Dec. 6, 2012
DURHAM, N.C. – Georgia Tech dropped its first ACC game of the year, 85-52, at No. 4/4 Duke Thursday night. Junior Tyaunna Marshall led the Yellow Jackets with 23 points on 10-of-18 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds. . Duke improved to 7-0, 1-0 ACC while Tech falls to 3-5, 0-1 ACC.
It was Marshall’s 61st career game scoring in double digits and her 16th career game with at least 20 points, with six of those coming against top 25 opponents.
The Blue Devils were the third straight top-15 team that Georgia Tech has faced in the last eight days. The three teams – No. 14 Purdue, No. 8 Georgia and No. 4 Duke – have a current combined record of 25-1. Two of those contests, Purdue and Duke, came on the road.
“I was really proud of my team, we’re really young and we’ve had a really tough schedule,” head coach MaChelle Joseph said. “We’ve played three top-15 teams back-to-back-to-back and its only December. It’s one of those things, I’m not sure we’ll see anything tougher than what we’ve seen in the past week. Even in the ACC, there isn’t going to be a stretch where we play three top 15 teams in a row, two on the road.
“I thought you saw why Ty Marshall was one of the top five players in the ACC, she was relentless at both ends of the floor,” Joseph added.
Duke scored the first basket, an Alexis Jones layup just five seconds into the game, and Georgia Tech was playing catch-up the rest of the half.
Tech struggled from the field in the early going, making just three of its first 15 shots and falling behind 19-6 midway through the opening period. The Jackets shooting picked up as Tech made 10 of its next 26 to close the half, but Duke’s hot shooting continued. The Blue Devils finished the first 20 minutes converting at a 50 percent clip and led 41-27 at intermission.
Marshall was the Jackets’ bright spot in the first half, and by the break had posted her 61st career double-digit scoring game with 12 first half points on 6-of-10 shooting to tie for game-high scoring honors at the half.
Sydney Wallace’s late first half 3-pointer extended Georgia Tech’s streak of games with a three made to 81. The last time Tech did not make a three came at NC State on Feb. 28, 2010.
Georgia Tech cut the Duke lead to 10, 45-35 and forced a Blue Devil timeout just two minutes into the second half on a Marshall jumper.
“We’re growing, we’re learning,” Joseph said. “I was proud that we made a run in the second half to cut it to 10. A lot of teams would’ve laid down at that point. I’ve had teams before come in here in the past and lay down at that point. But this team didn’t.”
The Blue Devils would respond and built their lead back to 20, 57-37, just over six minutes into the second half. For the game, Duke shot 43.9 percent while the Jackets converted on only 25 percent of attempts.
The Yellow Jackets will have a 10-day break from games for final exams. Tech will be back in action Dec. 16 when it hosts Alcorn State at 2 p.m. at McCamish Pavilion.
Fans are encouraged to follow Georgia Tech women’s basketball on Twitter, @GTWBB, and like the Yellow Jackets on Facebook, GTWomensBasketball, for an inside look at the program.