Wizards

Georgia Tech's 2nd half surge beats Fordham 73-48

Georgia Tech's 2nd half surge beats Fordham 73-48

ATLANTA (AP) Daniel Miller and Robert Carter Jr. each scored 14 points and Georgia Tech scored 17 straight points in the second half en route to a 73-48 victory over Fordham on Saturday night.

The victory was the fifth straight for the Yellow Jackets (9-2) and improved their record at new McCamish Pavilion to 7-0.

Miller, just missing a double-double, had nine rebounds and Mfon Udofia added seven assists.

Georgia Tech shot 55.5 percent in the second half (16 of 29) and 50 percent for the game (29 of 58) despite a slow start.

Branden Frazier scored 17 points and Chris Gaston had 16 for Fordham (3-10), which shot 28.1 percent (16 of 57) and was 4 for 19 from beyond the 3-point arc.

Gaston scored Fordham's first eight points of the second half, but Georgia Tech went on a 21-2 run to turn a 41-35 lead into a 62-37 advantage with 8:15 left.

The last 17 points came in a row, with seven players scoring.

Fordham defeated Georgia Tech 72-66 last Dec. 29 in New York as Gaston had 23 points and 17 rebounds, and Frazier contributed 19 points and six assists.

Frazier's three straight 3-pointers gave Fordham a 14-13 lead with 8:09 remaining in the first half. But Georgia Tech quickly got the lead back on a basket by Carter and the Yellow Jackets' advantage was 35-25 at halftime.

Jason Morris, who had missed the previous two games because of plantar fasciitis, hit two of the Yellow Jackets' three 3-pointers late in the half after Georgia Tech had started 0 for 6 from behind the arc.

Carter and Miller each had eight points in the first half for the Yellow Jackets. Georgia Tech started the game 4 for 15 from the floor, but closed the first half making 9 of 14 shots.

Frazier, the Rams' leading scorer at 16.8 points per game, had 10 at the break, but the Rams shot just 28.6 percent (8 of 28). Gaston, who entered averaging 14.3 points, made just 1 of 8 shots and had four points.

Georgia Tech hosts Chattanooga on Wednesday in its final nonconference game before beginning Atlantic Coast Conference play next Saturday at home against Miami.

The Yellow Jackets' two losses came at No. 12 Illinois and against California in the DirecTV Classic in Anaheim, Calif.

Fordham, which had won two of its previous three games, plays Monmouth at home on Monday in a nonconference game.

Quick Links

Unsung LaToya Sanders’ two-way play has Mystics one game away from WNBA Finals

latoya_sanders_usat.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Unsung LaToya Sanders’ two-way play has Mystics one game away from WNBA Finals

On a stacked Mystics team, LaToya Sanders knows her role. 

The 6-foot-2, 170-pound wisp of a center is asked to guard far bigger opponents throughout the season and still complement her teammates on the offensive end. It’s a lot to deal with. She does so without complaint. 

Sanders, the most unheralded of Washington’s five starters, did it all on Thursday night in a 103-91 WNBA semifinal win over the Las Vegas Aces at the Entertainment and Sports Arena. 

She finished with 17 points on a night when WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne (14 points, 5 of 15 shooting) struggled given her lofty standards. Sanders also played the kind of defense that left coach Mike Thibault insisting she should have been named WNBA first or second-team All-Defense. 

“My job is probably the easiest on the team,” Sanders laughed. “My job is basically to hit wide-open jumpers and lay-ups. Pretty sure I can do those two things.”

Indeed, she was efficient hitting 7 of 10 shots and all three free throws. Sanders also had to guard Vegas’ 6-8 center Liz Cambage, a big ask given their size difference. Cambage did have 23 points and 10 rebounds, but she only took 11 shots. 

Sanders and her teammates tried to make it as hard as possible for the Aces to get the ball inside for easy baskets in their two wins this week. Washington won Game 1 of the series 97-95 on Tuesday, a game that left Cambage visibly frustrated. She also earned a technical foul in Thursday’s game on a rough play underneath the Vegas basket.  

“When you’re LaToya Sanders and you’re 6-3 and you’re relying on your long arms to guard people, she takes a beating every night,” Thibault said. “She guards Camabge and [Phoenix Mercury center Brittney] Griner and [Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia] Fowles and all those people. And every night she wins a lot of those battles.”

But the really unsung part of Sanders’ game is her mid-range jumper. Thursday she was on when some of her higher-profile teammates like Delle Donne didn’t quite have their shot dropping. 

Sanders had six points in the third quarter as the two teams battled back and forth in a tight game and that set the stage for the decisive run that tilted the game toward the Mystics. She also had a hot start to the night with two baskets in the first quarter. 

“[Sanders is] a really good player. She's just on a team with so many other good players that she doesn't get as many shots,” Vegas guard Kelsey Plum said. “But she plays her role as good as anyone in the league. She's a vet. She rebounds the crap out of the ball. I just think that she does a great job for them. Everyone made us pay."

Thibault referenced a rebound Sanders grabbed in traffic to stifle a Vegas possession when they were trying to get the lead under 10 points in the fourth quarter. Instead, Washington was able to work the clock at the offensive end and score a knockout blow. It’s the little things that matter most when a team is pushing for a championship. The Mystics are one step closer. 

“Cambage is a talent, she’s a big girl,” Sanders said. “I just do what I can to try to make it difficult for her, but she’s going to hit some buckets here and there. I try to dish it out, but not take it.”  

MORE MYSTICS NEWS:

 

Quick Links

Orioles Roundup: Trey Mancini stays hot in 8-4 home loss to Blue Jays

mancini_usat.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Orioles Roundup: Trey Mancini stays hot in 8-4 home loss to Blue Jays

In a fitting tribute to most games this season in Baltimore, Trey Mancini had a terrific day at the plate, but the pitching staff allowed too many home runs and the O's ended up losing.

Here's everything you need to know about the Orioles.

Player Updates:

OF Trey Mancini hasn't slowed down at all for the Orioles, turning in a 4-for-4 night to tie his career high in hits. He's hitting .286 with 34 home runs during his breakout season.

OF Austin Hays enjoyed a banner night, hitting his first home run of the season and making one of the year's highlight catches, robbing a home run well over the centerfield wall.

SP Gabriel Ynoa allowed three runs in 6.1 innings. He didn't walk anyone and allowed just six hits, but he also only struck out one batter despite pitching into the seventh inning, and two of the hits allowed were home runs.

Injuries

RP Hunter Harvey, biceps, sidelined, day-to-day

RP Josh Rogers, elbow, 60-Day IL, out indefinitely 

SP Alex Cobb, back, 60-Day IL, 2020

Coming Up:

Friday, 9/20: Mariners at Orioles, 7:05 p.m., Camden Yards

Saturday, 9/21: Mariners at Orioles, 7:05 p.m., Camden Yards

Sunday, 9/22: Mariners at Orioles, 1:05 p.m., Camden Yards