Women’s basketball wins 13th straight contest

Photo by John Nakano / Student Publications
On Jan. 13, the Tech women’s basketball team hosted Virginia for the team’s third ACC game of the season. Tech beat the Cavaliers, 68-48, and closed out the week by defeating Wake Forest on the road, 54-46. The win over the Demon Deacons improved the Jackets to 4-0 in conference play, and capped their 13th win in a row.
Against the Cavaliers, senior guard Alex Montgomery made a two-point jump shot in the game’s first eight seconds to give the Jackets an early lead. The teams traded baskets for the next couple of minutes, but then the Jackets went on a 15-2 run to jump out to a 19-6 lead.
Montgomery finished the game with 14 points and was one rebound shy of her 10th career double-double.
The highlight of the first half came when freshman forward Tyaunna Marshall’s shot got blocked near the rim. However, Marshall made a great play to grab the deflected ball and pass it to junior guard Metra Walthour who promptly nailed a three. It was the only three-pointer of the entire game, as both teams combined to shoot one-of-13 from three-point range.
Marshall and Walthour led the Jackets in the assist category with five and nine, respectively. Both numbers where career highs.
Virginia made the first basket of the second half, but Tech went on a 12-0 run to give the team a 23-point lead at 44-21.
Virginia would end up cutting Tech’s lead to 18, but a late jumper from senior guard Deja Foster preserved a 20 point win for the Jackets.
The Jackets dominated on the boards as three players had nine rebounds, and a perfect 11-11 from the free throw line ensured the victory. It was the first time in program history that the team made every single one of their free throws in a game (minimum of 10 attempts).
“We had four players in double figures. For us to come off a game where we were nine-of-18 from the free throw line and turn around to be 11-of-11 is a big improvement,” said Head Coach Michelle Joseph.
One of those four players in double-figures was junior center Sasha Goodlett who scored over 10 points for the ninth time this season.
“We’ve been talking about getting post touches and getting [Goodlett] the ball more. I felt like in the wins over North Carolina and Clemson she was key, the difference maker. We’re used to [other players] carrying us, but in ACC play we know we have to have an inside game,” Joseph said.
The win moved the 2010-2011 senior class into second all-time in school history with 82 wins. They trail only last year’s seniors who had 88 total wins.
In Tech’s next game, the Jackets had the three-point shot working early as Montgomery and Walthour hit outside shots to give the Jackets an early 6-0 lead. Tech scored the next four baskets to jump out to a 14-0 lead before Wake finally made a three-pointer at the 15:11 mark.
Wake went on a thirteen-point run to cut Tech’s early lead to one. Jacket turnovers and fouls allowed the Deacons to get back into the game.
“I thought they made us play defense for 28-30 seconds on every single possession. That wore us down on the offensive end, and they kept us from running,” Joseph said.
Another 14-0 run by the Jackets gave the team a comfortable lead at 27-13, but Tech would not score for the remaining five minutes of the half, and the team into the locker room with only a three-point lead.
Tech would not score again until the 14:27 mark in the second half, and in the meantime, Wake took the lead at 33-28.
“The key to the game was our defense and rebounding, because if you don’t score for that long, 10-plus minutes, you should lose by 20 on the road. We were getting defensive stops and we were able to get the defensive rebound to keep us in the game,” Joseph said.
The teams traded baskets, and Tech was able to keep the game within reach until Marshall made a layup to put the Jackets up one with just over eight minutes to play.
Marshall finished the game with 17 points, 15 of which came in the second half.
The game was tied at 41 with four minutes left until Walthour hit a three to give the Jackets the lead for good.
“I was pleased with the way Marshall stepped up in the second half and put us on her back on the offensive end and made some key plays. Walthour hitting that three sort of separated us at the end in the last couple of minutes,” Joseph said.
The Jackets won the game thanks to their perimeter defense which held the Deacons to four-of-17 shooting from beyond the arc.
The game was historic for Montgomery, who moved into ninth place in Tech history with 707 rebounds and ninth place in scoring with 1368 points.
The Jackets hit the road for their next game on Jan. 21 when they play a regionally televised game against the No. 3 Duke Blue Devils.


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