Great Start

By Jeff Lippman - March 22, 2008

Often times, the difference between being lauded as the hero and chided as the goat can be entirely insignificant, yet altogether catastrophic.

For Georgia Tech junior Jacqua Williams, today's opening round game against Iowa State was one of those times.

And unfortunately for the ACC's leader in steals, it was one steal she didn't get that cost her team the free throws that increased Iowa State's lead to three and took the stinger out of the Yellow Jackets' chances. The 10th-seeded Buzz lost to the 7th-seeded Lady Cyclones, 58-55, in Des Moines, Iowa.

With seconds to play and Tech down 56-55, Williams was sizing up Iowa State guard Alison Lacey. The Yellow Jackets had already stolen the ball from the Cyclones 12 times. Williams had three to her credit.

And as Lacey made her move, Williams was like a cat, beating her to the spot. She reached her long arms swiftly around Lacey's body and poked at the ball. Incredibly, Lacey continued forward but the ball was headed in the other direction, with Williams ready to score the winning layup for Tech.

That's when the whistle blew. Foul on Williams, reaching in. Lacey hit both free throws and Georgia Tech missed two erratic three-point attempts. They will head back to Atlanta defeated.

But what a great game this first of many in this year's NCAA Tournament turned out to be.

It was back and forth all game as Georgia Tech started off hot and grabbed the early lead. The Cyclones fought their way back and the score was only four-point difference for Tech at the half.

The second half was all Iowa State. The Cyclones led by as many as 13 points, but Georgia Tech had another run in them. The Yellow Jackets came all the way back to close the gap to the 56-55 lead just before Williams' foul.

If this first matchup was any indication, this year's tournament should be an entertaining one. And that's all we can ask for.

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 02:01 PM on March 22, 2008

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