Nov. 8, 2003
ATLANTA – Despite a game-high 25 points by senior Fallon Stokes, the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team was unable to hold on and dropped a 65-59 exhibition decision to the Premier Players on Saturday night at Alexander Memorial Coliseum
“We need to improve on our ability to score on zone defense,” said Tech head coach MaChelle Joseph. “We were looking for combinations tonight, and seeing who played well versus certain defenses. We were hurt when we lost Kasha, and we looked to Jessica (Williams), April (Johnson), and Ashley (Guerrant) to fill that role tonight.”
The Yellow Jackets jumped ahead early in the contest, keyed by a 16-6 run that was capped at 7:38 on a jumper by Mallorie Winn that gave Tech a 23-11 lead. The Jackets took their largest lead of the contest on a layup by Jessica Williams with 4:36 remaining in the half. The Premier Players closed the gap to eight at the end of the half with a 12-3 run of their own that was led by eight points from Terre Williams, as Tech took a 36-28 lead into the lockerroom. Stokes led all scorers with 15 points in the half, including 5-of-7 from the free-throw line. Tech was without the services of starting center Kasha Terry, as she injured her left knee early in the half and was sidelined for the remainder of the game.
In the second half, the Yellow Jackets struggled to find an offensive rhythm, as the Premier Players outscored the Jackets 20-9 to open the second half and take their first lead of the contest on a three-pointer by Starling with 8:44 remaining. The Yellow Jackets would retake the lead one more time before Starling’s two free throws gave the Premier Players the lead for good at 61-59 with 1:21 remaining in the game. The Premier Players made 6-for-8 in the final 1:21 to ice the game, including a 5-of-6 performance by Starling at the charity stripe in that span.
Stokes 25 points led all scorers in the game, as she hit on 10-of-18 attempts from the floor. She was followed by rookie Stephanie Higgs, who had eight points and recorded a team-high two steals in her Yellow Jacket debut.
“With Megan Isom (back) and Megan Harpring (family emergency) out, the freshmen had a chance to play, and they played fairly well,” said Joseph. “I’m glad that they were able to get some minutes in during this game.”
Williams led the Premier Players with 20 points, and she was joined in double figures by Starling with 12 points and Mary Cofield, with 11.
The Jackets will open the regular season on November 21, when they travel to Boca Raton, Fla., when they face Florida Atlantic in a game that will tip-off at 7 p.m.