Jan. 18, 2015
THE FLATS – The Georgia Tech women’s basketball team (12-7, 2-3 ACC) lost a tough overtime battle against Pittsburgh (12-5, 2-2 ACC), 75-72, on Sunday afternoon at McCamish Pavilion.
This was the second overtime game of the season for the Yellow Jackets and Tech is 18-23 overall in overtime and 4-11 under head coach MaChelle Joseph.
Sophomore Kaela Davis was the leader on offense for the Jackets for the 13th time this season, scoring 31 points and grabbing six rebounds. Davis has scored in double-figures in 30 out of the past 31 games and this is her fourth 30 point game of her career and third this season.
With her 31 points against the Panthers, Davis now has 983 career points, putting her just 17 points away from becoming the 28th Yellow Jacket to score 1,000 career points. Davis, who has played in 51 career games, is on track to become the fastest player to reach the 1,000 point milestone. Dolores Bootz (1985-88) and Joyce Pierce (1991-93) both reached the milestone in 55 games. She is currently averaging a team-best 20.5 points per game.
Juniors Roddreka Rogers and Aaliyah Whiteside also had huge games for the Yellow Jackets. Rogers recorded her sixth double-double of the season and 11th of her career, leading Tech on the boards with 13 and scoring 14 points. Whiteside also scored 14 points and was one rebound shy of a double-double, grabbing nine against the Panthers. She also had three steals.
Rogers, Whiteside and Davis clicked on offense in the beginning of the game for the Yellow Jackets, combining to score 40 of the Jackets’ first 46 points.
“I think you can see in the stats and the box scores that Aaliyah and Roddreka have both stepped up,” Joseph said. “They are getting more shots and they are making more shots. I’ve been really pleased and proud of the leadership that they have shown. “
The Yellow Jackets forced the Panthers to turn the ball over 20 times and outrebounded Pitt, 48-44, in a close game that featured seven lead changes and 11 ties.
The beginning of the second half was close with the score tied four times in the first 11 minutes of the half. Neither team led by more than four points until a 3-point basket from Brianna Kiesel gave Panthers’ their largest lead of the second half, 53-46.
The Yellow Jackets worked hard to put together 6-0 run, which included four points from O’Neil, to cut their deficit to one point, 53-52, at 6:21. O’Neil came up huge again, completing a three point play to get the Jackets back within one, 56-55. The two teams fought for the lead until Pitt went ahead by two, 64-62 with 42 seconds left in the game. Davis was fouled on the other end of the floor and sank both free throw shots to tie it at 64 all with 29 seconds remaining. Pitt ran the clock down to the final second to try and hit the game-winner, but Kiesel’s last second shot rolled out of the basket and the Yellow Jackets were headed to over time for the second time this season.
Pittsburgh took a quick three point lead in the first 46 seconds of overtime but the Yellow Jackets climbed back to go ahead by three at 1:54, 70-67. Monica Wignot would sink two three point shots on Pittsburgh’s next two possession and Kiesel tacked on two made free throw shots to put Pitt ahead, 75-72. Whiteside’s game-tying 3-point shot fell short and the Yellow Jackets suffered their third ACC loss of the season.
While most of the game stayed close between Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh, the Panthers took a quick lead at the beginning of the game. After winning the tipoff, Rogers made the first layup of the game but Pitt answered with eight straight points to go ahead, 8-2. The Yellow Jackets found their momentum around the 13:30 mark after Davis drained a 3-point shot and put together 15-2 run to take back the lead, 21-16. During the run Tech relayed heavily on tough defense, holding the Panthers without a field goal for 4:17 until Pitt’s Fred Potvin’s 3-point shot pulled Pitt within two points, 21-19, at 8:55.
Pitt would tie the score at 21-21 and the two teams would remain neck and neck until Pittsburgh went ahead by five, 33-28. With just two minutes left in the half, the Yellow Jackets strung together a 6-0 run which was capped off by a 3-pointer by Davis to give Tech a 35-33 lead heading into the break. Davis had a strong first half, shooting 3-for-3 from behind the 3-point line on her way to 16 points in the first 20 minutes.
Next up the Yellow Jackets travel to #7/7 Notre Dame on Thursday at 7 p.m. on ESPN3.