Thursday, February 19, 2009
When: 7 p.m.
Where: Alexander Memorial Coliseum, Atlanta
Records: No. 9 Terrapins 21-4, 8-2 ACC; Yellow Jackets 18-7, 5-5.
DYNAMIC DUO: Maryland senior Marissa Coleman was named the ACC player of the week for the second time in a four-week span after averaging 24.3 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 3.3 steals and 1.3 blocks in wins over Boston College, No. 23 Virginia and Rutgers -- three potential NCAA tournament teams. She and fellow senior Kristi Toliver have been dominating games lately; they combined to score more than half of the Terrapins' points last week (135 of 246 points).
FLEXING MUSCLES: The Yellow Jackets have given Maryland problems in the past with their physical style; the Terrapins' last trip to Atlanta resulted in a 77-72 upset loss in February 2007. Georgia Tech claimed another victim this season, beating then-No. 2 North Carolina on Jan. 22; it held the high-scoring Tar Heels to just 62 points on 38.5 percent shooting. Georgia Tech leads the ACC in scoring defense (53.9 points per game).
PEDAL DOWN: The Terrapins like to play at a fast pace and are prone to turning over the ball, but in their past four games, they've been able to both push the ball and keep possession. They're averaging 10.8 turnovers in that span, after averaging 17.9 through their first 21 games. Georgia Tech leads Division I in steals (14 per game); senior guard Jacqua Williams averages 3.6 steals. The Yellow Jackets have forced more turnovers (25.6 per game) than any other ACC team.
JOCKEYING FOR POSITION: Maryland is still in the mix for the top seed in the ACC tournament, but it needs some help. No. 11 Florida State is in first place with a 9-1 conference record, and its remaining games are against Clemson (2-9), Miami (2-8), Virginia (5-5) and Wake Forest (5-6). The Terrapins, who are tied for second with No. 7 Duke, are the only ACC team to have beaten the Seminoles thus far.
-- Camille Powell