Feb. 15, 2015
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The Georgia Tech women’s basketball team (14-12, 4-8) lost a close contest at Miami (18-7, 8-4 ACC), 64-59, on Sunday afternoon at the BankUnited Center.
“I am very proud of how we competed today,” head coach MaChelle Joseph said. “We battled and persevered in adversity. We grew up today and I am excited about the future with this team.”
The Yellow Jackets had a complete team effort in the game – each Jacket that played scored at least two points and grabbed one rebound. The Jackets held the advantage on the boards, outrebounding Miami, 45-37. This is the 18th game this season that he Jackets have won the rebounding battle.
Three Jackets scored in double figures, with both sophomore Kaela Davis and freshman Zaire O’Neil each scoring a team-best 13 points.
Davis entered today’s game needing just 10 points to pass Kisha Ford’s record for the most points scored in a single season by a sophomore. Ford scored 521 in the 1994-95 in her second season on the Flats. Davis’ 13 points today put her at 524 this season. Davis also owns the record for most points scored in a single-season for a freshman after she scored 594 last year. She also had a team-high four steals against Miami.
Along with her 13 points, O’Neil also tallied five rebounds and had three blocks. O’Neil has had at least three blocks in the past three games. She has 18 double-figures games this season and it was her seventh straight game scoring in double figures.
Junior Roddreka Rogers contributed 10 points and seven boards.
For the first time in her career, freshman Imani Tilford led the Jackets in rebounding, tallying a career-high eight rebounds. She also had two steals against the Hurricanes.
Late in the second half, with Miami on their heels and the Jackets a head by just two, 51-49, Tech put together an 8-0 run to go ahead by 10 points, 59-49, with 4:46 remaining.
The Hurricanes responded and put together a run of their own, going 15-0 over the final 4:17 of the game to cement their win. A 3-pointer from Michelle Woods gave the Hurricanes their first lead since 17:41 in the second half and the one point, lead, 60-59, with 33 seconds left.
On Georgia Tech’s ensuing offensive possession, O’Neil fouled Woods who made both free throws with 11.1 seconds on the clock. The Canes came up with a defensive stop on Tech’s next trip down to its basket and tacked on two more free throws to win, 64-59.
The Canes jumped ahead 5-0 in the first 1:30 of the game but the Jackets went on to outscore Miami, 11-0, and held them scoreless for 4:43, to take an 11-5 lead at 14:19. The Hurricanes caught up, making it a two point game at 11:13, 13-11. It would be a fight for the lead for the remainder of the half, with Miami taking a 36-35 edge into the locker room at the break.
Tech shot 50 percent from the first half, going 14-for-27 from the floor and a 4-for-8 from behind the 3-point line. Every Jacket that played in the first half contributed at least two points.
The Yellow Jackets didn’t trail by more than three in the first 4:23 of the second half. Tech utilized a tough defensive presence, making six-straight stops on defense, to stay within one of the Canes 40-39 lead with 15:59 left.
An 8-2 run by the Jackets had them ahead, 45-42, with 13:31 left in the contest. Both teams struggled to find the basket from 13:31—10:00 with each team only making two baskets each in the time frame. The Jackets would pull ahead by four points, 49-45, with 9:16 left.
An 8-0 Jacket run would put Tech ahead by 10, but the Hurricanes would erase that deficit with a 15-0 run in the final 4:17 of the game to record a 64-59 victory.
Next up, the Yellow Jackets welcome Notre Dame to McCamish Pavilion on Thursday at 7 p.m. on RSN/ESPN3. Thursday it the Yellow Jackets’ Play 4 Kay game and the first 1,000 fans will receive a free t-shirt sponsored by the Atlanta Medical Center. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to support the Play4Kay initiative and the fight against breast cancer. The first 3,000 tickets sold for Thursday’s game will be priced at $1. Call 1-888-Tech-Tix or click here to purchase tickets.