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Georgetown, Georgia Tech women set for battle
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — With those pesky double-digit seeds out of the way, Georgetown and Georgia Tech look ready to compete Tuesday in the second round of the NCAA women’s tournament.
The No. 5 seed Hoyas (23-8) and the No. 4 seed Yellow Jackets (25-8) will tip off at 7:15 p.m. at Carmichael Arena for a chance to go to the Sweet 16 round in Des Moines, Iowa.
Terri Williams-Flournoy’s Hoyas, who dispatched No. 12 seed Fresno State 61-56 on Sunday in the first round, are looking for their second straight trip to a regional and third in school history.
And that’s a place where MaChelle Joseph’s Yellow Jackets — who are having their best season — have never been. Tech crushed No. 13 seed Sacred Heart 76-50 Sunday’s second first-round game on ACC rival North Carolina’s home court.
“We don’t really look at favorites,” Williams-Flournoy said. “As you know, last year President Obama picked us to lose to Princeton in the first round, so we don’t really look at that.”
Both programs are generally as high as they’ve ever been, as Georgetown had just three 20-win seasons in school history before the current run of four. Georgia Tech also had only three 20-win seasons before the current streak of six.
“It’s very interesting because we’re virtually the same teams [as last season],” said Joseph, whose team made it to the final of the ACC tournament and is the lowest-seeded of the conference’s four teams in the NCAA field. “We did look at the film last night of our game with them in the Virgin Islands. It was early in the year, and we hadn’t faced a lot of 1-2-2 half-court trap at that point. This year we’ve seen a lot of it.
“They remind me a lot of North Carolina. … The only difference is Carolina doesn’t have a Sugar Rodgers.”
It’s going to be a battle of veteran teams, as the Hoyas have seven seniors and the Yellow Jackets six.
While 5-foot-11 junior Rodgers (18.7) is the Hoyas’ go-to player, Georgia Tech’s offensive strength is in the inside-outside combination of space-occupying 6-5 center Sasha Goodlett (14.7, 7.6 rebounds) and 5-9 shooting guard Tyaunna Marshall (14.9, 6.2).
Rodgers scored 11 points in the Hoyas’ win over the Bulldogs on Sunday, and Marshall had a season-low two for the Jackets as freshman guard Sydney Wallace was pouring in 28.
When the Hoyas played the Jackets last season, Rodgers finished with 11 points and Marshall 17.
“Ty Marshall is tough to handle,” Williams-Flournoy said. “She’s very athletic, she can shoot the outside shot, and she can penetrate to the basket. … Just as MaChelle is hoping Ty doesn’t play like she did yesterday, we’re hoping Sugar doesn’t play like she did yesterday.”
Rodgers said Georgia Tech reminds her of, well, Georgetown.
“The first thing that comes to mind about Georgia Tech is that they like to play defense,” she said. “When two defensive teams play against each other it’s usually going to be a low-scoring game. We’re OK if the score is in the 40s. I’m just going to go out and play hard and my team is going to go out and play hard. It’s not Sugar, it’s Georgetown.”
Senior guard Rubylee Wright said the Hoyas just need to be themselves Tuesday.
“We’ve done it before and it’s nothing that’s out of reach,” Wright said. “We just need to go out there and do what we do. We always get the ‘W’ when we play like we play.”
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