Dec. 15, 2002
ORLANDO – Georgia Tech senior center Sonja Mallory scored 20 points to lead the Yellow Jacket women’s basketball team to a 62-58 victory over Central Florida on Sunday night at UCF Arena.
The Golden Knights (3-4) held the Yellow Jackets (6-1) without a field goal for the first 3:03 of the game and took an early 9-3 lead capped off by a three-pointer by senior guard Jessica Scala at 16:38. After a three-minute offensive drought by both teams, Tech’s Fallon Stokes hit a layup to tie the score at 11 with 11:02 remaining in the half.
“This a good win for our team to be down at the half and fight back is really big for us,” said Tech head coach Agnus Berenato. “We weren’t knocking down our shots early on, but we kept fighting and in the second half, we did a good job on defense and didn’t turn the ball over on offense, both of which got us started in the right direction.”
Georgia Tech took its first lead of the contest at 15-13 with 9:13 remaining in the half on a basket by Sonja Mallory. The Yellow Jackets kept the UCF attack at bay until freshman Celeste Hudson hit a three-pointer for a 21-20 Golden Knight advantage with 6:33 left before the intermission. Central Florida extended its lead to 31-24 at the half. Scala and Erin Paige led the Golden Knights with eight points apiece, while Mallory had eight for the Jackets.
In the opening 20 minutes, the Golden Knights shot 56.5% from the field – including 50% from three-point range, while the Yellow Jackets struggled, hitting 31.4% from the field after missing their first nine shots of the contest.
In the opening minutes of the second half, UCF continued to build on its lead with a 6-0 run to go up by a game-high 11 (37-26). With the score at 39-34, Alex Stewart hit a three-pointer that brought Georgia Tech within two with 12:29 remaining.
Five minutes later, Stewart capped off an 11-8 run with a jump shot to give the Yellow Jackets their first lead of the second half (48-47). After Tech went up 50-47, UCF pulled back within one at 50-49, but Georgia Tech finished on a 12-7 run. That closing spurt was keyed by a 6-for-7 performance at the free throw line to keep the game out of reach.
Mallory led all scorers with her 20 points, adding eight rebounds and a game-high three blocked shots in the contest. Stokes joined Mallory in double figures for the seventh time this season, netting 14 points and grabbing six boards. Freshman forward Kasha Terry and junior guard Megan Isom each finished with nine points, with Terry pulling down a game-high nine boards.
Sophomore Takira Allen led the way for the Golden Knights with 17 points and nine rebounds while Scala had 12 and senior Erin Paige had 10.
The Yellow Jackets will return to action on Wednesday, December 18, when they host in-city rival Georgia State at Alexander Memorial Coliseum in a game that will tip off at 5 p.m.