Nov. 20, 2006
Philadelphia – The Yellow Jackets suffered their first loss of the season Monday when they fell, 76-62, to the Temple Owls in the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, Penn.
The Jackets jumped out to an early lead, up by as much as six in the opening half, closing with 31-28 halftime lead. Two Jackets, Janie Mitchell and Chioma Nnamaka were scoring in double digits at halftime and sophomore speedster Jacqua Williams was perfect from the field. Six of Nnamaka’s ten halftime points came from distance, where she was perfect in the opening half. The team was looking strong, both offensively and defensively, grabbing seven steals, 10 defensive rebounds and forcing 12 Owl turnovers.
Things fell apart for Tech in the second half though; when poor shooting and eventual foul trouble proved to be hurdles the Jackets could not overcome. The Jackets held a one-point lead with 14:18 left to play, then a three-point play by Lady Comfort put the Owls on top and they never looked back. In the second half, the Owls saw their shooting improve by 25 percent and were granted 20 trips to the charity stripe, while Tech only took five free throws in the half. The Jackets gave up 48 second-half points, squandering their 3-point halftime lead and, as a team, did not hit a three-point field goal in the entire second half. Nnamaka, Tech’s captain, was held scoreless from the field.
It was Mitchell’s strength on the boards and the defensive tenacity of Williams that kept the Tech in the game. Mitchell was the team’s leading scorer with 18 and also led in rebounding with eight. She has led the team in rebounding in Tech’s last two games, grabbing 14 against Georgia State. Williams pestered the Owls with her signature quickness and tenacity, leading Tech with three steals on the night, scoring off two of those grabs.
Tech continues their road stand when they take on Toreros of San Diego Friday, Nov. 25 at 10 p.m. ET at the Jenny Craig Pavilion in San Diego, Calif. This will be Tech’s second meeting with San Diego, defeating them 56-51 last season at the Alexander Memorial Coliseum.