Dec. 21, 2012
THE FLATS – Freshman Aaliyah Whiteside scored a career-best 19 points on 7-of-16 shooting to lead the Georgia Tech women’s team to a 52-44 victory over the Washington Huskies Friday afternoon at McCamish Pavilion. The win evens the Jackets’ record at 5-5 while UW drops to 7-3 on the year.
It was the second straight game in which Whiteside equaled or bested her career scoring mark after she tossed in 14 points against Alcorn State Dec. 16.
Junior Tyaunna Marshall grabbed a career-best 14 rebounds while senior Danielle Hamilton-Carter pulled down 11 to help Tech win the battle of the boards, 63-37. In a game where neither side shot well, head coach MaChelle Joseph said the rebounding advantage was the difference.
“We’ve played such a tough schedule and then coming up against a team like Washington, who was 7-2 coming in, they battled very hard,” Joseph said. “I knew their first five were really talented. They played extremely hard, we played extremely hard and just neither team could get shots to fall. It’s always a tough game right before you leave for Christmas, but I was pleased with our rebounding.
“It was just one of those nights where shots weren’t falling, but we found a way to win and I credit my team for that,” Joseph added.
Freshman Roddreka Rogers came off the bench for eight rebounds, including five offensive, and four points in just 15 minutes of action.
“I thought Roddreka Rogers came off the bench and really gave us a boost,” Joseph said. “We needed a shot in the arm, some energy, and I thought she did a great job. Aaliyah Whiteside, for a freshman against a Pac-12 team, to go for a career high was huge for us.”
Georgia Tech struggled from the floor early on and Washington used a 9-0 run to take a 16-4 lead halfway through the first half. Danielle Hamilton-Carter’s layup followed by a three-point play from Aaliyah Whiteside snapped the Huskies’ run and sparked a 12-2 Yellow Jacket run to make the score 18-16 at the under four media timeout.
Sydney Wallace’s jumper with 1:34 remaining before intermission gave Tech its first lead of the game, 20-19. A Marshall layup on the next Jacket possession gave Tech a 22-19 halftime lead.
The Yellow Jackets held the Huskies without a field goal for the final 10:46 of the first half.
“We’ve always said that we built this program on defense and rebounding.” Joseph said. “You’re going to have nights like this where shots just won’t fall. If you can trust your defense and your rebounding, great things can happen for you. Tonight we were able to trust our defense and our rebounding, and we got it done on the defensive end.”
Washington rattled off five straight points to begin the second half and take a 24-22 lead, but Whiteside knocked down two consecutive 3-pointers and Georgia Tech did not trail again. Tech reached its largest lead of the day, 10, when Marshall’s layup made the score 42-32 with 8:15 to play. The Huskies never got closer than six points down the stretch.
The Yellow Jackets are now off for eight days for Christmas. Tech will return to action Dec. 29-30 when it travels to the FIU Sun & Fun Classic in Miami, Fla. The Jackets will take on Quinnipiac at 8 p.m. on Dec. 29 and will face either FIU or Northeastern on Dec. 30. Both games can be heard on WREK 91.1 FM or online at RamblinWreck.com. Tech’s next home game will be its first ACC home game of the year, when the Jackets take on Florida State at 7 p.m. Jan. 3 on ESPN3.
Fans are encouraged to follow Georgia Tech women’s basketball on Twitter, @GTWBB, and like the Yellow Jackets on Facebook, GTWomensBasketball, for an inside look at the program.