Jan. 15, 2005
ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech women’s basketball team will continue its tough stretch through ACC play by taking on top-ranked Duke Monday at 7 p.m. at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, NC. The Yellow Jackets are hoping to rebound from a couple of losses against Virginia and 15th-ranked Maryland at home this week while the Blue Devils enter the contest holding the nation’s longest win streak of 14 games.
The Jackets will be playing against their third ranked opponent of the season and are 1-1 against teams ranked in the top-25 in 2004-05. Georgia Tech defeated instate rival Georgia in early December to record the first win over a top-10 opponent since the 1998-99 season but dropped their last contest, as No. 15 Maryland defeated Georgia Tech, 72-65 at Alexander Memorial Coliseum Thursday evening.
A pair of underclassmen in sophomore Stephanie Higgs and freshman Chioma Nnamaka lead this year’s team on the offensive end of the court, as Higgs is averaging 14.2 points per game while Nnamaka is contributing 12.8 points per contest. Jessica Williams is pacing the Tech team on the boards, pulling down more than seven rebounds per game, while Kentrina Wilson is averaging 5.6 rebounds in the Jackets’ 14 games this season. Freshman Jill Ingram has started all but one game at the point guard position and is leading the Jackets with 2.9 assists and 2.0 steals per game, while another freshman in Janie Mitchell has come on strong of late and is now contributing 5.0 points and 3.7 rebounds per contest.
Following the Jackets’ game against the Blue Devils, Georgia Tech will take the week off before traveling to Miami to take on the Hurricanes at 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 23. The game will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet with Matt Stewart calling the play-by-play, and also on WREK-Radio, 91.1 FM in Atlanta and online at www.wrek.org. Livestats for all Georgia Tech games are 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 14 games, leading the team in scoring (14.2 ppg) while standing second in assists (29) and steals (24). She is also averaging 4.7 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 5.4 points per contest.
LOOKING AT THE BENCH: Just because the starters are out doesn’t mean Tech’s opponents can relax…through the first 13 games of the season, the Jackets’ bench is averaging 21.2 points per game (297 total), while the starters are averaging 41.1 points (575 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 13 games of the season, Georgia Tech has forced 245 turnovers by its opponents, which have led to 128 Yellow Jackets steals (9.1 per game). In comparison, the Jackets have turned the ball over 26 fewer times, leading to just 85 opponent steals in 14 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 four losses this season, the Jackets have made just 34 free throws in 66 overall attempts, converting just 51.5 percent from the line. In comparison, Georgia Tech has converted on 147-of-199 free throws (73.9 percent) in their 10 victories.
Jackets vs. the Blue Devils
The Jackets and Blue Devils have met 52 times in history, with Duke holding a 45-7 lead in the series. The Blue Devils have won the last 23 contests, dating back to Jan. 18, 1995, while the last Georgia Tech victory came in Atlanta on Feb. 27, 1994.
Georgia Tech has won two of 25 games played in Durham, with the last victory at Cameron being an 86-80 overtime victory by the Yellow Jackets on January 29, 1993.
Duke won both contests a year ago by limiting the Yellow Jackets to less than 50 points in both games. The Blue Devils defeated Tech 77-45 in Atlanta in the first game between the two teams and then downed the Jackets, 81-41, at Cameron in early February.
Georgia Tech’s first game ever played against the Blue Devils came on Jan. 13, 1979, when Duke defeated the Jackets, 70-55. It was the first of four consecutive victories over the Jackets for the Blue Devils.
LAST TIME OUT: Vicki Krapohl hit six three-pointers to lead all scorers with 18 points and four Blue Devils scored in double figures as Duke defeated Georgia Tech, 81-41, at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Fallon Stokes led the Yellow Jackets with 15 points in the contest as Georgia Tech shot just 29.8 percent while Duke converted on 52.5 percent of its shots from the field. Alana Beard added 15 points, Brittany Hunter scored 14, and Jessica Foley contributed 11, including three treys.
The Jackets vs. Ranked Opponents
The Yellow Jackets have met just two ranked opponents this season, defeating the sixth-ranked Georgia Bulldogs by a score of 55-49 in December and dropping a 72-65 decision to #15/17 Maryland this past Thursday. The win against the Bulldogs marked the highest-ranked opponent that the Yellow Jackets have defeated since the 1991-92 season, when Tech defeated No. 4 Maryland, 68-67 in its first win in an ACC Tournament game in history. It was also the first win for the Jackets against a team ranked in the top-10 since the 1998-99 season, when Tech downed No. 7/6 North Carolina, 91-84.
Georgia Tech’s last win against a ranked ACC opponent came 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 and just 2-14 overall against ranked opponents since that game.
The last time that the Yellow Jackets won more than one game against ranked opponents in the same season came in 2000-01, when the Jackets went 2-8 against teams in the top-25. That year, the Yellow Jackets defeated Virginia twice when they were ranked.
The Yellow Jackets are 24-170 all-time against ranked opponents, including a 55-49 win over No. 6 Georgia this season. Georgia Tech is 1-6 all-time against teams ranked in the top-25 under current head coach MaChelle Joseph.
With five wins to open the season and five more in their last five games, the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team is just one win away from recording its 400th win in school history. 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 11 blocked shots this season, which is tied for 10th for most blocked shots by a sophomore.