Tech Women's Basketball Heads to Virgin Islands for Paradise Jam

Nov. 24, 2003

ATLANTA – Game Nos. 2, 3, and 4: Paradise Jam Tournament

Georgia Tech (1-0) at the Paradise Jam Tournament

November 27-29, 2003 * St. Thomas * U.S. Virgin Islands

WREK-FM 91.1

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The Opponents

Georgia Tech will face James Madison, West Virginia, and Southwest Missouri State at the Paradise Jam Tournament this weekend, which is held in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands November 27-29. The Jackets’ game against James Madison will be Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, at 6 p.m. ET and broadcast in Harrisonburg, Va. on either WSVA (550 AM) or WHBG (1360 AM) and online at jmusports.com. Tech will then face West Virginia at 1:30 p.m. ET Friday afternoon before closing out the tournament with a 4 p.m. ET game against Southwest Missouri State Saturday afternoon, which will be broadcast on either KTXR (101.3 FM) or KWTO (560 AM) in Springfield, Missouri, and online at www.ktxrfm.com. All Tech women’s games, including the Paradise Jam contests, are broadcast on WREK Radio, 91.1 FM in Atlanta, and online at www.ramblinwreck.com. Richard Musterer calls the play-by-play for the Jackets, while Kurt Hoyt provides the color.

Noting the Yellow Jackets

After dropping its only exhibition game to Mike White’s Premier Players by a score of 65-59, Georgia Tech opened the regular season with a road victory against Florida Atlantic, 73-62. MaChelle Joseph became just the third coach to win her opener as a head coach at Tech, following Bernadette McGlade and Agnus Berenato.

Last Time Out for Tech

After leading Tech with 25 points in the exhibition loss to the Premier Players, senior forward Fallon Stokes matched that output with another 25-point performance at Florida Atlantic in the season opener. She scored 16 in the first quarter and collected 11 rebounds to assure herself of her fourth career double-double. She ended the game with 14 rebounds in 33 minutes of play. She was followed in scoring by senior point guard Alex Stewart (14 points, five rebounds, four assists) and senior shooting guard Megan Isom (11 points, 3-of-6 from beyond the arc).

James Madison Preview

The Dukes opened their season with a close 68-66 win over Jacksonville State at home on November 23. JMU was led by freshman Lesley Dickinson, who had 15 points, five rebounds, four assists and a block in 33 minutes of play. She was followed by redshirt junior Mary Beth Culbertson, who had 11 points and two assists, and freshman Shirley McCall with 10 points and seven rebounds. Top Dukes: Jody LeRose-JMU’s top returning scorer (8.8 points) and top three-point threat a year ago, hitting 51-of-133 for a .383 average; Krystal Brooks-led the team in field goal percentage (.485) last year; Mary Beth Culbertson-second on the team a year ago with 31 threes; Denae Dobbins-led the team with 22 blocked shots in 2003, also averaged 2.6 rebounds per game. The Jackets and Dukes will be meeting for the first time ever on Thanksgiving Day.

Tech and the Colonial Athletic Conference

While Tech and JMU will meet for the first time this week, the Jackets are no strangers to the Colonial Athletic Conference. Georgia Tech is undefeated (8-0) against the current members of the CAA, including a 3-0 record versus Hofstra, a 2-0 mark against William & Mary, and going 1-0 versus Drexel, UNC Wilmington and Virginia Commonwealth. This won’t be the only time that the Jackets will face a CAA opponent this season, however, as Tech will travel to Old Dominion on December 18 for a 1 p.m. matchup and hosts William and Mary for the first round game in the Atlanta Marriott Northwest Holiday Invitational on December 30 at 1 p.m.

