by Mike Potter
GREENSBORO COLISEUM It’s Day One of the ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament, and despite the early hour there are 9,570 screaming fans in the house as No. 5 seed Georgia Tech prepares to face No. 12 Virginia Tech.
The Yellow Jackets, who are long accustomed to this 11 a.m. stuff from past tournaments, will be heavily favored after walloping the Hokies 78-57 in Blacksburg on Jan. 27.
The Hokies’ season is done following their next loss — unless they come up with a million-to-one miracle and win the tournament — while Georgia Tech is certainly NCAA-bound.
And it may be the final game for Hokie coach Beth Dunkenberger, whose contract is expiring.
This one goes according to form, and doesn’t take much time to do so before the Yellow Jackets roll 81-58.
It’s 40-14 at halftime. Perhaps the Yellow Jackets are morning people.
For Georgia Tech, bring on Maryland.
Alex Montgomery and Tyaunna Marshall lead the Jackets with 14 points apiece, while Metra Walthour and Mo Bennett chip in 10 each.
Nikki Davis leads the Hokies with 15 points, followed by Shanel Harrison and Elizabeth Basham with 10 each.
Virginia Tech wins the rebound battle 39-38, but the Jackets shoot better 43.1 percent to 39.3. The Hokies commit 33 turnovers to the Jackets’ 18.
They said it …
Georgia Tech coach MaChelle Joseph: “I didn’t know there was another time you could play in the ACC other than 11 o’clock. We’ve been at 11 o’clock five years in a row. I told Alex and Deja (Foster) this isn’t our first rodeo. We’ve been here and done that. This year we’re No. 5 and we’re still playing at 11. With us, it’s great practice early in the morning. At home on weekends, we practice early. For us it wasn’t about when or where, it was just that we wanted this opportunity. I really felt like we were going to be focused and ready to go.”
Virginia Tech coach Beth Dunkenberger: “We’ve had good games breaking the press. Our previous game against Georgia Tech we had 14 turnovers for the game, and then we had today. Obviously we struggled with their full-court pressure. I thought Georgia Tech played extremely well. Give them a lot of credit. But I also credit their kids with perseverance when things were down, battling back in the second half, not giving up, continuing to fight and trying to end with some dignity.”
Montgomery: “I’m very excited (about playing Maryland). We let that one slip away, and this is payback time. We’ve got to make a statement. We’ve got to play our roles and come out and get the win.”
Stars of the game
Play of the game
Montgomery’s 3-pointer to make it 11-1 with 15:25 left in the half.
Ga. Tech leads 5-4.
GT: Won 1.
VT: Lost 5.
Ga. Tech vs. Maryland, Friday, 11 a.m.
Va. Tech in 2011-12 season opener.