Jackets Knock Off Miami on Senior Night, 70-51

THE FLATS – Behind a strong third quarter, the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team knocked off Miami on Senior Night, 70-51. Francesca Pan and Lorela Cubaj combined to score 38 points as the Jackets concluded regular season play at home Thursday night in McCamish Pavilion.

“I’m just really pleased with the way we came out today,” noted head coach MaChelle Joseph. “I’m really proud of the growth of this team throughout the season. In February, we are playing to our potential. I’m pleased overall with our effort defensively. To force 33 turnovers is tremendous and get 21 steals.”

How It Happened
The Jackets (17-11, 6-9 ACC) led 39-31 at the halftime break following a first half that witnessed three lead changes and a pair of tied scores. Pan posted 17 of her game-high 24 points in the opening 20 minutes. After shaking off a slow start, Tech led by as many as six points in the opening frame before Miami cut it to three points after the first quarter. The Hurricanes would use an 8-2 run midway through the second frame to regain the lead, 28-27, with 3:11 to play in the half. After a three-point play from Kaylan Pugh, Miami knotted the score, but Pan would return the lead permanently to the Jackets with a bucket at the 2:33 mark for a 32-30 Tech advantage. Pan’s bucket sparked a 9-1 run to close the half.

Tech outscored Miami 20-8 in the third quarter shooting 56.3 percent from the field. A 12-3 run from the Jackets opened the third period as Tech pulled away with a 51-34 lead at the media break. Zaire O’Neil capped the third quarter with a bucket to hand Tech a 59-39 lead entering the final period. Miami started the fourth quarter with an 11-3 spurt to slice the score to 62-50, but the Jackets responded with an 8-1 run of their own to close the game and seal the win.

Tech Tidbits
* Pan fell just two points shy of matching her career-high, scoring a game-high 24 points
* Cubaj posted a career-best 14 point on 7-of-9 shooting
* The Jackets forced 33 turnovers, converting the Miami miscues into 31 points
* Despite narrowly dropping the rebounding battle, 36-35, Tech pulled down 17 offensive boards, converting for 18 second chance points
* Tech swiped a season-high 21 steals on the night, led by a career-high seven from Kierra Fletcher
* For the game, Tech shot 40.0 percent (28-70) to Miami’s 39.5 percent (17-43)

Next Up
Tech wraps up regular season play on Sunday, visiting No. 9/12 Florida State for a 1 p.m. matchup on RSN.

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