Nov. 30, 2014
Box Score (PDF)
ESTERO, Fla. – The Georgia Tech women’s basketball team (5-3) rallied to come back from a 13 point deficit but eventually fell short to rv/– Minnesota (6-1), 72-69, in the fifth place game at the Gulf Coast Showcase at Germain Arena.
“I’m really proud of my team today,” head coach MaChelle Joseph said. “I thought we grew up. We learned to battle back. We got down by 13 and were able to come back and go up by three. I looked out on the floor and we had two freshmen, two sophomores and a senior on the floor. That says a lot about this team.”
For the first time this season, senior Sydney Wallace led the team in scoring with 16 points. Sophomore Kaela Davis’s 15 points against the Gophers extended her double-figure scoring streak 20-straight games. Davis also had five rebounds and two steals against the Gophers. Davis averaged 17.3 points per game during the Gulf Coast Showcase.
The matchup between the Jackets and Gophers featured seven lead changes and the game was tied at five different points. The Jackets outrebounded the Gophers 34-26, and force Minnesota to turn the ball over 15 times. Tech scored 14 points off of Minnesota’s turnovers.
The first half was close between the two opponents who were meeting for the fourth time in program history. With the score tied at, 36-36, at the half, the Gophers came out of the break and put together a 12-0 run to take a, 48-36, lead 3:20 into the second 20 minutes of play.
The Jackets began to find their offensive groove, outscoring the Gophers, 18-2, over a span of six minutes to cut their deficit to two points after Minnesota took its largest lead of the game, 54-41. Vuckovic hit back-to-back 3-pointers at the end of the game-changing run while O’Neil scored six straight points to put the Jackets back in the lead at, 59-56, with 7:30 on the clock.
Minnesota would tie the game up again at, 59-59. The two teams battled back and forth until the Gophers scored seven unanswered points to go ahead four points, 70-66, with 1:55 on the clock.
Freshman Antonia Peresson hustled for a jump ball with 38 seconds on the clock but after a missed Tech layup, the Jackets were forced to foul and the Gophers made their two final free throws to go up, 72-66. Wallace would hit a 3-point shot with one second left on the clock, but the comeback fell short.
Both teams struggled to score in the opening minutes of the game, but Tech quickly found the basket, opening with a 7-2 run. Wallace had five of those seven points.
The Gophers answered Tech’s lead by putting together a 7-0 run of their own to take their first lead of the game at, 14-13, at 12:31 in the first half. Eight-straight points from Davis would extend Tech’s advantage to six, 26-20, at 8:24. The Gophers continued to chip away at Tech’s lead until it was tied 31 all with 2:48 left until the half.
Both teams traded 3-pointers and layups before heading into halftime with a, 36-36, tie score.
Minnesota was the first of back-to-back Big Ten opponents for the Yellow Jackets. Tech travels to play Michigan State on Thursday at 7 p.m. as a part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Davis extended her double-figure scoring streak to 20-straight games… She has scored in double figures in all eight games this season and in 37 games of her 40-game career … This was the fourth meeting against Minnesota … The Jackets are 2-2 against Minnesota … Tech is now 12-6 against Big Ten teams … The last time these two teams met was on Dec. 1, 1993 in Atlanta … Head coach MaChelle Joseph has a career record of 218-137, putting her just six wins away from becoming GT’s all-time winningest coach … Tech’s three losses are to teams receiving votes or ranked in top 25 polls.