THE FLATS – With their final preseason tune-up wrapped up, the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team officially opens the season at Houston Friday night. Tip is slated for 7 p.m. CT/8 p.m. EST at H&PE Arena on the campus of Texas Southern.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (0-0) at -/RV Houston Cougars (0-1)
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Georgia Tech Game Notes | Houston Game Notes

STARTING FIVE

  1. Georgia Tech officially opens the 2018-19 season on Friday making its first-ever trip to Houston to meet the Cougars. The game will be played on the campus of Texas Southern. Houston is receiving votes in the preseason USA Today Coaches Poll.
  2. The Yellow Jackets took to the court for their final preseason tuneup last Sunday, hosting Coastal Georgia in exhibition play. Five Jackets finished in double-figure scoring numbers in a 95-46 victory.
  3. Georgia Tech returns seven letterwinners from last season’s squad that went 20-14 overall and reached the third round of the WNIT. The Yellow Jackets defeated Bethune Cookman and UAB at home before falling to Alabama by a possession in Tuscaloosa.
  4. Amongst Tech’s seven returning letterwinners is last season’s leading scorer and 2016-17 ACC Freshman of the Year, Francesca Pan. The junior led the Jackets in scoring last season, averaging 14.3 points per game, while also leading the team in three-point shooting, connecting on 79 treys. Also returning for her sophomore campaign on The Flats is Kierra Fletcher who put together an impressive freshman campaign last season. Fletcher returns as the team’s leading rebounder after pulling down 5.2 rebounds per game last season.

5. Head coach MaChelle Joseph is in her 16th season on The Flats and carries an all-time career record of 294-191. Joseph is the all-time winningest coach in program history and holds the highest winning percentage in Yellow Jacket history at 60.9 percent.

LAST TIME OUT
Georgia Tech held its final preseason tuneup on Nov. 4 at McCamish Pavilion, welcoming Coastal Georgia for an exhibition contest. The Jackets defeated the Mariners, 95-46, behind five players in double-figure scoring numbers. Amongst those five, three finished with 17 points: Lorela Cubaj, Elizabeth Balogun and Francesca Pan. Also posting double-digits were Elizabeth Dixon (13 points) and Daijah Jefferson (10 points). Earning the start in the five-man rotation were a pair of freshmen in Balogun and Dixon. Redshirt-sophomore Anne Diouf led Tech on the glass, pulling down a team-high nine rebounds as the Jackets won the overall battle, 45-27.

APPROACHING A MILESTONE
The team’s leading returning scorer from last season, junior Francesca Pan has poured in 900 career points in 70 career games, needing just 100 points to become the 31st player in program history to cross the 1,000-career point plateau. As a freshman, Pan poured in 414 points in 36 games and finished second on the team in scoring to be tabbed the ACC Freshman of the Year. She followed her inaugural season scoring 486 points as a sophomore in 34 games.

CLOSING IN ON VICTORY CLUB
Georgia Tech’s women’s basketball head coach MaChelle Joseph has 294 career wins in 15 seasons, needing just six wins to reach 300 career wins at Georgia Tech. Joseph is the program’s all-time winningest coach in program history and has led the Jackets to 11 postseason appearances since taking over at the helm of the program, including seven NCAA appearances. Additionally, she has helped lead the Yellow Jackets to 10 20-plus win seasons.

BE ON THE LOOKOUT
Three Yellow Jackets were named to Preseason Watch Lists prior to the official tipoff of the season. Junior Francesca Pan was one of 20 candidates tabbed to the 2019 Cheryl Miller Award watch list by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the WBCA. The award recognizes the top small forwards in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball.

Tech also placed two freshmen on the ACC preseason Newcomer Watch List. Elizabeth Balogun earned a spot on both the Blue Ribbon Panel’s watch list as well as the league’s head coaches’. She was joined on the head coaches watch list by teammate Elizabeth Dixon. A pair of McDonald’s All-Americans, Balogun and Dixon were two members of Tech’s 7th-ranked recruiting class. The pair also competed in the Jordan Brand Classic game in Brooklyn, N.Y. in April. Balogun, the USA Today Tennessee Player of the Year, garnered second team Naismith Trophy National High School All-American Team accolades, while Dixon was tabbed honorable mention.



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