WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Elizabeth Balogun exploded with 30 points and Kierra Fletcher added a double-double as the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team opened the West Palm Beach Invitational with a victory over Seton Hall on Thursday, 84-73. In total, four Yellow Jackets scored in double-figures to push Tech to 9-2 on the season.
“I was really pleased with the way we battled today,” commented head coach MaChelle Joseph. “I thought we played aggressively to start the game. Being able to defend their three-point shots was tough for us, but I thought we did a great job when we needed to and we controlled the boards in the second half.
“Elizabeth Balogun had a tremendous game on both ends – offensively and defensively. Anytime we can get that much balance in scoring with four players in double-figures is great. Kierra Fletcher is one of the toughest point guards I’ve coached – getting 14 rebounds is a tremendous asset to have on our team. We’re really pleased with this win. It’s a big stepping stone for our growth as a team.”
How It Happened
Balogun handed Tech its first and final lead of the contest with a field goal at the 8:22 mark in the first quarter as the Jackets opened a double-digit lead off back-to-back triples from D’asia Gregg to start the second frame. A 12-2 run from the Jackets in the second stanza forced Seton Hall to burn a timeout as Tech led 36-17 with 4:48 to play in the half. But Seton Hall closed the quarter with an 18-5 run to close the gap to 41-35 at halftime.
The Pirates came within a 43-42 tally opening the third quarter with a 7-2 spurt, but the Jackets would hold strong and held off a fiery Seton Hall squad. Leading by four points entering the final stanza, Lorela Cubaj and Elizabeth Dixon combined for a 6-0 flurry to open the final stanza, returning a 67-57 lead to the Jackets. Tech would push its lead back out to as many as 13 points in the final minutes.
* Balogun led all scorers with 30 points, followed by Dixon (13), Fletcher (11) and Francesca Pan (10)
* Tech won the battle on the glass, 47-34, fueled by a career-high 14 boards from Fletcher for her first collegiate double-double
* Fletcher finished with a game-high five assists, two steals and two blocks
* Balogun blocked a season-high four shots and finished with six rebounds, two assists and two steals
* For the game, Tech shot 48.5 percent (33-68) and was 11-for-14 from the free throw line for 78.6 percent
* Seton Hall shot 40.3 percent (27-67) from the field
* The teams hit a combined 16 three-pointers in the ballgame as Tech finished 7-of-15 from long distance
The Jackets conclude the West Palm Beach Invitational on Friday, facing Dayton at 2:30 p.m. on the campus of Keiser University.