Looking at West Virginia

West Virginia followed up a 77-57 Friday night victory over Bucknell with a 82-61 win versus East Carolina Sunday afternoon. Against Bucknell, senior guards Sherell Sowho and Kate Bulger scored 19 points apiece, with Bulger retrieving six rebounds and Sowho collecting five steals. Sowho followed that game with a 26-point performance against ECU on Sunday afternoon while collecting eight rebounds and dishing out nine assists. Bulger added 17 points and four rebounds while Page scored 12 and had eight rebounds. Junior Ramika McGee blocked six shots against ECU while scoring five and getting two rebounds. Top Mountaineers: Kate Bulger-WVU’s top scorer (15.8 ppg) and shot blocker (19) in 2002-03 and second-leading returning rebounder (4.0 rbg); Sherell Sowho-led the team with 42 steals last year and second leading scorer with 12.3 points per game; Michelle Carter-Leading rebounder in 2002-03 with 6.9 per game, also averaged 10.4 points per game; Yolanda Paige-Led the team with 199 assists last season, also contributed 10.1 points per game. The Jackets and Mountaineers have faced each other just one other time in history, with West Virginia winning the overtime thriller 76-68 on February 16, 1983 at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.

The Jackets vs. the Big East

Although Tech is just 0-1 against West Virginia, it hasn’t fared very well against the Mountaineer’s conference foes either, as the Jackets own a 5-8 record against Big East opponents. Boston College (2-0), Seton Hall (2-0) and St. John’s (1-0) are the only schools that the Jackets have a winning record against within the conference, while they have lost one game apiece to Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Villanova, and Virginia Tech. Miami has had the best luck facing Tech, as the Hurricanes own a 3-0 series lead. This will be Georgia Tech’s only regular season meeting against a Big East team this year. Scouting Southwest Missouri State This will be the Lady Bears opening game of the regular season, as there were two exhibition games on Florida Atlantic’s schedule. SMS won their first exhibition to the Oklahoma Flyers, 88-77, and defeated 96-59 Spartak-Praha in its final pre-season warmup two weeks ago. Lady Bears Threats: Kari Koch-Led the team in points per game (14.7) and steals (97) a year ago; Jenni Lingor-Hit 71-of-175 three-pointers for an average of .406 and pulled down 5.6 rebounds per game to lead the team in those categories in 2002-03, also averaged 13.8 points per game; Meg Tierney-Converted on 99-of-136 free throw attempts to lead the team and also averaged 10.7 points per game; Morgan Hohenberger-dished out 132 assists while averaging 10.5 points per game. This will be the first meeting between Georgia Tech and Southwest Missouri State.

Georgia Tech’s Second Game Versus Member of Missouri Valley Conference

The game against Southwest Missouri State will mark just the second time in school history that the Yellow Jackets face a team from the Missouri Valley Conference. While Tech has never faced SMS, it has faced Drake and lost by a score of 83-63 in 1983. That was the only time that Georgia Tech ever faced a member of the MVC and this weekend’s game will the only meeting that Tech has with an MVC school this season.

Stokes Named ACC Co-Player of the Week

Georgia Tech senior Fallon Stokes was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Co-Player of the Week for Women’s Basketball for the week of November 24, 2003. She shared the honor with Duke senior Alana Beard. The pre-season all-ACC selection recorded her first double-double of the year in a 73-62 road victory over Florida Atlantic University. The senior forward led all Yellow Jacket players with 25 points and 14 rebounds. In the first half of play, Stokes scored 16 points and pulled down 11 boards to give Georgia Tech a 21-point halftime advantage. For the game, the Atlanta, Ga., native was 9-of-14 from the floor, including 7-of-9 from the free throw line.

Yellow Jacket Injury Update

Sophomore center Kasha Terry will be out for the second straight weekend after leaving the exhibition game midway through the first half. She traveled to Boca Raton for the first game of the season but did not play and will attend the Paradise Jam Tournament. Georgia Tech senior guard Nina B?rlin has been sidelined indefinately as she continues to recover from her second knee surgery in two years to repair a torn ACL. B?rlin missed the final 12 games of the 2002 season with a torn ligament in the same left knee and suffered the second tear just two minutes into the season-opener with Charlotte in November, 2002. She underwent a successful surgery and continues to recover at this time.

