November 30, 2008

Defense gives Tech chance at upset, but Georgia Tech prevails, 68-56

BOCA RATON, Fla. - Forty minutes of relentless pressure defense gave Tennessee Tech a chance for an upset Sunday, but Georgia Tech had a few too many weapons and escaped with a 68-56 victory over the Golden Eagles in the consolation game of the Florida Atlantic Thanksgiving Classic.

Tech forced 32 turnovers by Georgia Tech (5-2), and just kept fighting back against the bigger team from the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Golden Eagles, however, couldn't overcome 35 turnovers and a second consecutive day of cold shooting.

Senior point guard Allison Price led Tech in scoring, tying her career-high with 15 points. Classmate Meagan Lyons added 12 points and a team-best seven rebounds, while Vivian Nwosu also reached double digits with 11 points. Freshman Tacarra Hayes scored eight points.

Georgia Tech also had three players in double figures, topped by Brigette Ardossi with 18 points on 7-for-9 shooting. Jacqua Williams added 16 points and Alex Montgomery scored 10, including a crucial 3-pointer with 3:01 remaining after Tech had pulled to within four points.

The Yellow Jackets scooted to a quick 4-0 lead and held their advantage all the way to the finish. They increased their lead to as many as 12 points in the first half, leading 17-5 at the 12:24 mark.

Tech sliced the difference down to four points when Lyons' layup capped a 6-1 run to make it 21-17 with 5:47 to play, but GT scored eight straight to regain the 12-point bulge.

Back-to-back baskets by Lyons made it a six-point game, 29-23, at halftime.

Twice in the second half Price knocked down 3-pointers that brought the Golden Eagles to within a single point, once at 31-30 and the second time at 42-41 with 10:13 remaining.

The Yellow Jackets scored the next nine points to make it a 10-point game, and once again the Golden Eagles hammered away to close the gap. A 3-pointer by Nwosu and a layup by Hayes made it 52-48 with 3:01 left to play.

That's when Montgomery hit the 3-pointer to make it 55-48, and she added a steal and layup eight seconds later to make it 57-48.

Tennessee Tech was forced to foul down the stretch and the Yellow Jackets finished with six straight free throws for the final 12-point margin.

Tech shot 30 percent in the first half and improved to 46 percent in the second period, finishing the game with a 39.2 percent mark. The Golden Eagles owned a 35-29 advantage in rebounds.

Tech faces its second consecutive game against a foe from the Peach State, visiting the University of Georgia Wednesday night. After that, Amy Brown's squad opens Ohio Valley Conference play on Saturday by hosting Jacksonville State at 5:30 p.m. in Eblen Center.