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Georgia Tech Breaks Century Mark Against Mercer

For Georgia Tech's 101-44 victory against the Mercer Bears in Atlanta, the team slammed the boxscore like a pinball player with one ball left and no more quarters.  The young Bears weren't much of a match and the Yellow Jackets kept the statisticians busy.  Georgia Tech....


* ...held Mercer scoreless for over twelve minutes, with sophomore forward Alex Philips scoring a jumper with fifty-seven seconds left in the first half to close the score to 47-28 Georgia Tech.  The Bears wouldn't score again until 8:53 left in the second half, with a layup by Philips breaking a 32-0 run by Georgia Tech.  (No, that is not a typo.)

* ...broke the 100 point barrier for the first time in a regulation game under Georgia Tech head coach MaChelle Joseph's tenure.

* ...shot 62.0 percent during the game.

* ...led by 58 at one point in the game.

* ...allowed freshman guard Tyaunna Marshall a career high of 25 points on 12-for-16 shooting.

So what impressed MaChelle Joseph the most?  "You look at somebody like [senior guard/forward] Alex Montgomery, who could obviously go for twenty or thirty points in a game like this, but instead she got her teammates involved.  She was very unselfish."

Montgomery has significantly improved since Joseph told her during the post-game press conference after the Connecticut loss that she had to be the kind of player that was able to put the Jackets on her back.  It wasn't necessary during this game, where ten Yellow Jacket players scored in the first half.  Montgomery didn't many shots during the game - she only scored nine points - but she had five rebounds, six assists and led the team with 24 total minutes.  Since the Connecticut loss Montgomery has had big games against Northwestern (28 points, a career high), Middle Tennessee State (16 points, 10 rebounds), Portland State (14 points, 9 rebounds) and Washington (20 points, 8 rebounds).

With the return of senior guard Deja Foster and with sophomore forward Danielle Hamilton-Carter able to play, this takes the burden off Montgomery to be the primary threat.  Foster's 10 points and 10 rebounds were the only double-double in the game, and even though Hamilton-Carter was one of only two Tech players not to score, she had been playing well enough in practice to start her first game.

Mercer, on the other hand, only shot 28.8 percent for the game.  The Bears have only one player at 6-3, two players at 6-0 and the rest are under six feet tall.  Compared to the Yellow Jackets, they appeared physically lacking - slight, even.  They were held to only eight first-half rebounds and Georgia Tech scored 68 points in the paint.  Coach Susie Gardner is in her first year at Mercer, and with a team having one senior and no juniors the Bears are now off to a 1-10 start. 

Georgia Tech is riding a seven-game winning streak into Thursday's home game against Tennessee State.  Between now and February, the Yellow Jackets will be playing one game every three to four days.  Joseph, however, is unconcerned:  "I think we're prepared for that.  I mean if you look our playing eight games in 15 days to start the season, it's not going to get any tougher than that.  You're not going to play UConn, Georgetown and Tennessee within three days of each other."

Notes

The Mercer victory gave Georgia a sweep of the in-state opponents on its schedule:  Georgia State, Kennesaw State, Georgia and Mercer.  Each win was by double-digits, allowing Joseph to stake a claim that the Yellow Jackets are the best women's team in Georgia.  The closest of these games was Tech's 66-56 victory over Georgia State at the beginning of the year.

"One of the things that we've always set as a goal was to beat our in-state opponents," Joseph said, "We tried to schedule just about everybody we could in the state.  I felt tonight was one of our best offensive outputs, not only of the year but since I've been here."