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Lady Jackets rout Miami

POSTED: March 17, 2008 5:00 a.m.
The Associated Press/

Georgia Tech's Alex Montgomery, left, is confronted by Miami's Diane Barnes, right, during the women's ACC Tournament on Thursday at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C.

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — All season long, senior forward Janie Mitchell has been one of Georgia Tech’s “go-to” players.

Mitchell came through again Thursday, scoring 17 points — including a momentum-changing basket early in the second half — as the Yellow Jackets routed Miami 76-49 in the opening round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.

Jacqua Williams and Alex Montgomery had 15 points each and Iasia Hemingway added 12 for fifth-seeded Georgia Tech (22-8), which advanced to play No. 4 seed Virginia in a quarterfinal game tonight at the Greensboro Coliseum.

“We’re not in the Top 25, so we’re playing for seeding right now,” said Yellow Jackets coach MaChelle Joseph, whose team split a pair of close games with the Hurricanes this season.

“We probably played harder today than we did in the other two games,” she said. “We gained a respect for Miami’s players’ quickness and team speed. We really thought we needed to stay under the basket and not give them any open shots.”

Maurita Reid scored 12 points and Epiphany Woodson had 11 for the 12th-seeded Hurricanes (9-21), who shot 31 percent from the field — including just 3-of-22 3-pointers.

They were outrebounded 45-34 in losing to Georgia Tech in the tournament’s first round for the third straight year.

“That was a disappointing performance by us,” Miami coach Katie Meier said. “We knew it would be a tough battle ... but it came down to just putting the ball in the basket. We generated a lot of opportunities, but we really needed to knock them down.”

Despite their shooting woes, the Hurricanes had their chances to make a game of it against the Yellow Jackets.

Its biggest came in the opening minutes of the second half, when Miami got baskets from LaToya Cunningham and Woodson to cut a 13-point Georgia Tech lead down to 39-30 with 18:24 left.

But Mitchell was fouled as she banked in a layup 25 seconds later, with the ensuing three-point play igniting a 21-4 run over the next nine minutes that put the Yellow Jackets solidly in command.

“When you see things like that happen, you have to think ‘Hey, we need a shot,”’ Mitchell said. “It just so happened that I was the one to take the shot, and it was a big momentum-builder for us.”

“That was a backbreaker,” Meier said. “We had our chances to cut it down to seven (points), and we were feeling really good about ourselves. But that was a huge possession there.”

The Hurricanes also pushed Georgia Tech in the opening minutes of the first half, tying the score twice and trailing just 11-9 on Lamese James’ 3-pointer with 11:16 left.

But the Yellow Jackets responded with an 11-2 run to post its first double-digit lead, going ahead 22-11 on Williams’ three-point play with 8:09 remaining.

Georgia Tech went up by as many as 17 points in the closing minutes of the half, leading 32-15 on Montgomery’s layup with 4:23 left, before going ahead 39-26 at the break.



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