Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams were able to win their annual games against state-rival Georgia this year. In the Dec. 5 game, the women’s team flew past the dogs 57-42, while last Tuesday’s men’s game was a come from behind victory for the Jackets 67-62.
“[This win] was big for a lot of reasons, being a rivalry and protecting our home court. We have lost some games here that have been crushing in terms of how we lost them,” said men’s head basketball coach Paul Hewitt.
Junior forward Zach Peacock and sophomore forward Gani Lawal each posted a double-double for the game leading the Jackets in points, 18 and 15 respectively, and in rebounds, 13 and 14.
The Jackets struggled in the first half. After Tech took the initial basket, the Bulldogs bounced back going on a 9-0 run to take the lead by seven. Tech was not able to retake the lead in the first half, and trailed by as much as 13 points a two points during the half. Going into the locker room, the Jackets trailed by ten.
“I though Georgia played very well in the first half. I though we had a lot of opportunities we just didn’t cash-in on… I didn’t think the energy at the end of the half was where it needed to be,” Hewitt said.
Neither team shot over 40 percent from the field in the first half, and both were only 50 percent from the line. The Jackets were 0-6 from behind the arc. The Jackets picked away at the Georgia lead in the second half, bring the game to within five with just under 12 minutes to play in the game. Tech retook the lead for the first time since the opening minutes with a jumper by Peacock with 5:44 left on the clock. The last five minutes of the game saw four ties and two lead changes for the Jackets victory.
“We just got to create an identity for ourselves. We cannot just go into a game and say, ‘These guys can’t do this, so let’s go that.’ We have got to have an identity as a team that we are going hustle, scrap and get loose balls,” Hewitt said.
The women’s team defeated the Bulldogs before the semester break at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. With the win the Jackets beat the Bulldogs for the first since the 2004-05 season.
Sophomore guard Iasia Hemingway led the Jackets with 18 points. Junior forward Brigitte Ardossi and sophomore forward Alex Montgomery each hit double digit points, with 15 and 11 respectively. Ardossi was also able to pull in the double-double by leading her team with ten rebounds.
Georgia’s foul trouble allowed Tech to shoot 27 shots from behind the line, which contributed 19 points for the Jackets. Strong defense by the Jackets also held the dogs to under 30 percent from the field in the second half. The Jackets were able to maintain momentum shooting over 35 percent in both halves.
With the win MaChelle Joseph picked up her second victory over the Georgia since becoming head coach.