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Yellow Jackets Conclude Road Trip at No. 7 North Carolina Sunday

Feb. 14, 2009

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ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech women’s basketball team will try and complete the season sweep of the Tar Heels when it concludes its two-game road trip Sunday at No. 8/7 North Carolina (21-4, 6-3 ACC). Tipoff at the Dean E. Smith Center is slated for 3 p.m.

The game will be televised live on the ACC Regional Sports Networks (Fox Sports South in Atlanta). Mike Hogewood and Charlene Curtis will call all the action. Fans can also listen to Richard Musterer and LaChina Robinson describe the play-by-play on WREK Radio (91.1 FM/, Georgia Tech women’s basketball’s flagship station.

The Yellow Jackets (18-6, 5-4) earned their first-ever win over an opponent ranked as high as No. 2 nationally when they defeated UNC, 66-62, on Jan. 22. Alex Montgomery leads the team, who has won four of its last five games, with 13.2 points a game, while averaging a team-leading 6.9 rebounds.

The Tar Heels, who had been on a four-game win streak, dropped a 77-70 decision at No. 14 Florida State Friday. Rashanda McCants is Carolina’s leading scorer with 14.3 points a game. Jessica Breland is averaging a team-high 8.0 rebounds.

North Carolina leads the all-time series 49-12 and has not lost two straight games to the Yellow Jackets since falling to Tech on Jan. 9 and Feb. 22, 1991.

The Tar Heels will participate in the WBCA Pink Zone campaign during the game Sunday. Both teams will wear their pink uniforms.

• North Carolina leads the all-time series, 49-12, though Tech won the first meeting of the season between the two teams, 66-62.
• Tech has not won at North Carolina since Jan. 17, 2002.
• This game will match up the ACC’s No. 1 scoring offense (UNC) against its No. 1 scoring defense (GT).

The Yellow Jackets will host No. 9 Maryland Thursday at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPNU. Tech will celebrate its fifth-annual Women Out Front, recognizing various young women who will lead our country tomorrow can show appreciation for those who have paved the way today. The Women Out Front recipients will be honored during halftime of the game.

Alex Montgomery led four Yellow Jackets in double figures as the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team (18-6) ran away from Savannah State (5-19), 89-34, Wednesday night at Tiger Arena.

Montgomery finished with a team-high 15 points and five rebounds. Iasia Hemingway scored 14 points and grabbed seven boards. Deja Foster tied her career-high with 13 points.

The game marked the homecoming for three Yellow Jacket freshmen and they did not disappoint their fans. Metra Walthour, starting her second straight game, finished with seven points and eight assists. Mo Bennett scored 10 points and LaQuananisha Adams added seven off the bench.

In just her sixth season at the helm, Coach MaChelle Joseph is already has recorded the second-most wins in Tech history. Joseph has registered a 102-72 (.586) record and is the fastest coach in school history to win 100. She has led Tech to its first back-to-back 20-win seasons and two straight NCAA Tournaments. She registered her 100th victory on Feb. 1, 2009 against Clemson.

After three-plus seasons on the Flats, senior Jacqua Williams has earned the reputation as one of the best defenders in the nation. The speedster from Seattle, Wash., recorded her 279th career steal on Nov. 22, 2008 against Mississippi Valley State for a new school record, surpassing Kisha Ford and Tiffany Martin on the all-time steals list. Williams plans to obliterate the previous record during the remainder of the season.

Last season, Williams finished with a single-season school record 118 steals, leading the ACC and ranking fourth in the nation with 3.8 per game. She has registered at least one steal in 63 straight games and even held the ACC single game record for steals with 11 (later broken by former Yellow Jacket Jill Ingram with 14). This season she leads the Jackets with 89 steals and has 350 on her career. She now ranked seventh all-time in the ACC after passing former North Carolina standout Marion Jones. She currently leads the ACC and ranks third in the nation in steals with 3.7 per game.

Jacqua Williams has been known as a defensive-specialist since she came to Georgia Tech but those have come to an end. Not only has she become one of the best defensive players in the ACC but she is just as strong on the offensive side of the ball. Williams is averaging 11.8 points per contest and has scored in double-figures in 17 of Tech’s 24 games. She also leads the team with 85 assists on the year and has grabbed 3.1 rebounds a game.

