Whiteside Leads @GTWBB to 66-55 Win vs. Samford
Senior Aaliyah Whiteside recorded her third-straight double-double in the victory
ATLANTA - Senior Aaliyah Whiteside recorded her third-straight double-double and her ninth 20 point game while leading the Georgia Tech women's basketball team (7-3) to a 66-55 victory against Samford (6-5) on Sunday afternoon at McCamish Pavilion.
"We knew we had to score in the paint against Samford," head coach MaChelle Joseph said. "We couldn't match them 3-pointer for 3-pointer. That is the kind of team they are. That was our game plan going in, to get post touches. I thought that we were effective with that."
How it Happened
The Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the opening minutes but the Bulldogs found their groove and tied up the game at 6-6. With 2:00 left in the first period, sophomore Zaire O'Neil entered in the game for her first action of the season after missing the first nine games recovering from a knee injury. O'Neil scored her first points of the season on the ensuing play and added two free throws to help Tech to a 13-10 lead at the first quarter break.
The Yellow Jackets held the Bulldogs scoreless for the first 3:22 of the second period while scoring nine unanswered points to extend their lead to 15 points, 25-10. Georgia Tech would head into halftime with a 31-24 lead.
Tech opened up the second half on a 14-0 run to take a 45-24 lead on the scoreboard. Whiteside scored six points during the run and the Yellow Jackets held the Bulldogs to without a field goal until the 5:07 mark in the third period.
The Bulldogs would cut their deficit to nine points with 3:22 left in the final frame, 62-53, but Whiteside went four-for-four from the foul line to secure the 66-55 win.
Third-Straight Double-Double for Whiteside
Senior Aaliyah Whiteside recorded her third-straight double-double, scoring 23 points and grabbing 10 rebounds against the Bulldogs. Whiteside has three double-doubles this season and eight in her career. This was the eighth time this season Whiteside has led the Yellow Jackets in scoring and the sixth time she has led the Yellow Jackets in rebounding. This is the fifth time this season Whiteside has led the Yellow Jackets in scoring and rebounding in the same game.
Welcome Back Zaire
Sophomore Zaire O'Neil made her first appearance this season against Samford after recovering from a knee injury that happened at the end of last season. O'Neil entered into the game with 2:00 minutes left in the first period, scoring four points to help the Yellow Jackets to a 13-10 advantage. She finished the game with six points, one assist and one steal. Today was also O'Neil's 20th birthday.
Senior Aaliyah Whiteside has scored at least 21 points in nine out of 10 games this season. Her nine 20 point games are the most by any player in the ACC. She is averaging a team-high 21.1 points per game. Whiteside has scored at least 20 points in 16 games in her career. She has scored at least 10 points in 17 straight games, dating back to last season.
The Yellow Jackets only missed one free throw shot in the contest, shooting an impressing 93.3 percent (14-for-15) from the charity stripe. Senior Aaliyah Whiteside went 9-for-9 from the free throw line while sophomore Zaire O'Neil went 2-for-2. Freshman Ciani Cryor shot 3-for-4 from the line.
- Georgia Tech now leads the all-time series against Samford 3-0.
- With the win, the Yellow Jackets are still undefeated at home at 6-0 and are averaging 84.7 points per game when playing at home.
- Senior Aaliyah Whiteside ranks 21st on Georgia Tech's all-time scoring list with 1,147 career points after scoring 23 points against the Bulldogs. She is 11 points from tying Milli Martinez (1,158) for 20th. Earlier this season, Whiteside became the 29th Yellow Jacket to score 1,000 career points and she was honored prior to today's game for her achievement.
- Whiteside took sole possession of fifth place on the all-time free throws made list with nine made free throws against Samford. Whiteside has 354 career made free throws and she needs five more made free throws to tie Kisha Ford's 359 for fourth.
- Senior Roddreka Rogers ranks ninth on Georgia Tech's all-time rebounding list after adding one rebound to her total after today's game against Samford. Rogers, who now has 774 career rebounds, is 27 rebounds away from tying Regina Tate (1988-2002) and LeeAnn Woodhull (1980-83) for seventh with 801.
- Whiteside has scored in double-figures in 17-straight games dating back to last season.
- Three Yellow Jackets scored in double-digits - Aaliyah Whiteside (23), Roddreka Rogers (10) and Katarina Vuckovic (10).
The Yellow Jackets continue their four game homestand, hosting Prairie View A&M on Tuesday, Dec. 15 at 6 p.m. in the first game of a doubleheader with the men's team.