Jan. 24, 2016
CLEMSON, S.C. – Senior Aaliyah Whiteside tied her career high 31 points in the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team’s (12-8, 2-5) 76-63 victory at Clemson (4-15, 0-6) on Sunday at Jervey Gym.
“I was really impressed by the play of Aaliyah Whiteside,” head coach MaChelle Joseph said. “I can’t say enough about our senior that has led us all year long. I was really impressed with Katarina Vuckovic. She has been struggling as of late but she found her way today. When she plays like that, we are a pretty good basketball team. We made some turnovers in some key possessions but overall I thought it was a good team win.”
How it Happened
The Yellow Jackets were hot from behind the 3-point line in the opening minutes of the game, going 4-for-4 from the arc to take a 16-6 lead with four minutes left in the first period. Graduate student Irene Gari made two of those 3-pointers while sophomore Antonia Peresson and senior Aaliyah Whiteside each sank one apiece. Tech’s defense held the Tigers to 1-of-14 shooting from the field to end the first quarter and the Jackets went up 20-9 after the first 10 minutes.
The Jackets were outscored 7-2 in the opening minutes of the second frame, as the Tigers cut their deficit to four points, 22-18. The Jackets would go back ahead by double digits after going on a 9-2 run over 3:35. Whiteside made sure the Jackets were in the lead at halftime after scoring 17 points in the first half, including three made 3-pointers. It was her 13th time this season hitting double digits before halftime and Tech took a 36-30 lead into the locker room.
The Tigers made it a one point game coming out of the half and knotted up the score, 37-37, at 8:11. Clemson took their first lead of the game since scoring the first basket of the game at 7:03 in the third period, going ahead 42-39. Whiteside would orchestrate a 14-2 run for the Jackets to put them back in the lead, 58-50, at the end of the third period. The senior had nine of the points during the run.
The Yellow Jackets held on to the lead and fought of Clemson’s full court press never letting the Tigers come more than six points within their lead in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Zaire O’Neil scored nine of Tech’s 18 points in the final period to secure Tech’s 76-63 victory.
30 for Whiteside
Senior Aaliyah Whiteside tied her career-high with 31 points against the Tigers. It was Whiteside’s second game scoring 31 points this season. She totaled 31 at NC State earlier this month. Whiteside shot 10-for-12 from the floor, only missing two 3-point shots. She made three shots from behind the arc and was 8-for-9 from the free throw line. Whiteside grabbed nine rebounds, leading the team in scoring and rebounding.
The Streak Continues
Whiteside has scored in double figures in 26 out of the past 27 games, dating back to last season. This season, she has hit the double digit mark before half time in 13 out of 20 games including today against Clemson. She scored 17 of her 31 points in the first half, helping Tech to a 36-30 lead at halftime.
It was Whiteside’s 15th game this season scoring at least 21 points and her 22nd time in her career. Her 15 20+ point games are a league-high and she leads the ACC in scoring with her 21.8 points per game average. It was her fifth game this season scoring at least 25 points and her third straight game scoring at least 27 points.
Inside the Box Score
The Yellow Jackets shot 52 percent from the floor (26-for-50) while three Jackets scored in double figures. Whiteside led Tech in scoring for the 14th time this season with 31 points while O’Neil scored 13. Junior Katarina Vuckovic scored 10 points and recorded six rebounds and three assists. Eight of her 10 points came in the third period. Sophomore Antonia Peresson scored seven points and led the Jackets with five assists.
Moving Through The Record Book
- With her 31 points against Virginia, Whiteside moved up two spots on Georgia Tech’s all-time scoring list with 1,371 career points to 11th. She is 52 points from surpassing Kate Brandt’s 1,422 career points for 10th.
- Whiteside is now nine made free throws away from become Tech’s all-time leader in made free throws. She has made 422 in her career and the school record is held by Joyce Pierce (430).
- Senior Roddreka Rogers has sole ownership of fifth on Tech’s all-time rebounding list with 847 career rebounds. She needs three more rebounds to tie Tyaunna Marshall for fourth.
- The six made 3-pointers in the first half are tied for the third most in a half by the Yellow Jackets.
- This was the 76th all-time meeting between Georgia Tech and Clemson, making the Tigers Georgia Tech’s most frequently played opponent. The Tigers lead the all-time series 43-33 but the Jackets have won five-straight and 20 of the past 22 meetings.
- Whiteside scored at least 21 points for the 15th time this season and 22nd time in her career. She leads the ACC in scoring with her 21.8 points per game scoring average.
- Whiteside has now scored in double-figures in 26 out of the past 27 games, dating back to last season.
Georgia Tech returns home for two-straight games, hosting Notre Dame on Thursday at 7 p.m. on RSN.