COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Georgia Tech women’s basketball team defeated the Maryland Terrapins, 66-62, Thursday night at Cole Field House.
In perhaps their best team effort of the year, the Yellow Jackets held off a second half rally by the Terps to pull out the victory and even their record at 13-13.
Sophomore Niesha Butler and junior Milli Martinez scored 17 points apiece and senior Jaime Kruppa posted a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Yellow Jackets. Sophomore Sonja Mallory added eight points, five rebounds, three blocked shots, two assists and two steals. Sophomore Alex Stewart added five points, five rebounds and a game-high eight assists.
“This was a really big game for us,” Georgia Tech head coach Agnus Berenato said. “We’re fighting to reach .500 and then to take the next step and go above. We knew Maryland was fighting to get an NCAA bid and wanted to get their 17th win. For us to come in here and take that from them showed a lot of character.”
Although Maryland jumped to a 2-0 lead to start the game, Georgia Tech scored quickly and never again trailed, leading by as many as 15 points in the first half. The Terrapins cut the lead to 10 going into the lockerroom at halftime and continued to chip away at the lead in the second half.
Maryland junior Marche Strickland scored 18 of her game-high 20 points after intermission and helped the Terrapins to tie the game at 46 with 9:15 remaining.
Georgia Tech answered the Terps, going on a 9-0 run to take a 58-48 lead with 6:06 to play. Butler scored 15 of her 17 points in the second stanza and nailed four free throws in the final minute and a half to secure the victory.
Tech, which previously was 0-11 when held to fewer than 70 points, avenged its earlier 66-62 loss to the Terrapins in Atlanta.
The Yellow Jackets conclude the regular season at noon on Sunday against Wake Forest.