March 10, 2002
ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech women’s basketball team earned its third-straight post-season berth and will host Miami, Fla., in the first round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament on Wednesday, March 13 at 7 p.m. at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.
“I’m very happy for our team to be playing in the postseason again this year,” said Tech head coach Agnus Berenato. “I’m also happy that we have earned a home game for the WNIT. I feel we’ve been playing well lately, we just haven’t been able to get over the hump.”
The Yellow Jackets (15-13, 7-9 ACC) will be participating in the WNIT for the third-straight year and reached the quarterfinals of the event during the 2000 season. Last year, Tech fell in the first round at Mississippi State. Tech also won the NWIT during the 1992 season, a tournament, which was the predecessor to the current WNIT. The Hurricanes (18-11, 10-6 Big East), coached by Ferne Labati, finished the year with a loss to Villanova in the Big East Tournament.
Tech finished the regular season tied for fifth place in the Atlantic Coast Conference, finishing with a 7-9 league record and a 15-13 overall record following a quarterfinal loss in the ACC Tournament to 2002 NCAA participant Virginia. The Yellow Jackets were one of the surprise teams of the ACC, after being picked to finish seventh in the preseason poll by the league’s media. The 2001-02 season was highlighted by a six-game win streak midway through the year and a school-best five-game ACC unbeaten streak from January 10-January 26.
For the first time in school history, Tech placed four players on All-ACC teams, with a pair of Yellow Jackets earning second-team accolades. Tech senior Milli Martinez and junior Sonja Mallory each were named to the second team, with Martinez being named to the league’s five-member All-Defensive team for the first time in her career. Senior Regina Tate earned third-team All-ACC honors. Tate was also named the Georgia Commission on Women Collegiate Sportswoman of the Year and was a second-team Academic All-District III selection.
The fourth Tech player honored on the all-conference team was junior guard Nina B?rlin, who was an honorable mention selection despite playing in only 17 games before a torn ACL cut her season short. Despite playing in only 17 games, B?rlin still managed to finish third in the ACC in total assists with 135.
The meeting between the Yellow Jackets and Hurricanes will be the third all-time between the two schools, with Miami holding a 2-0 lead in the all time series. However, the teams have not met since the 1991-92 season when Miami won by a 78-63 score.
“The last time we played Miami was 10 years ago, the same season we won the NWIT,” said Berenato. “Ferne and I are best friends off the court and we’ve tried not to play each other over the years. It will be awesome to host her and while we are good friends off the court, on the court it will be all business.”
The winner of the game between the Hurricanes and Yellow Jackets will face the winner of the match-up between Rice and Houston at a site, date and time yet to be determined.
Tickets for the opening round game of the WNIT will cost $3 for students and children and $5 for adults and can be obtained by calling the Georgia Tech ticket office at (888) TECH-TIX.