Feb. 25, 2009
ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech women’s basketball team will try for its 20th win when it travels to Virginia Tech (12-16, 2-11 ACC) Thursday. Tipoff at Cassell Coliseum is slated for 7 p.m.
Fans can listen to Richard Musterer and LaChina Robinson describe the play-by-play on WREK Radio (91.1 FM/www.wrek.org), Georgia Tech women’s basketball’s flagship station.
The Yellow Jackets (19-8, 6-6), who ran away from Clemson with an 89-54 win Sunday, will go for their 20th win for the third straight season. It will mark the first time in the program’s history it has registered at least 20 wins in three straight years. Alex Montgomery leads the team with 13.5 points a game, while averaging a team-leading 6.7 rebounds.
The Hokies are coming off a dominating 79-55 home win over Wake Forest Sunday. It was Virginia Tech’s second conference win of the season. Utahya Drye leads the Hokies with 13.8 points and 6.6 rebounds a game.
Last season, the Jackets forced Virginia Tech in 37 turnovers on their way to a 76-43 win in Atlanta. This marked the first win of the Yellow Jackets in the series, with the Hokies owning a 4-1 record all-time.
TECH VS. VIRGINIA TECH
Virginia Tech leads the all-time series 4-1
The Yellow Jackets won last season’s meeting 76-43 on Feb. 29 in Atlanta.
Tech Associate Head Coach Sytia Messer and VT assistant coach Angela Crosby were both assistants at Memphis, just not at the same time.
LOOKING BACK: GEORGIA TECH STOPS CLEMSON, 89-54
Deja Foster and Iasia Hemingway each registered a double-double as the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team (19-8, 6-6 ACC) ran past Clemson (13-15, 2-11), 89-54, Sunday afternoon at Littlejohn Coliseum.
Foster finished with a career-high 24 points and 11 rebounds and Hemingway added 15 points and 10 boards to lead the Yellow Jackets to their largest margin of victory over an ACC opponent in school history. Alex Montgomery also scored 24 points in Tech’s seventh straight win over the Tigers.
COACH JO GET’S NUMBER 1-OH-OH
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 103-74 (.582) 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. The Jackets are now one win shy of an unprecedented third straight year with 20 wins.
PICK A POCKET OR TWO
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 66 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 98 steals and has 359 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 fourth in the nation in steals with 3.6 per game.
NOT JUST A DEFENDER
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 11.2 points per contest and has scored in double-figures in 18 of Tech’s 27 games. She also leads the team with 91 assists on the year and has grabbed 3.2 rebounds a game.
SENIOR CLASS PILING UP WINS
Georgia Tech’s 2008-09 senior class of Tabitha Turner and Jacqua Williams have been a part of 76 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.
SHE CAN DO IT ALL
Anyone who has watched Alex Montgomery play knows she can really do it all. She was the team’s top returning scorer (10.8) and rebounder (5.4) and has also shown she can dish it, steal it, block it or even win a jump ball. This season, Montgomery has become the center of the Yellow Jackets offense. She is averaging 13.5 points and has grabbed 6.7 rebounds a game.
Montgomery has registered five double-doubles this season and six in her career.
FROM BEYOND THE ARC
With the graduation of Chioma Nnamaka, the program’s all-time leader in three’s made, coach Joseph needed someone to step up and knock down a big three for the Jackets. Alex Montgomery has become that threat. She has nailed 64 trey’s this season and 96 for her career, moving her into seventh-place on the Georgia Tech all-time three-pointers made list. She is also shooting 35 percent from beyond-the-arc.
AUSSIE, AUSSIE, AUSSIE … OYE, OYE, OYE
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 92 straight games, every game since coming to the Flats, and has started 47 of those contests.
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 82.6% clip. She had hit 19 straight free-throws going back to the Winthrop game, before missing one at Wake Forest.
On Dec. 5, Ardossi helped Tech defeat its archrival Georgia with her first career double-double (15 pts, 10 reb). She came off the bench against Maryland to score 16 points and grab five rebounds.
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, with the addition of some taller players to the Jackets roster, Hemingway has been able to move to the wing. She has had a chance to not only post up players her height, she has taken the ball to the basket and has boxed out smaller guards for rebounds.
Hemingway is averaging 10.5 points and is registering 5.1 rebounds a game. She has recorded two double-doubles this season (vs. Georgia State, at Clemson). Hemingway has also shown a knack for getting to the free-throw line, with 111 attempts so far and is shooting 65 percent from the charity stripe.
GOODLETT IS GOOD
During the preseason, 6-5 Sasha Goodlett made a “big” impression on the coaching staff and has added a new dimension to the Yellow Jackets lineup. Joseph called her 2007-08 squad “the best 6-0 and under team in the country” and Goodlett has not dissapointed. She has become the true center the Yellow Jackets have been missing. Along with Goodlett, Tech now lists five players at 6-2 or taller. She has started 25 of the Jackets 27 games and has scored in double-figures in five ACC games including a career-best 20 points vs. NC State. Her performance during the ACC portion of the schedule has made her an ACC All-Freshmen Team candidate.
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 25.9 minutes and has started nine games this season, including the last five contests.
Foster is scoring 9.0 points a game and is averaging 4.8 rebounds and 2.0 steals. Foster has scored in double-figures in four straight games and notched her first career double-double at Clemson with career-highs in points (24) and rebounds (11).
MAKING A POINT
Freshman Metra Walthour, the only true point guard on the roster, has started three straight games for the Yellow Jackets and has shown the ability to control the offense and play Yellow Jacket defense. She has 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. She has started the last five games and is averaging 29.4 minutes in those starts. She has dished out 22 assists in those five starts.
FULL COURT PRESS
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 13.9 steals a game. The Jackets 375 steals this season are good for the third-best season total in the program’s history.
The Yellow Jackets have scored 629 points off of turnovers and are averaging 23.3 points per contest off opponent turnovers.