O'Neil Leads @GTWBB Past Sugar Bears, 88-50
Freshman Zaire O'Neil recorded her first double-double of her career
THE FLATS – The Georgia Tech women’s basketball team (6-4) rolled to an 88-50 victory against Central Arkansas (4-5) on Sunday evening at McCamish Pavilion.
The Yellow Jackets are now 4-1 in home games this season and have averaged 84.8 points per game while playing on the Flats. Dating back to the 2012-13 season, Georgia Tech has won 15 of its 18 home nonconference games.
“Anytime you have 10 days off, you worry about how you are going to come out and if you are going to come out flat,” head coach MaChelle Joseph said. “I knew we were hungry from that loss to Michigan State. We played four BCS level games in seven days and I feel like we learned a lot about ourselves. We got tougher in a lot of areas. We found out a lot more about ourselves. In that stretch of time, Zaire O’Neil became a go to player and a starter. “
Freshman Zaire O’Neil had a career day, recording her first double-double as a Yellow Jacket, leading the team with 24 points and 13 rebounds. O’Neil has scored in double figures in seven games this season and set new career highs in both points and rebounds, while shooting 80 percent (12-for-15) from the floor. O’Neil’s 24 points against the Sugar Bears marks the eighth time a Jacket has scored at least 20 points this season.
Sophomore Kaela Davis stretched her double-figure scoring streak to 22 games, dropping 16 points against the Sugar Bears. Davis sank four 3-pointers against Central Arkansas, marking the fourth time this season Davis has made at least three 3-pointers in one game.
Senior Sydney Wallace is now 27 points away from becoming the 27th Yellow Jacket to hit 1,000 career points after scoring 15 against Central Arkansas. She has 973 career points. Wallace had three steals and two assists against the Sugar Bears.
The Yellow Jackets only committed seven fouls and sent the Sugar Bears to the foul line just once the entire game. The seven fouls by the Jackets is tied for third for the least amount of fouls committed in a game in Georgia Tech history. Tech commanded the boards, outrebounding the Sugar Bears, 38-27, and outscored their opponent, 54-12, in the paint.
The Yellow Jackets didn’t let a 10 day break for final exams slow them down, for Tech came out fast, outscoring the Sugar Bears 19-2 in the opening minutes. Tech held Central Arkansas scoreless for 3:04 during a 15-0 run that featured three-straight 3-pointers from Davis, Wallace and freshman Antonia Peresson.
The Sugar Bears would climb within eight points of Tech’s 27-19 lead thanks to an 8-2 run. The Jackets would counter and outscore the Sugar Bears 12-5 over the final five minutes of the half to take a 39-24 advantage into halftime. O’Neil almost matched her previous season-high of 14 points in the first half alone, scoring 12 points and grabbing seven rebounds.
The Yellow Jackets began to pull away with the lead after scoring 12 unanswered points to extend the score to 57-27 with 13:33 on the clock in the second half. Davis hit two 3-pooint shots during the game-changing run. The Jackets would shoot 8-of-10 from the field between 13:33 and 8:25 to go ahead 34 points, 72-38.
Three freshmen – Peresson, De’Ashia Jones and O’Neil - would combine for seven-straight points for the Jackets at the end of the game to secure Tech’s 88-50 win.
The Yellow Jackets are back in action when they host Alabama State on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at McCamish Pavilion. For the latest information on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, follow us on Twitter (@GTWBB), Instagram (@GTWBB), and Facebook (GTWomensBasketball), or visit us at www.ramblinwreck.com. Purchase tickets to watch the Yellow Jackets at McCamish by calling 1-888-TECH-TIX or visiting RamblinWreck.com.
Senior Sydney Wallace is 27 points away from becoming the 27th Jacket too score 1,000 points … Wallace has made at least one 3-pointer in every game besides one … Tech is averaging 84.8 points per game at home this season … Sophomore Kaela Davis has scored in double-figures in 22-straight games … Dating back to the 2012-13 season, Tech has won 15 out of its 18 home non-conference games … Head coach MaChelle Joseph has a career record of 219-138, putting her just five wins away from becoming GT’s all-time winningest coach … This is the second-straight win against Central Arkansas for Tech … The Jackets lead the all-time series 2-0 … Freshman Zaire O’Neil recorded her first double-double of her career and her first 20 point game … She has scored in double figures in seven games this season.