Nov. 29, 2001
ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech women’s basketball team will seek its second-straight tournament victory of the young 2001-02 season when it travels to Greenville, N.C., to compete in the U.S. Cellular Classic, hosted by East Carolina University. The four-team tournament will be held at ECU’s Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.
Tech will open play in the tournament against Arkansas State, in a game that will mark the first meeting between the two schools. The Lady Indians are 3-3 this season and coming off of a 69-62 win over Jackson State on Wednesday night. That game will tip off at 2 p.m. on Saturday, with the winner facing the victor of the East Carolina vs. Southern match-up in the championship game at 4 p.m. on Sunday.
The Yellow Jackets (3-1) are riding a three-game winning streak, which included a win in last weekend’s Atlanta Marriott NW Classic at Alexander Memorial Coliseum on the Tech campus. The Jackets won the event for the fourth-straight season and placed four players on the all-tournament team including tourney MVP Regina Tate. On the weekend, Tech recorded a pair of impressive wins, downing UNC Asheville in the first round by an 88-56 score and then rolling over Eastern Washington in the title match-up by a 91-36 count. Limiting the Eagles to the third-lowest point total in a game by a Yellow Jacket opponent in school history.
As has been the case for much of the season, Tate, a senior forward from Columbus, Ga., has been Tech’s leader. Along with leading the Jackets in a number of statistical categories, Tate also is the Atlantic Coast Conference leader in four categories as well. In the Atlanta Marriott NW Classic, she led all scorers with 47 points in the two games and grabbed 20 rebounds to collect MVP honors and in the process earn ACC Player of the Week honors for the first time in her career as well. On the year, Tate is averaging 20.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.5 steals per contest to lead the Jackets. In that time, she has also fired at 62.3 percent from the floor to lead the ACC in field goal percentage as well as scoring, rebounding and offensive rebounds per game.
Tech has also continued to get strong post play from junior center Sonja Mallory, who joined Tate on this past weekend’s all-tournament team after scoring 35 points in the two games. Mallory is currently second on the team in scoring at 17.5 points per game and leads the Jackets and the ACC with 2.25 blocks per contest, picking up where she left off after leading the league at the end of the 2001 season.
Guard play has seen the biggest improvement for Tech in the early part of the year, as junior point guard Nina B?rlin recorded her first career double-double against Eastern Washington with 15 points and a career-high-tying 11 points, to earn all-tournament honors. The fourth member of the all-tournament team for the Yellow Jackets also came from the back court, as senior Milli Martinez netted 24 points in the two games to go along with nine rebounds and nine assists.
Georgia Tech will continue to be without the services of junior guard Alex Stewart, who suffered a severe mid-foot sprain in the Jackets’ season-opener against Kansas State, and has been sidelined since. The Norcross, Ga., product will be out for four weeks while wearing a cast to aid the healing process and will be re-evaluated at the of that time. Stewart averaged 7.8 points per game a year ago and led Tech with 90 assists.
Live radio broadcasts of both of the weekend’s games can be heard on 91.1 WREK and at www.ramblinwreck.com.