Jackets Fall Short at Alabama, 67-65

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Three Yellow Jackets scored in double-figures, but a late rally fell short at Alabama as the Crimson Tide hung on for a 67-65 victory in Coleman Coliseum. The loss pushed Tech to 9-2 on the season, while Alabama improved to 9-1 with the win.

“I thought our foul trouble in the first half really hurt us — we had a 10-point lead and three starters with two fouls,” commented head coach MaChelle Joseph. “Alabama was then able to tie the score and get a run on us. We had to battle the entire game to get back in control. I thought when Imani [Tilford] went out with her fourth foul that was the difference in the game.”

How It Happened
It was a tale of quarters in the first half as the teams traded stanzas. Tech opened the contest gaining a double-digit lead within the first 10 minutes, but the advantage reversed in the second quarter as Alabama outscored the Yellow Jackets 22-9. The teams stood at a standstill at halftime, tied at 29-29.

The Yellow Jackets limited the Crimson Tide to one field goal in the first quarter, leading 20-7 at the first break. After Alabama grabbed the lead early, Francesca Pan erased the deficit with a 5-0 run, forcing Alabama to call its first timeout. The Crimson Tide connected on a pair from the free throw line before the Yellow Jackets opened a 13-1 run to close the quarter. Alabama used the second quarter to slowly chip away at its deficit and used a three-pointer from Shaquera Wade to claim its first lead since the opening frame at the 1:25 mark. Imani Tilford hit a layup to end the quarter with the teams tied 29-29.

Tech held the advantage almost the entire third quarter, leading by as many as eight points, 44-36, off a Katarina Vuckovic bucket. Alabama ended the third quarter with a 9-4 spurt to cut the score to 48-45 at the final intermission. The Crimson Tide immediately knotted the score out of the break and took the final lead on a Meoshonti Knight bucket. Alabama would lead by as many as seven in the final quarter before Tech came within one point using a 9-3 run sparked by Edeferioka. The Yellow Jackets pulled within one point twice before the final buzzer. Wade hit the back end of a pair of free throws with 6.6 seconds left on the clock as Tech setup its final play, but the shot was off the mark, sealing the win for Alabama.

Tech Tidbits
* Tech moved to 9-2 on the season with the loss
* Alabama improved to 4-1 against Georgia Tech in series history
* Zaire O’Neil led the Yellow Jackets with 17 points on the afternoon, shooting 7-of-9 from the field
* Antonia Peresson (12) and Chanin Scott (10) capped the trio scoring in double-figures

* Alabama finished 12-of-18 from the charity stripe, while Tech was 11-of-22
* The Crimson Tide hit nine three-pointers (9-26) for a 34.6 percent efficiency
* Alabama won the battle on the glass 48-43 including a 17-13 edge in offensive rebounds
* GT outscored Alabama in the paint 32-18 and 23-8 off the bench

Next Up
Georgia Tech continues this two-game road stretch and heads to Middle Tennessee State for a 7:30 p.m. EST tip in Murfreesboro on Dec. 22.

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