Feb. 23, 2012
Blacksburg, Va. – The No. 17/19 Georgia Tech women’s basketball team (21-7, 11-4 ACC) survived for a hard-fought 76-66 win at Virginia Tech (7-21, 3-12 ACC) Thursday night at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Va. The win clinches a first-round bye for the Yellow Jackets in next week’s ACC Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C.
“I give Virginia Tech a lot of credit,” head coach MaChelle Joseph said. “I think they played with a lot of heart, energy, and desire. It’s very easy this time of the year to give up a little bit. But I really felt like they showed a lot of fight and determination, especially in the second half.”
After the Hokies cut the Georgia Tech lead to three, 24-21, with 5:08 to play in the first half, the Yellow Jackets went on a 7-0 run and held Virginia Tech to only one field goal the rest of the half. The Yellow Jackets were red-hot in the first half, shooting 55 percent in the opening 20 minutes and carried a 40-24 lead into halftime for the 20th time this season.
The Jackets got 12 points off of eight Hokie first-half turnovers and the GT reserves tossed in 19 first-half points.
Georgia Tech opened the second half with a 6-2 run and grabbed its biggest lead of the game, 18, when Walthour knocked down two of her free throws to put the Jackets up 46-28. The Hokies continued to battle and cut the Jacket lead to seven, 55-48, on a Monet Tellier layup midway through the second half.
“I felt like they made some really good runs at us,” Joseph said. “One of our challenges is to figure out how to be able to put people away. We get somebody down, on the road in particular, we can’t let up. I felt like we let up a little bit, they made a run at us and we had to dig ourselves back out. Again, I give Virginia Tech a lot of credit for their resiliency. We were able to counter their runs with runs of our own and were able to come away with the win. It wasn’t an easy game and the score isn’t indicative of how close it was.”
The Yellow Jackets were able to keep the Hokies at bay and GT made eight of its 10 free throws in the final two minutes to seal the win.
“I was really proud of our team,” Joseph said. “We haven’t seen a triangle and two, box and one all year long. The fact that we scored 76 points against a lot of junk defense says a lot about our offensive balance, inside and outside. I thought Sasha, even though she only got 12 shots, to get 18 points off 12 shots with three people on her all night, I think that says a lot about her ability.”
The win continues to add to the Jackets’ single-season ACC wins record, which now stands at 11. The 2012 senior class now has a school-record 36 career conference wins and becomes just the second class with at least 90 total wins. The five seniors could tie the Georgia Tech record for wins, 91, with a victory over the Clemson Lady Tigers on Sunday, and could set the GT record for most regular-season wins by one class with a victory in the final regular season contest./
Georgia Tech will return to Atlanta for its regular-season finale against the Clemson Lady Tigers on Sunday, Feb. 26, in 2 p.m. matinee at Forbes Arena on the Morehouse College campus in downtown Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets will be celebrating Senior Day on Sunday and admission is free.
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— RamblinWreck.com –