@GTWBB Takes Down North Carolina, 80-73
Senior Aaliyah Whiteside scored a team-best 27 points in the victory
THE FLATS – Four Yellow Jackets scored in double figures as the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team (11-7, 1-4) picked up its first ACC victory of the season with a 80-73 win against --/RV North Carolina (12-7, 2-2) on Thursday night at McCamish Pavilion.
“I thought Ziare O’Neil came in with her confidence,” head coach MaChelle Joseph said. “She had that look tonight and I know when she has that look, I know we have to get her the ball. The players did a great job of getting her the ball and she did a great job making plays. I thought [Irene] Gari was huge. I thought her hustle points and her sticking that three when we were down four was huge. That’s what you count on from your seniors.”
How it Happened
The Yellow Jackets were off to a quick start jumping out ahead of the Tar Heels, 9-2 in the beginning of the game. The Tar Heels cut their deficit to two points, 12-10, at the halfway mark of the first period but the Yellow Jackets finished the first frame outscoring UNC, 12-5, to head into the first break up, 24-15.
The Yellow Jackets would take a 38-35 lead into halftime. Georgia Tech remained ahead of the Tar Heels until North Carolina outscored Tech, 5-2, in the final minute of the third period to take its first lead of the game, 57-56.
In the fourth period, the Tar Heels would pull away by five points, 61-56, but the Jackets didn’t let them lead for long, fighting back to score seven unanswered points to go ahead, 63-61 with 5:17 left. The Tar Heels regained the lead, this time by four, 67-63, but the Yellow Jackets came roaring back, outscoring North Carolina, 9-2, in 1:35. Sophomore Zaire O’Neil and graduate student Irene Gari were key factors for Tech in the momentum-shifting run. O’Neil scored four points and Gari sank a 3-pointer that put the Jackets within one point of the Tar Heels. Senior Aaliyah Whiteside’s layup at the end of the run forced a Tar Heel time out and Tech held a 72-69 lead with 2:44 on the clock.
The Yellow Jackets stayed tough on defense and held off the Tar Heels for the final 2:44 of the game to record their first ACC win, 80-73, against North Carolina.
Double Figure Scoring Streak
Senior Aaliyah Whiteside has scored in double figures in 24 out of the past 25 games, dating back to last season. This season, she has hit the double digit mark before half time in 11 out of 18 games including tonight against North Carolina. She scored 15 of her 27 points in the first half, helping Tech to a 38-35 lead at halftime.
It was Whiteside’s 13th game this season scoring at least 21 points and her 20th time in her career. Her 13 20+ point games are a league-high and she leads the ACC in scoring with her 20.9 points per game average.
Inside the Box Score
The Yellow Jackets dominated inside the paint against North Carolina, outrebounding the Tar Heels, 41-35. Senior Roddreka Rogers led the Jackets in rebounding for the seventh time this season, pulling down nine boards and scoring 11 points. Rogers was one of four Jackets to score in double-figures, joining Whiteside (27), O’Neil (14) and Gari (11). Georgia Tech outscored the Tar Heels 40-18 inside the paint and shot 42.2 percent from the floor.
- This was the 74th all-time meeting between Georgia Tech and North Carolina and Georgia Tech’s second-straight win at home against UNC. North Carolina leads the series 55-19.
- Whiteside scored at least 21 points for the 13th time this season and 20th time in her career. She leads the ACC in scoring with her 20.9 points per game scoring average.
- Whiteside has now scored in double-figures in 24 out of the past 25 games, dating back to last season.
- With her 27 points against North Carolina, Whiteside moved up one spot on Georgia Tech’s all-time scoring list with 1,313 career points to 14th. She is three points from surpassing Stephanie Higg’s 1,315 career points for 13th.
- Whiteside is now 23 made free throws away from become Tech’s all-time leader in made free throws. She has made 408 in her career and the school record is held by Joyce Pierce (430).
- With her nine rebounds against North Carolina, senior Roddreka Rogers has tied Alex Montgomery for fifth on Tech’s all-time rebounding list with 837 career rebounds. She needs 13 more rebounds to tie Tyaunna Marshall for fourth.
- Freshman Ciani Cryor led the Yellow Jackets with five assists against UNC. Cryor has led the Jackets in assists a team-best seven times and it was her third game this season with at least five helpers.
The Yellow Jackets continue play at home, hosting Virginia on Sunday at 2 p.m. on ESPN3.