ATLANTA (Feb. 28) — After closing out the regular season with a pair of victories, Georgia Tech’s women’s basketball team enters this week’s Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament in Greensboro, N.C., as the No. 6 seed.
The Yellow Jackets (14-12 overall, 7-9 ACC) will take on third-seeded NC State (20-7 overall, 11-5 ACC) in the quarterfinals at 6 p.m. Saturday in the Greensboro Coliseum.
The Yellow Jackets secured the No. 6 seed by winning on the road at 14th-ranked NC State, 69-52, Thursday and downing Maryland, 60-49, in the regular-season finale at home Sunday.
“We knew we had to win our last two games in order to secure the No. 6 seed,” said Tech head coach Agnus Berenato. “It was really important for us to play on Saturday instead of the first round on Friday. We had our backs against the wall, and with a young team, you never know how they are going to respond. We really raised our level of play a notch. I think that says something about our team’s mental toughness.”
The Jackets meet NC State for the second time in nine days following their 69-52 win against the Wolfpack last week in Raleigh, N.C. Tech shot 50 percent from the floor in the last outing against the Pack and will be looking for similar results this week.
“We are just looking forward to competing in the tournament and going up against the third-seeded team,” Berenato said. “NC State happens to be the third-seeded team, and we are looking forward to facing them again. We had a great outing at NC State, and we know that they did not have their best game.”
Junior Regina Tate (Columbus, Ga.) helped Tech claim the sixth seed in the tournament with solid offense and defense performances in the Jackets’ two games last week.
Tate matched her career-high with 18 rebounds in the win against the Wolfpack and added nine more Sunday against Maryland. She averaged 13.5 boards and 9.5 points on 75 percent shooting (9-of-12) in the two games. Tate also recorded a season-high four steals vs. the Wolfpack.
“Regina has played great offensively and defensively,” Berenato said. “She is in a zone right now. She is playing with confidence and believes in herself. Her rebounding has been unbelievable.”
Freshman Amy Lingenfelder (Fairfax, Va.) and sophomore Milli Martinez (Imlay City, Mich.) both shot better than 50 percent from the floor in Tech’s two games last week. Lingenfelder led all scorers with 14 points against NC State and had eight more against the Terrapins. Martinez scored 10 of her team-high 14 points against Maryland in the second half and keyed a 20-6 second half Tech run against the Terrapins.
“Amy has really stepped up her play,” Berenato said. “Our freshmen are no longer playing like freshmen. Milli has lifted her level of play in the last couple games. She has gotten her defensive mindset back and making things happen on the court.”
SERIES VS. NC STATE
Georgia Tech and NC State meet for the 44th time Saturday in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament. The Wolfpack hold a 33-10 advantage in the series dating back to Jan. 12, 1980.
The two teams split their two regular season meetings with each team winning on the road. NC State defeated the Yellow Jackets, 80-70, on Nov. 30 in Atlanta, and Tech defeated the Wolfpack, 69-52, on Feb. 24 in Raleigh, N.C.
Tech and NC State have met three times in the ACC Tournament, and the Wolfpack have won all three of those meetings. The last time Tech and NC State met in the ACC Tourney was in the first round in 1995 when the Pack defeated the Jackets, 88-70, in Rock Hill, S.C.
The two teams also played opening round games in the 1980 and 1985 tourneys. NC State won 99-48 in 1980 and 87-60 in 1985.
TECH IN THE ACC TOURNAMENT
Georgia Tech has an all-time record of 3-20 in the ACC Tournament and a 3-11 record under head coach Agnus Berenato.
In 1992, the Yellow Jackets became the lowest seeded team in ACC Tournament history to reach the championship game when the seventh-seeded Jackets scored a pair of one-point victories over nationally-ranked Maryland and Clemson to reach the final.
Tech topped the second-seeded and fourth ranked Terrapins, 68-67, in the first round and edged the third-seeded and 18th-ranked Tigers, 74-73, in the semifinals.
In the finals, Tech battled top-seeded and top-ranked Virginia before falling by one, 70-69.
DONEHEW NAMED TO ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT TEAM
Georgia Tech senior Danielle Donehew (Canton, Ga.) has been named to the 2000 GTE District 3 All-Academic Women’s Basketball Team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Donehew, who has a 3.28 cumulative grade point average in Industrial Engineering, was the only Atlantic Coast Conference player named to the district team, which includes players from Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. She was joined on the team by Elena Kisselva of Liberty, Kelly and Coco Miller of Georgia, Sara Moore of Campbell and Amy Wetzel of Virginia Tech.
All six players named to the district team will advance to the national ballot and be considered for Academic all-America honors.
JACKETS UPSET ANOTHER RANKED FOE
Georgia Tech’s 69-52 victory at NC State on Feb. 24 marked the second ranked team the Yellow Jackets have defeated this season.
Tech’s win against the Wolfpack was also the highest ranked opponent the Jackets have defeated on the road in school history. NC State was ranked 14th in the Associated Press poll and tied for 11th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ poll.
The Yellow Jackets also defeated North Carolina, 55-44, at home on Jan. 13 when the Tar Heels were ranked 15th by the Associated Press and 12th by the coaches.
WINNING RECORD ON THE ROAD
With its 69-52 win at NC State on Feb. 24, Georgia Tech finished the regular season with a 6-5 road record, marking the first time in school history the Jackets have had a winning record on the road.
Tech’s six road wins this season matches the 1992-93 team for the highest number of road victories in a season. The 1992-93 team went 6-7 in road games.