COLLEGE WOMEN'S HOOPS ROUNDUP: Georgia Tech spoils Americus native, Arizona coach Niya Butts' homecoming

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ATLANTA -- Playing a team from the Pac-10 seems to bring out the best in No. 25 Georgia Tech.

Or maybe it's the worst in Arizona and coach Niya Butts, the Americus native whose team was walloped Sunday night, 70-48, in Butts' Peach State homecoming.

Brigitte Ardossi had 18 points and Alex Montgomery scored 17 off the bench to lead the Yellow Jackets.

"We could never get anything going offensively," said Arizona coach Niya Butts, who had more than 100 family members and friends in attendance.

It was Georgia Tech's second victory over a Pac-10 team in five days. The Yellow Jackets defeated Oregon 87-69 on Wednesday.

"Teams better not come here to the South and expect a win," said Montgomery, a junior from Tacoma, Wash. "Since I'm from the West Coast, it was extra motivation for me. I came to Georgia Tech for a reason."

Montgomery, who is still rounding into shape after knee surgery, had 13 of her points in the first half, going 3-for-3 on 3-pointers and 4-for-4 from the foul line. She also had a team-best eight rebounds.

Georgia Tech (9-2) shot 52.8 percent (28-for-53), including 5-for-11 from behind the arc.

Ardossi, a senior from Australia, was 8 of 10 from the floor after making all nine of her shots against Oregon.

"I'm just trying to be consistent," Ardossi said. "This is the most talented team I've played on. We are capable of beating any team we play."

Soana Lucet, who had 10 of Arizona's first 12 points, finished with 19 to lead the Wildcats (5-3) and Ify Ibekwe had 11 rebounds. Arizona was just 2 of 21 on 3-pointers and shot 35 percent overall (21-for-60).

Arizona scored the first six points and led 17-10. But Montgomery's 3-pointer put Georgia Tech ahead for good at 24-22 and a 21-5 run put the Yellow Jackets up 41-27 at halftime.

"We went to a half-court trap and a zone," Georgia Tech coach MaChelle Joseph said. "They struggled when we made that adjustment."

Georgia Tech concludes a stretch of five games in 10 days at Georgia State on Tuesday. Georgia State is 9-1, with the only loss to No. 10 Florida State.

The ACC opener for the Yellow Jackets is Jan. 6 at preseason favorite North Carolina, ranked No. 9.

"We're one of the few teams that has played every power conference," Joseph said. "Playing these top teams has really prepared us for what's around the corner, the ACC. We feel like we've seen a little bit of everything."



ATHENS -- Georgia forward Porsha Phillips was a one-woman show for about three and a half minutes Sunday.

"Blew it up," Bulldogs coach Andy Landers said. "Blew it up."

Phillips scored 12 points, including her second 3-pointer of the season, stole the ball twice and grabbed two rebounds during a 15-3 run by No. 11 Georgia that opened up a 51-25 lead on No. 19 Virginia.

In the rest of Georgia's 69-53 win, Phillips had two free throws, two rebounds and one steal.

"You never know what she is going to pick up," said teammate Angel Robinson, who had 11 points and 10 rebounds. "She is very unpredictable. Next thing you know she has two or three steals back-to-back and is laying the ball up and going hard for the offensive rebound. I guess she was making up for the first half. She is not going to let us down."

Georgia (10-0) ended the first half with a 21-5 run that built a 36-22 lead.

"We thought we had in a sense dug the grave at halftime," Landers said. "They were down and not showing a whole lot of life, and to come out and do that. I rarely do this, but at that point I was thinking we probably have this game won, and I am sure they were thinking that as well."

Jasmine James scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Georgia. Monica Wright scored 21 for Virginia (7-3) to give her 2,011 points, joining Dawn Staley (2,135) and Heather Burge (2,058) as the only Cavaliers with 2,000 or more points in a career.

Wright was watching from the sidelines with three fouls at the end of the half, but she was on the floor when the second half started.

"When Monica went out with the third foul, that really hurt us," Virginia coach Debbie Ryan said. "We have to have better leadership when she is not on the floor."

"We can't afford to make little mistakes and give them the O-boards that they got," said Wright. "That was our fault in not being able to get stops when we need to get down and play defense and get easy buckets."

Virginia bolted to a 9-2 lead in the first three minutes, but Georgia went on 13-2 run to retake the lead.

"We knew what we wanted to do defensively," Landers said, "and after the first five minutes we knew why because we did not do it very well. At that point it crystallized in our kids' minds, and from that point on we kind of shut them out. It was an awfully good defensive effort."