THE FLATS – Antonia Peresson hit a pair of clutch three-pointers down the stretch as Georgia Tech advanced to the WNIT Round of 16 Sunday night for the first time since 2000 with a 63-51 victory over UCF. The Jackets outscored the Knights 21-9 in the final frame for the win.
“I was just pleased with the fight we showed when UCF came back and took the lead in the fourth quarter,” stated head coach MaChelle Joseph. “I thought we showed a lot of fight and grit and toughness at the end of the game. We had some key people step up and make plays and get defensive rebounds. I thought Francesca Pan gutted it out and got some tough defensive rebounds and made some tough shots. But Antonia Peresson’s two threes were the separation.”
How It Happened
The teams worked through three lead changes in the first half as the Knights led the majority of the opening quarter, but a 14-2 Jacket run spanning both quarters put Tech in front 24-15 with 6:34 to play in the second frame and forced UCF to burn a timeout. The Knights came out of the break posting 10-2 spurt to come within one point. The differential would remain the same at the halftime break as the Knights answered Tech’s offensive efforts for a 31-30 Jacket lead at the break.
Tech came out strong from the intermission, posting a 9-3 run to claim a 40-34 advantage with 5:42 left in the frame. But UCF would use the final minutes of the quarter to leave the game tied entering the fourth stanza with an 8-2 spurt of their own. Tied at 42-42 entering the final 10 minutes of play, it remained a one point possession with the lead switching back-and-forth until Peresson drained a three-pointer in front of Tech’s bench at the 2:15 mark for a 53-49 Yellow Jacket lead. UCF cut it to two points at the free throw line before Peresson repeated with another triple with 1:29 to play to give Tech a 56-51 edge. Over the final two minutes of play, Tech would post a 13-2 run to seal the victory.
* Georgia Tech moved to 19-14 overall on the season with the win
* The Jackets improved to a 3-0 all-time series record over the Knights
* Francesca Pan led the Jackets with a game-high 21 points on 7-of-16 shooting, including hitting four treys
* Kaylan Pugh posted her second double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds
* Imani Tilford rounded out the Jacket trio in double-figures with 11 points on the evening
* Tech finished 16-of-29 from the charity stripe to UCF’s 8-of-18 effort
* The Jackets hit seven three-pointers in the contest led by Pan with four – UCF hit just one three-pointer in the game
Georgia Tech returns to the court on Thursday, March 23 to host Middle Tennessee State at 7 p.m. in the round of 16.