The women’s basketball team has started off the season at 15-2, losing only to top-25 teams Georgia and UNC, both on the road. They had a 6-1 record during the break and have started off the year at 2-1 in conference play.
The team was very succesful during the winter weeks, with the majority of their games at home. They won each of their games by double digits, including a 79-42 victory over Jackson State on Jan. 5. The game saw the offense and defense coming together and the freshmen taking an active and substantial role.
Alex Montgomery played particularly well, totaling 10 points, six rebounds and four assists.
“I want [the freshmen] to continue to do what they have been doing. [Alex] has come to her own and looks so comfortable there on the floor,” said Janie Mitchell, senior forward.
The Jackets held the Tigers to nearly 25 percent shooting from the field and forced 29 turnovers while cruising towards the victory. The team effort highlighted the depth of the team.
“We’re deeper than we’ve ever been. Everyone is talented and when coach calls on them, they’re ready to step up and play,” Mitchell said.
While the Jackets were able to play well during their home stead, they lost their second game of the year in a blowout against ACC rivals UNC, 99-78. The conference opener for both saw the Tar Heels dominate the Jackets in nearly every aspect of the game. Still, junior guard Jaqua Williams was able to steal an ACC conference record 11 steals.
“[Steals are] what get me going. Playing defense, helping my team play defense … Every time I get a steal, it’s amazing. I get a burst of energy,” Williams said.
Despite the emphasis on defense as the key to win the game, both teams scored at will during parts of the high-scoring affair. The Jackets were able to shut down the star-studded UNC offense during stretches, but were unable to play at the consistent level throughout the game.
“With teams like [UNC] we can’t play in spurts. We have to play 40 minutes of basketball,” Mitchell said.
Still, the Jackets were able to follow up their loss in the ACC opener with two straight wins over fellow ACC foes. The first was a win against Wake Forest at the Coliseum, 57-47.
In a game against Wake Forest, the team held the Demon Deacons to under 40 percent shooting. They did not make a single three-pointer, going 0-15. Tech also closed out the game on an 11-0 run and shut out Wake Forest’s offense in the last six minutes.Despite this success, the Jackets committed several mistakes, turning the ball over 18 times. They shot only 36 percent from the field and shot under 30 percent with their three pointers.
With the win, Tech ran its home court winning streak to 17 games, one of the best streaks in the nation.
While the Jackets were able to win by a fairly large margin in their game against Wake Forest, they had to have a last second buzzer to down the Miami Hurricanes, eventually winning 68-65. The team was down nine points with about four minutes to go before they mounted their comeback.
The team outscored the Hurricanes 16-4 in the final 3:41 of the game. Alex Montgomery shot the game-winning three with one second left.
“What a great win for our program…. To come from ten down and have a freshman hit a three-pointer to win the game was a great ending for our team. We have learned how to win,” Head Coach MaChelle Joseph told ramblinwreck.com.
The team had four players in double figures. Mitchell had 13 points and seven rebounds, Chioma Nnamaka led the way with 15 points and five rebounds and Jill Ingram had ten points and five assists. The hero at the end of the game, Montgomery, finished with 11 points, four rebounds and three blocks. Additional reporting by WREK.