history Wednesday evening, with Clemson holding the 39-12 edge in the series. The Yellow Jackets are 7-17 against the Tigers in Atlanta, with the last win at Alexander Memorial Coliseum coming during the 2002-03 season.
Clemson won the first 12 meetings between these two teams, including a 103-67 win over the Jackets in the first game of the series on January 31, 1980. The series has been more even in the recent past, with a 3-3 mark in the last six meetings. After splitting the series in 2002, Tech swept both games from the Tigers in 2003 before Clemson came back with a pair of victories a season ago.
LAST TIME OUT: Amanda White came off the bench to score a team-high 15 points for the Tigers as Clemson defeated Georgia Tech, 59-47, at Littlejohn Coliseum on Feb. 19th. The Jackets received 15 points from point guard Alex Stewart while Stephanie Higgs came off the bench to add 11 while the Tigers held top Tech scorer Fallon Stokes to just eight points in the game. Clemson shot 44 percent from the floor in the contest and limited the Jackets to just 24 percent from the field and only 11 percent from beyond the three-point arc as the Jackets connected on just 4-of-36 treys.
Tech and the Atlantic Coast Conference
Georgia Tech is 107-257 in conference play in its 25 years as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The Yellow Jackets are 7-19 in conference openers after posting a win in each of the last two season’s ACC openers, both of which came against Florida State. The Yellow Jackets have won all four meetings against Florida State when meeting the Seminoles in the ACC opener.
There are currently five ACC teams ranked in this week’s AP Poll, with another two earning votes. Georgia Tech is 1-3 against these seven teams this season.
The ACC is currently the top-ranked conference in the WBCA/Summerville RPI, just ahead of the SEC and Pac 10 conferences, as two teams appear in the top-10 (Duke-3, Maryland-9), three more in the top-25 (Florida State-19, Virginia Tech-22, Georgia Tech-24), and a total of eight in the top-50 (Virginia-40, NC State-42, North Carolina-48). Rounding out the RPI standings are ACC members Wake Forest (62), Miami (74) and Clemson (122).
The last time that Georgia Tech defeated a ranked ACC opponent was during the 2001-02 season, when the Jackets downed 17th-ranked North Carolina, 81-62 in Chapel Hill. Tech is 0-12 against ranked ACC opponents since then.
Last Time Out
Georgia Tech halted a three-game losing streak to record the program’s 400th win in school history by defeating Miami, 62-46, in Coral Gables, Fla. Behind a 19-pionts, six rebound performance by rookie Chioma Nnamaka and 18 points from Stephanie Higgs, the Yellow Jackets used a 12-0 run early in the second half to down the Hurricanes, sending their record to 0-5 in their first season of ACC play. Georgia Tech shot 48 percent from the field in the first half to take an eight-point lead into the locker room at the half, and came out to shoot 41 percent from the field and 86 percent from the free-throw line to earn its second ACC win of the season. The Yellow Jacket defense limited the Hurricanes to just 29 percent shooting, while allowing Miami to reach the free throw line on just five occasions, as compared to their 21 trips to the line. Freshman point guard scored 10 points and had seven rebounds, two assists and a block against the Hurricanes in 38 minutes of play.
Home Games vs. Playing on the Road
After dropping a pair of road games in early December, the Yellow Jackets looked forward to their return to Atlanta, where the they have posted an overall record of 198-153 since the 1979-80 season. The Jackets are 9-2 at home this season after dropping their first contest at AMC this past week against Virginia. Conversely, Georgia Tech is 93-192 on the road since 1979-80, and 2-3 this year.
The Jackets are fairly equal in shooting percentage at home and on the road, averaging 38.2 percent on the road and 37.2 from the field at home, but opponents are hitting 38.6 percent of their shots away from Alexander Memorial Coliseum, while converting on just 33.7 percent in Atlanta. Meanwhile, the Jackets are converting on just 25.9 percent of their three-point attempts at AMC, but enjoy playing on the road, as they have shot 38.7 percent from beyond the arc away from the Coliseum.
A couple of the most notable differences in scoring are of the Yellow Jackets’ top two underclassmen in Chioma Nnamaka and Stephanie Higgs. Nnamaka is averaging 10.5 points per game at AMC, but is scoring 19.8 points in each of the five road contests. Conversely, Higgs enjoys playing in Atlanta, where she is averaging 15.4 points per game, while averaging 10.8 points on the road.
After recording five wins to open the season and five more following a pair of losses at Tulsa and St. John’s, the 2004-05 Georgia Tech women’s basketball team helped secure the 400th win in program history with a win at Miami on Jan. 23, 2005 by a score of 62-46 in the first meeting between the two schools as ACC members. It took the team nine seasons to win its first 100 games and nine years to win its next 100. The team recorded its 300th victory on November 28, 1998.
Sophomore Kentrina Wilson has recorded 14 blocked shots this season, which is ninth for most blocked shots by a sophomore.
Following the game against Clemson, the Yellow Jackets will return to action Sunday when they host North Carolina at 2 p.m. at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.