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#TGW: Starting Five: Georgia Tech (12-6, 2-3, ACC) at Virginia Tech (10-7, 0-4, ACC)

Jan. 22, 2014

By Jon Cooper

The Good Word

Georgia Tech will try and get back in the win column and snap a two-game conference-road-losing streak when it travels to Blacksburg, Va., to take on Virginia Tech. Tip-off at Cassell Coliseum is at 7 p.m.

The Yellow Jackets fell below .500 in ACC play following its 92-81 defeat to Maryland at the Comcast Center on Sunday afternoon, but gave the No. 6/6 Terrapins all they could handle in the process. Guard Kaela Davis had a game-high 27 points, her eighth 20-point game of the season, while backcourt mate Ty Marshall added 22, with a game-high-tying 14 rebounds, nine of them on the offensive glass.

The Jackets outrebounded Maryland, 43-38, and won the offensive boards, 22-9, but shot only 37.5 percent, making only 30 of 80 field goal attempts. Tech led 44-43 at the break and 47-43 early in the second half, but Maryland went on a 13-1 run and never trailed again. The Jackets pulled to within 69-65 with 8:50 to play following a Marshall bucket, but the Terps answered with a 10-2 run and led by at least seven the rest of the way. Tech was outshot 43-20 at the foul line and was outscored 35-15 at the stripe.

The Hokies fell to 0-4 in ACC play on Sunday, falling 74-70 to Duke at Cassell Coliseum, but not before giving the third-ranked Blue Devils a scare. Forward Uju Ugoka had 29 points and 11 rebounds, both game-highs, to lead the Hokies, who nearly overcame a 38-23 halftime deficit against the Blue Devils despite only getting points from four players. Ugoka, and guards Vanessa Panousis (21) and Monet Tellier (18) combined for 68 of Va. Tech’s 70 (forward Hannah Young had the other basket). The Hokies almost came all the way back, getting 16 points off 16 Blue Devils turnovers, earning 15 second-chance points off 12 offensive and taking advantage of Duke’s generosity at the line, as the Blue Devils missed more free throws (13) than they made (12), while Tech was 15 of 17 from the line. The Hokies trailed by 10 with 47 seconds left and twice cut the lead to three, but never got a possession with a chance to equalize, as Duke made three of its last four free throw attempts.

Today’s game will be the 12th in a series that dates back to 2003. Georgia Tech has a slim 6-5 edge in a streaky series that saw the Yellow Jackets lose the first four games then win the next six before the Hokies won last year. Georgia Tech is 3-2 all-time at Cassell Coliseum, and has won three straight there.

The game can be heard on WREK, 91.1 FM, or online at www.WREK.org with Richard Musterer and LaQuananisha Adams on the call. Fans can get live stats on RamblinWreck.com and also can get instant updates by following the team on Twitter at @GTWBB and can get more information on the team by liking them on Facebook, GTWomensBasketball.

And now, the Starting Five for tonight’s ACC contest.

The Last Time We Met: The Yellow Jackets saw their six-game series-winning streak come to a halt last Feb. 8 at McCamish Pavilion, when the Hokies took a 63-61 decision. Ty Marshall scored a team-high 15 points and Danielle Hamilton-Carter added 14, with four steals and four assists for the Jackets, who led by as much as nine in the first half and by two, 33-31, at intermission. The second 20 minutes belonged to the Hokies, who shot 66.7 percent (12-of-18), and 75 percent from 3-point range (3-of-4). Tech had three attempts to tie or win in the final 84 seconds, as the visitors missed their final four free throw attempts, but could not equalize.

The P.O.W.er of Kaela: Freshman guard Kaela Davis won her third ACC Rookie of the Week award last week, averaging 25.0 ppg and making 3.5 3-point shots per game. Davis, who leads the team and is third in the conference in scoring (18.6 ppg), has been on fire in ACC play. She’s had back-to-back nine-field goal games and, over her last four games, is averaging 21.8 points (87 points). She’s shooting 44.1 percent in those four games (30-for-68). Against Maryland, Davis hit her ACC-high five 3-point shots, the most 3-PTFGMs since Dec. 7 against Alabama A&M, when she made her season-high seven 3’s. Her 46 3-point field goals lead the team and rank fifth in the ACC.

Board Meeting: The battle on the boards when Georgia Tech has the ball should make for an interesting watch. The Yellow Jackets lead the ACC in offensive rebounding, pulling down 19.5 per game, led by Ty Marshall, who grabs 4.2 ORPG (she is tied for the lead with Virginia Tech’s Uju Ugoka, but Marshall has one fewer rebound, 72-71). The Hokies lead the conference in defensive rebounding, grabbing 31.1 per game, led by Ugoka (6.1 DRPG, third in the ACC). The Jackets showed how tough they can be on the offensive glass against Maryland, the conference’s top rebounding team and second-leading defensive rebounding team, by grabbing 22 offensive caroms (they held a 22-9 edge) and outrebounded the Terrapins, 43-38, overall. It was the 15th straight game Georgia Tech outrebounded its opponent. The Jackets and Hokies enter the game tied for fourth in the ACC in rebounding margin at plus-8.5.

