State moved to 18-3 (5-2 conference) with a 80-73 win over Georgia Tech at Atlanta. With Gatling picking up her second silly foul with 16:15 left in the first half, one had to wonder if State would fall apart like they did at Chapel Hill in a similar situation. At the time of Gatling's second foul in today's game, State was up 10-2. However, thanks to hot three point shooting by Myisha Goodwin-Coleman and Kody Burke, and a steal break-away layup by red-shirt senior Lakeesa Daniel, State extended the lead to 30-16 at the 9:37 mark. GaTech closed within 1 near the end of the half, but a three point shot by Krystal Barrett enabled State to keep the lead 42-39 going into half-time.
In the past, Tech's relentless defense turned State over and lead to many break-away layups. However, while State had 16 turnovers in today's game, State kept turnovers which lead to easy baskets to a minimum. Part of it is good coaching and part of it is the fact that State starts a red-shirt junior, a junior and a senior at the guards. Not only do these guards have experience, they have enough speed to dribble by Tech's press sometimes setting up open three point shots. In the first half, State was 8-14 from the arc. (State shot 26 of 52 from the floor for the game.)
GATLING RETURNS AND STATS
Once Gatling returned, despite the fact that GaTech rotates two six-five centers of equal bulk and size to Gatling, Taylor and Bivens, Tech had no answer for Gatling. Gatling scored 14 points on 7 of 10 shooting in twenty-four minutes while picking up 8 rebounds.
'Nique Brown scored 17 points while going 10-15 from the foul line. Goodwin-Coleman scored 16 points going 4-10 from the arc (4-6 in the first half). Burke scored 16 points going 6 for 12 from the field.
State had 22 assist in the game and for the year averages 19 assist per game. State, for the year, has an assist on a basket 68% of the time.
Again a big heart to Krystal Barrett for two big three pointers, one at the end of the first half helping State remain in the lead, and one with 4:18 left to push the lead to 10 points. If one questions State, one would start with State's guards. However, their play has been solid this year and was outstanding today. State's RPI at WarrenNolan.com is currently 17. Another point of interest is Coach Moore basically using a seven player rotation since conference play has started. This is in contrast to Coach Harper playing 9-11 players almost every game. Will it wear the team out?
The next big game is Thursday night at Raleigh against Maryland and Alyssa Thomas. Here is hoping State can keep Thomas from getting the rebound at the defensive end and drving the length of the court for easy baskets over and over as she has done against State recently.