March 3, 2012
Box Score | Photo Gallery | Press Conference
GREENSBORO, N.C. - The fourth-seeded Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets advanced to the ACC Women's Basketball Tournament finals for the first time in 20 years and the second time ever, defeating the ninth-seeded NC State Wolfpack, 87-61, Saturday afternoon in the Greensboro Coliseum.
The Yellow Jackets dominated from the beginning, shooting 69 percent from the field in the first half to lead 50-32 at intermission. They did not let up. The Jackets shot 53 percent for the game and out-rebounded the Wolfpack, 53-28, as they extended their winning streak to seven games.
"We hated to end our tournament run like this," said NC State head coach Kellie Harper. "But Georgia Tech played a fantastic game. When they're making shots they are a very, very good basketbal team.
Ranked 15th nationally, Georgia Tech got contributions from players up and down its roster. Sophomore Tyaunna Marshall scored a game-high 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting and pulled down nine rebounds. Senior Sasha Goodlett recorded her eighth double-double of the year with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Metra Walthour added 13 points and six assists. Eleven of the 13 Georgia Tech players who saw action made at least one field goal as the Yellow Jacket bench scored 32 points.
Sophomores Myisha Goodwin-Coleman (13 points) and Kody Burke (12 points) and junior Marissa Kastanek (10 points) led the Wolfpack, which shot just 31 percent from the field and dropped to 18-15 on the year.
"I'm proud of our kids," added Harper. "I thought we ran out of gas. I thought the energy level that we normally play with...we just couldn't get it."
NC State will now wait until a likely Postseason Women's NIT announcement will be made on the evening of Monday, March 12. The Wolfpack will look to continue the momentum it built over the last couple games in Greensboro.
"If we are consistent we've got a chance to win some games," said Harper. "I think these kids need to experience post season play. I think that's huge for our program. We have had some quality wins. We just had some losses that we wish we had an opportunity to get back."
"I think that post season play is a great opportunity to get the younger ones more experience," stated Kastanek. "It also allows our seniors to keep playing. I want them to go off with a win."
Georgia Tech (24-7) will face the winner of Saturday's second semifinal game between seventh-seeded Wake Forest and third-seeded Maryland Sunday at 2:00 p.m.
TOURNAMENT NOTES, SEMIFINAL 1
* Georgia Tech qualified for its second championship game of the ACC Women's Basketball Tournament. The Yellow Jackets made the 1992 title game as the No. 7 seed, losing 70-69 to No. 1 seed and top-ranked Virginia.
* The No. 4 seed has a record of 3-5 in ACC finals. After losing the first four times, the No. 4 seed has won three of the last four title games.
* Georgia Tech hit 24 of its first 34 shots (70.6 percent) and was threatening the tournament's single-game record for field-goal percentage. Wake Forest holds the mark, shooting 67.4 percent in 1999 against Maryland. The Yellow Jackets shot 53.3 percent overall against NC State.
* Georgia Tech's Tyaunna Marshall has been excellent so far in the tournament. She has 41 points in two tournament games, making 16 of 27 shots (59.3 percent).
* NC State's tournament record under coach Kellie Harper is 6-3. The Wolfpack advanced to the 2010 final as a No. 6 seed and this season became the first No. 9 seed to knock off a No. 1 seed when they beat Duke 75-73.
* NC State's all-time tournament record is 42-31. Georgia Tech's is 13-32.
* In the regular season, Georgia Tech swept the two meetings, though the games were close. The Yellow Jackets won 76-66 in Raleigh in January. On Feb 2 in Atlanta, the Yellow Jackets needed overtime before prevailing 75-68.