The Go-Go ’80s: Georgia Tech has turned up the offense this season and the result has been their taking a place among the ACC’s top scoring teams. Heading into tonight’s game, the Yellow Jackets rank fifth in the conference in scoring offense, putting up 81.0 points per game. They have scored at least 80 points in 12 games this season and had won all of them until Sunday’s game at Maryland. The Jackets hit 80 in four games all last season.

Seconds To None: The Yellow Jackets have made the most of second-chance opportunities this season. The Jackets have held an edge in second-chance points in all five of its conference games, outscoring their opponents 83-44, and having held opponents to 10-or-fewer second-chance points in four of the five games. Maryland, which is fourth in the ACC (15.4 ORPG), was the first team to score more than 10 second-chance points against Tech, getting 13. No. 11/12 Tennessee is the only team to outscore Tech in second-chance points, while No. 8/9 Oklahoma State and Coppin State, the opponent in the team’s season opener, are the only teams to stay even.

The Sixth Man: Tonight’s game will be the fourth in five on the road for the Yellow Jackets. They’ll play only four of their final 10 games away from McCamish Pavilion…Don’t let Virginia Tech’s 0-4 conference record fool you. They have lost their four games by a total of 22 points and none of them by more than seven…In Sunday’s game, Georgia Tech became only the second team this season to lead Maryland at the half. The other was national No. 1 Connecticut. The loss also was only the second time Tech lost when leading at the half. They had been 11-1 when leading at the break…Georgia Tech forced 23 turnovers against Maryland on Sunday leading to 21 points. That may not be good news for Virginia Tech, which is 14th in the ACC in turnover margin (minus-1) and one of two teams in the conference with a minus in that category. Georgia Tech is plus-2.6, sixth in the conference…You want clutch? You want Kaela Davis. The freshman is shooting 90.9 percent from the line at crunch time (the final 5:00 and overtime), having made 10 of 11 tries. As a team, the Jackets have been pretty good late, shooting 69.7 percent (48-for-69).

GEORGIA TECH SCORING LEADER: Kaela Davis, 18.6 ppg

VIRGINIA TECH SCORING LEADER: Uju Ugoka, 19.9 ppg

GEORGIA TECH SCORING LEADER (ACC): Ty Marshall, 20.6 ppg

VIRGINIA TECH SCORING LEADER (ACC): Uju Ugoka, 22.8 ppg

GEORGIA TECH REBOUNDING LEADER: Ty Marshall, 8.0 rpg

VIRGINIA TECH REBOUNDING LEADER: Uju Ugoka, 10.4 rpg

GEORGIA TECH REBOUNDING LEADING (ACC): Ty Marshall, 8.6 rpg

VIRGINIA TECH REBOUNDING LEADER (ACC): Uju Ugoka, 8.5 rpg

GEORGIA TECH ASSISTS LEADER: Dawnn Maye, 3.4 apg

VIRGINIA TECH ASSISTS LEADER: Vanessa Panousis, 4.6 apg

GEORGIA TECH ASSISTS LEADER (ACC): Ty Marshall, 2.4 apg

VIRGINIA TECH ASSISTS LEADER (ACC): Vanessa Panousis, 5.3 apg

GEORGIA TECH SCORING/ACC: 81.0/73.2 ppg

OPPONENT/ACC: 66.1/72.6 ppg

VIRGINIA TECH SCORING/ACC: 68.9/63.8 ppg

OPPONENT/ACC: 59.4/68.8 ppg

VIRGINIA TECH PLAYER TO WATCH: Uju Ugoka – The 6-1, senior forward from Lagos, Nigeria, is very quietly stating her case as an ACC Player of the Year candidate. Her 19.9 ppg rank second in the ACC — 1.2 ppg behind leader, Dearica Hamby of Wake Forest and 1.3 ppg ahead Tech’s Kaela Davis — while her 10.4 rebounds per game rank third in the conference. She leads the ACC in offensive rebounds (4.2 ORPG) and is third in defensive rebounds (6.1 DRPG). She has recorded nine double-doubles this season, has led or had a share of the scoring lead for the Hokies in 13 of its 17 games and has led or shared the rebounding lead nine times. On Sunday, against Duke, Ugoka led Virginia Tech with a 29-point, 11-rebound effort.

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