The final score of Wednesday night's game between Georgia Tech and Kennesaw State at Alexander Memorial Coliseum read 79-60, but this was a game that was most likely over in the first five minutes.
This is only the second year in Division I for Kennesaw State and the Owls have played the Yellow Jackets six times in their history, remaining winless against Georgia Tech after tonight's loss.
Yellow Jackets head coach MaChelle Joseph, keeping a critical eye on her squad, felt that the team defense wasn't as good as it could have been. "But obviously, at the beginning of the year, you don't want to be playing your best basketball, so every game we try to get better and improve in some area."
Georgia Tech is making the proverbial march through its home state. The Yellow Jackets are 2-1 and they've beaten Georgia State and now Kennesaw State for their first two wins of the year. They have two Georgia-based teams left to play, including the one called the Bulldogs on December 5th.
Kennesaw State - a team ranked 286 out of 345 teams last year by realtimerpi.com - wasn't expected to provide much of a challenge and Georgia Tech got off to a quick start. The Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 10-0 lead and they looked invincible.
To what degree? Freshman guard Tyaunna Marshall managed a steal, and when junior guard Mo Bennett missed the following layup, Marshall got the ball back on a second steal from KSU sophomore forward Sametria Gideon. During the first five minutes of the game, Georgia Tech had four steals. Despite a pair of desperation threes by junior guard Angie Smith to put the Owls on the scoreboard, Tech had their double-digit lead back one minute and twenty-six seconds later with 13:18 left in the first half.
"I was pleased overall with the start of the game," Joseph said. "I was pleased with the start of the second half but we've got to be able to maintain that every forty minutes."
The Yellow Jackets never led by anything less than double-digits again. Some games are book keeping exercises, and this was one of them. Nominal bench warmers were already seeing minutes in the first half, and first-year players Sandra Ngoie-Hasahya and Frida Fogdemark each saw time. Georgia Tech's play wasn't crisp but one gained the impression that any surge from Kennesaw State could have been repulsed with little difficulty.
With nine Tech players seeing double-digits in minutes played, junior forward Chelsea Regins led all Georgia Tech players with 15 points. Junior center LaQuananisha Adams scored 12 points and had eight rebounds for the Yellow Jackets, and Marshall added 12 points of her own.
For Adams, she tied her career high in points and set a career high in rebounds. "I thought that Nisha Adams in the second half did a better job of catching and scoring and getting to the boards. One of the things we talked about coming off the Old Domininon game is wanting to get more post touches, and it looks like we were able to do that."
Senior forward Alex Montgomery had eight points and 11 rebounds. "One of the things about Alex is that she's so unselfish," Joseph said. "In a game like this, she's trying to share the ball with her teammates. One of the things we've talked to her about is that sometimes she's got to be more selfish, she's got to take more shots."
Kennesaw State was led by Angie Smith, who shot 6-for-14 and scored 22 points. Overall, the Owls shot 32.8 percent from the field and the only other Kennesaw State players scoring in double digits were sophomore guard Brandi Jones with 11 and forward Sametria Gideon with 10 points.
"Any time you allow one single person to score 22 points that's a problem for us," Joseph said, "Obviously we lost Angie Smith a couple of times and gave up some baskets that we didn't want to give up, but when you're playing that many people and switching defenses as many times as we do sometimes that happens."
* Junior center Sasha Goodlett is serving at least at one game suspension for a violation of team rules. When Joseph was asked whether or not Goodlett would be back with the team for the next home game on Friday against Prairie View A&M, Joseph's answer was "It just depends. We'll see."
* If you watch the video of the press conference supplied by Georgia Tech, the guy starting the conference with asking the question about Goodlett - is me!
* A source told me that Georgia Tech is expecting 7,000 in attendance for the home game on Sunday against Connecticut. This might be the largest attendance for a women's basketball game in the history of Georgia Tech - my source said that he expected people to show up at the game that have never showed up at a Georgia Tech women's game before.