If you have children who play youth basketball, you’re familiar with the lop-sided score, where one team is so outclassed you wonder if you’ve stepped into the filming of one of those wacky sports movies.
But I saw something that few women’s basketball fans have ever seen – a team held to only three points and 0-for-24 shooting in the first half as Georgia Tech rolled over the visiting Tennessee State Lady Tigers 82-11 on Thursday night. The 11 points by Tennessee State was the fewest points scored by a Division I women’s basketball team in history.
Tennessee State turned the ball over 19 times in the first half and didn’t score until 11:05 remaining in the first half when freshman guard Jasmine Brimm hit a pair of free throws off a foul by junior center Sasha Goodlett. Georgia Tech’s 27-0 run to start the game was halted…but the Yellow Jackets were just getting warmed up. The only victory the Lady Tigers would leave Atlanta with was a moral one for hanging in there. The Lady Tigers shot 3-for-50 during the game, only hitting six percent of their shots. The first Tennessee State field goal came with 15:52 remaining in the second half - by Brimm, who scored six of the 11 Lady Tiger points. For the longest time, it looked as if Georgia Tech might hold Tennessee State to single digits. With 3:27 left in the game, sophomore guard Jasmin Shuler put the Lady Tigers into double digits, but Tennessee Tech would only score one more point. Their 11 total points was five points short of the 16 points scored by previous low-score record holder Texas Southern in a 76-16 loss to TCU on December 30, 2002 – exactly eight years ago to the day. (Sandora Irvin was a sophomore for the Horned Frogs, scoring 15 points, 12 rebounds, 6 blocks and 4 steals.) Freshman guard Tyaunna Marshall led all Georgia Tech players with 16 points, shooting 8-for-10. Senior guard/forward Alex Montgomery scored 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Yellow Jackets. Junior forward Chelsea Regins scored 16 points in a career high game and played only 18 minutes.
"I think Chelsea is a double point scorer for us – she can score in double figures every night because of her intensity level," Joseph said. Part of the Yellow Jacket intensity over the last two games comes from Regins. "In the last two games, she’s really set the intensity level for how we’re going to play. She came off the bench the other night [against Mercer] and really lifted us."
Sophomore forward Danielle Hamilton-Carter got her second start of the year. Both of her games as a starter have been marked by 50+ margins of victory. She hasn’t scored much in either game – zero points against Mercer and only two against Tennessee State – but her games in practice have earned her starts. Has Hamilton-Carter changed her game? Not really. She’s finally starting to get comfortable on the court after being ruled ineligible to play during her freshman season.
"It takes time, but I practice the same plays every day and I run the same system," she said, "so it’s just a matter of getting experience in the game."
Tennessee State played hard all game, and their never-say-die attitude was lauded by Joseph.
"They did everything they could possibly do on the defensive end," she said of Tennessee State’s losing effort. "It’s tough. Those games like that are tough to coach and tough to play. I really appreciated their effort for forty minutes."
Georgia Tech tied the NCAA Women’s Division I record for fewest points allowed in a half, leading 49-3 at the break. They now share the record with Florida State, who led Savannah State 54-3 at halftime on November 23, 2003.
The win gave Georgia Tech season highs in rebounds (59), assists (22) and forced turnovers (35).