Georgia Tech’s 2008-09 senior class of Tabitha Turner and Jacqua Williams have been a part of 75 wins since beginning their careers on the Flats. The two Jackets have helped Tech to back-to-back record-setting seasons and are now the most successful class in the history of the program. The pair has accumulated the most wins by any senior class to ever play for the Yellow Jackets. Last year’s seniors finished with a then school-best 69 wins in their careers.

This season’s junior class (Brigitte Ardossi and Tiffany Blackmon) have been a part of 61 wins and should move into the top five by the time the two are seniors.

Anyone who watched Alex Montgomery play last season knows she can really do it all. She is not only the team’s top returning scorer (10.8) and rebounder (5.4), Montgomery has also shown she can dish it, steal it, block it or even win a jump ball. A starter of 26 games as a freshman, Montgomery has become the center of the Yellow Jackets offense. She is averaging 13.1 points and has grabbed 7.0 rebounds a game.

Montgomery has registered five double-doubles this season.

Junior Brigitte Ardossi started 26 games during her freshman season and helped the Jackets to their first win in the NCAA Tournament. Last season she was regulated to the first big off the bench and made the most of her opportunity by scoring 3.9 points per game and grabbing 2.8 rebounds in 14.5 minutes. Coach Joseph expects big things from her Aussie post-player in 2008-09 and has inserted her back into the starting lineup. She has played in 89 straight games, every game since coming to the Flats, and has started 47 of those games.

Ardossi, who has elevated her game to a new level, is scoring 7.3 points a game and is grabbing 4.1 rebounds per game. She is also knocking down her free-throw attempts at an 82% clip. She had hit 19 straight free-throws going back to the Winthrop game, before missing one at Wake Forest.

Sophomore Iasia Hemingway excelled as an undersized post player for the Jackets last season, scoring over 20 points against the likes of Maryland’s Crystal Langhorne and Tasha Humphrey of Georgia. This season, Coach Joseph has added some taller players to the Jackets roster that will allow Hemingway to take her game outside to the wing. Hemingway will now have a chance to not only post up players her height, she will also be able to take the ball to the basket and box out smaller guards for rebounds.

Hemingway is averaging 10.5 points and is registering 4.8 rebounds a game. She recorded her first career double-double against Georgia State (21 pts, 11 reb.) on Nov. 26, 2008. Hemingway has also shown a knack for getting to the free-throw line, with 97 attempts so far and is shooting 64 percent from the charity stripe.

Most teams are lucky enough to have a solid starting five. This season, Joseph feels she can list six starters on her roster. Sophomore Deja Foster has shown the ability to step on the court and make an instant impact for the Jackets. Foster is averaging 25.7 minutes and has started four games this season, including her first career start on Nov. 30, 2008 against Tennessee Tech.

Foster is scoring 7.8 points a game and is averaging 4.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals. Against Michigan State, she sparked Tech in the final five minutes with her first career three-pointer and back-to-back three-point plays on her way to a career-high 13 points. She matched her 13-point total in her sixth career start at Savannah State.

Freshman Metra Walthour, the only true point guard on the roster, has started two straight games for the Yellow Jackets and has shown the ability to control the offense and play some defense. She has given stepped up to become the point guard the team has needed all season long. After playing a career-high 34 minutes in Tech’s win over NC State, “Me-Me” dished out eight assists and registered only one turnover in her homecoming against Savannah State.

Last season, Georgia Tech finished the season with a school record 456 steals and led the NCAA with 14.3 steals per game. This has to be credited to Coach Joseph’s pressing defense. Joseph will press for 40 minutes with numerous pressing schemes to keep the offensive off-balance. Joseph wants her team to “be an impressive running defensive team that creates opportunities for the offense.” More than half way through the season, Tech is once agains leading the nation by averaging a staggering 14.1 steals a game.

The Yellow Jackets have scored 567 points off of turnovers and are averaging 23.6 points per contest off opponent turnovers.

The Yellow Jackets played two top-10 teams in there first six games for the first time since facing No. 3 Georgia and No. 9 Maryland back in 1983. Tech went 0-2 in those games but fell by only 11 points at No. 1 UConn and then lost a tight game by eight points to No. 9 Texas in Florida. These games proved to help the Jackets as they upset No. 21 Michigan State at home on Dec. 3, 2008. This was the first win over a ranked opponent for Tech since it defeated No. 4 Maryland on Feb. 1, 2007. Tech earned their second win over a ranked opponent on Jan. 22, when the Jackets upset No. 2 North Carolina, the highest-ranked team Tech has ever beaten. The Jackets are 2-3 this season against ranked opponents. (see chart on page 6)


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