ATLANTA (Jan. 10) — Georgia Tech’s women’s basketball team plays its second consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference game against a Top-15 opponent this week when the Yellow Jackets (9-5 overall, 2-3 ACC) host ninth-ranked North Carolina at 7 p.m. Thursday at Alexander Memorial Coliseum at McDonald’s Center.
The game with the Tar Heels precedes a road trip to Tallahassee, Fla., where the Jackets will take on Florida State at 12:30 p.m. Sunday in a game that will be seen live on the ACC Regional Sports Networks, including FOX Sports Net South in Atlanta.
“I think the key for us is that we have to stay focused on our game,” said Tech head coach Agnus Berenato. “We can’t get caught up in our opponents, rankings or anything else.”
The Jackets are coming off a 64-45 loss to No. 14 Duke Sunday which saw Tech shoot a season-low 27.0 percent from the floor, including 17.2 percent in the first half.
“We had some breakdowns in our offensive scheme against Duke,” Berenato said. “That is something that we will address in practice in the days leading up to our games.”
Berenato and the Jackets hope to get a boost offensively from 6-foot-2 freshman Tamika Boatner (Memphis, Tenn.), who has worked her way into the Tech rotation of late after a severe ankle sprain sidelined her early.
Boatner saw her most extensive playing time of the season in the Jackets’ 73-62 win at Wake Forest when she scored six points and grabbed eight rebounds in 12 minutes against the Demon Deacons. In Tech’s 64-45 loss to Duke, she scored seven points in seven minutes.
Boatner, a 1999 finalist for the Naismith Girls’ Prep Player of the Year Award, missed the first five games of the season with the injury.
“The only thing keeping Tamika out of the rotation was her ankle,” Berenato said. “We’re looking for her to give us more scoring and rebounding inside which is something we need right now.”
The Tar Heels will likely be without second-leading scorer Nikki Teasley for Thursday’s game. Teasley has taken an indefinite leave of absence from the team.
Berenato said with or without Teasley, the Tar Heels present numerous problems for the Jackets.
“Defensively, they are a very good team,” Berenato said. “Carolina is very athletic, and they crash the boards hard. They have four good perimeter shooters, but also have some inside power.”
SERIES VS. NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina leads the all-time series with Georgia Tech, 34-8, in games dating back to 1980. The Tar Heels have won 14 of the last 15 meetings with the Jackets.
Tech and North Carolina split their two regular season meetings last season with each team winning on its home court. The Tar Heels topped the Jackets, 85-68, in Chapel Hill, but Tech upset seventh-ranked North Carolina, 91-84, in Atlanta. The two teams met again in the first round of the ACC Tournament in Charlotte, N.C., with the Tar Heels winning an 87-71 decision in the rubber match.
SERIES VS. FLORIDA STATE
Georgia Tech owns an 11-8 advantage against Florida State in the series which dates back to the 1974-75 season. The Yellow Jackets have won four of the last six meetings with the Seminoles, including both games last season.
The Jackets took a 92-70 win against Florida State in the first meeting last year in Atlanta and won the rematch 86-78 in Tallahassee, Fla.
In each of the past three seasons, either Tech or Florida State has swept the two regular season meetings. Tech won both games with the Seminoles last season and in the 1997 campaign, and Florida State won both tilts with Tech in 1998.
DONEHEW BREAKS TECH 3-POINT RECORD
Senior Danielle Donehew (Canton, Ga.) broke the eight-year-old Georgia Tech record for career three-pointers in the Yellow Jackets’ 73-62 win at Wake Forest last Thursday.
Donehew entered the game needing two threes to break Karen Lounsbury’s school record total of 205. Donehew tied the record on her first three of the game with 18:54 to play and broke the record with 17:43 remaining. She added another three later to finish 3-of-9 from three-point range, posting 14 second-half points against the Demon Deacons.
With one three in Tech’s 64-45 loss to Duke Sunday, Donehew now has 208 three-pointers in her career which ranks sixth on the ACC career list. Virginia’s Tora Suber is fifth with 220 career threes.
TECH-GEORGIA GAME ADDED TO TV SLATE
Georgia Tech’s game with Georgia, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20 at the Cobb County Civic Center, will be televised live on Media One Cable (channel 33) in conjunction with the Georgia Tech/ISP Sports Network.
The addition brings the total number of televised games for the Jackets this season to seven.
Tech’s next six games, beginning with Sunday’s game at Florida State, will be televised. The game between the Jackets and Seminoles is part of the 1999-2000 ACC women’s basketball television package and can be seen in Atlanta on FOX Sports Net South.
Following FSU and Georgia, the Jackets’ games at Maryland on Jan. 23 and Clemson on Jan. 31 will be televised as part of the ACC package as will Tech’s home game with Wake Forest on Feb. 6. The Jackets home tilt with Virginia can also be seen on FOX Sports Net South in conjunction with the Georgia Tech and ISP.
TECH'S 1999-2000 TELEVISION GAMESDate Opponent Network TimeDec. 9 Mississippi St. FSNS L, 56-71Jan. 16 at Florida St. RSN 12:30 p.m.Jan. 20 vs. Georgia Media One 7:30 p.m.Jan. 23 at Maryland RSN 12:30 p.m.Jan. 31 at Clemson RSN 7:30 p.m.Feb. 3 vs. Virginia FSNS 7 p.m.Feb. 6 vs. Wake Forest RSN 12:30 p.m.RSN=ACC Regional Sports NetworksFSNS=FOX Sports Net South
KRUPPA LEADS ACC IN DOUBLE-DOUBLES
Georgia Tech junior forward Jaime Kruppa (Lithonia, Ga.) leads the ACC with six double doubles during the 1999-2000 season. NC State’s Kaayla Chones ranks second with five on the season.
Kruppa has posted double-doubles in four of her last seven games, including an 18-point, 10-rebound performance in the Yellow Jackets’ 73-62 win at Wake Forest.
Kruppa, leads the Jackets in scoring and rebounding, averaging 12.9 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.