Joseph Begins First Year on Winning Note

Georgia Tech Head Coach MaChelle Joseph began her first season as a head coach with a 73-62 victory at Florida Atlantic. Prior to her promotion, Joseph served two years as an assistant at Tech under Agnus Berenato. Joseph became just the sixth head coach in Georgia Tech’s 29 years of women’s basketball and only the third to win their season opener in their first year. Both of the coaches that have won their first games have gone 1-2 in their next three contests.

Jackets Selected Fourth in ACC Preseason Poll

The Yellow Jackets were selected fourth, one spot ahead of their 2002-03 finish, in the preseason Atlantic Coast Conference Poll, which tied for their highest preseason selection ever. Tech’s 1992 team finished fourth in the ACC race after being selected in that spot during the preseason. Duke was picked to finish first in the conference for the fourth consecutive year, earning all 36 first place votes, followed by North Carolina and Virginia. Florida State was picked to finish fifth, followed by NC State and Clemson, withMaryland and Wake Forest rounding out the standings.

Stokes Earns Preseason Honors

Senior Fallon Stokes was named to the five-member preseason all-ACC team, along with Duke’s Alana Beard and Iciss Tillis, Virginia’s Brandi Teamer and Nikita Bell of North Carolina. Stokes was named third-team all-ACC following her junior year.

Jackets Ink Three During Early Signing Period

Georgia Tech signed three high school women’s basketball All-Americans, including a point guard, a guard/forward, and a center, during the early signing period. The 2004 recruiting class was ranked the 5th-best nationally, according to the All Star Girls Report in Thursday’s edition of the USA Today, as Tech inked three of the top-25 players in the country. The Jackets signed Jillian Ingram, a 5-9 guard from Providence Day School in Charlotte, NC, Daphne Mitchell, a 6-3 center from Woodward Academy in Atlanta, Ga., and Janie Mitchell, a 6-0 guard/forward from Callaway High School in Jackson, Miss. Ingram and Janie Mitchell will add depth to the Yellow Jacket backcourt, which loses four seniors following the 2003-04 season. A fourth team All-American according to All Star Girls Report, Ingram averaged 18 points, seven rebounds, four steals, and 3.5 assists per game her junior season after breaking the 1,000 point mark her sophomore year. She was tabbed 24th in the nation and rated the 5th-best point guard in the country, according to the All Star Girls Report. A 2003 Street & Smith Honorable Mention All-American, Ingram has been a member of the two-time national champion Team North Carolina in AAU basketball. She was tabbed 26th in the nation, according to the National Roundball Journal while the Blue Star Index ranks her 47th. She was selected NCISAA all-state for the third time in 2003, while earning CISAA all-conference four years in a row. In addition to Ingram, Tech signed another All Star Girls Report fourth-team All-American in forward/center Daphne Mitchell. Mitchell was named a 2003 Street & Smith Honorable Mention All-American and tabbed the 25th-best prospect by the All Star Girls Report while averaging 14.3 points, nine rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game her junior season. All Star Girls Report tabbed Mitchell as the No. 3 power forward in the class of 2004. She is the second-leading rebounder in school history, has earned all-region honors two years in a row, and was named the Most Outstanding Player while earning the Coaches Award her junior year. Fifth-team All-American selection Janie Mitchell will be another power forward addition to the Yellow Jacket frontcourt next season. A year ago, the Street & Smith Honorable Mention All-American averaged 22.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 3 blocks, and 2.5 steals per game en route to earning an All Star Girls Report ranking as the No. 4 power forward in the class of 2004. Her sophomore year, she averaged 20.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2 blocks, and 2.5 assists per game, which earned her 2002 Honorable Mention All-American honors, according to Street & Smith. The All Star Girls Report 39th-best prospect in the nation, Mitchell was tabbed 21st nationally, according Full Court Press, and 54th by the National Roundball Journal, while the Blue Star Index ranked her 57th.

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