THE FLATS — Behind five Yellow Jackets in double-figures and a career-night from Lorela Cubaj, the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team cruised to an 85-32 victory in round one of the WNIT Thursday night. Both Cubaj and Zaire O’Neil finished with double-doubles on the evening as the Wildcats were held to just two field goals over the final three quarters.
“I was pleased with our defensive effort,” noted head coach MaChelle Joseph. “In three quarters, they scored two field goals. That’s a tribute to our defensive effort and energy. It was great to see five players in double-figures too. It’s been awhile since we’ve had a game like this with the ACC being the No. 1 RPI conference in the country.”
How It Happened
Fueled by 17 points from Francesca Pan, the Jackets built out a comfortable 46-22 lead at halftime. Pan jumpstarted the strong half scoring Tech’s first 12 points as Tech shot 50.0 percent in the opening quarter. Chanin Scott handed the Jackets their first double-digit advantage hitting back-to-back field goals with less than two minutes to play in the opening frame before Tech held Bethune-Cookman to just five points in the second stanza. The Jackets outscored the Wildcats 22-5 in the second quarter to pull away with a 20-point lead.
A 10-2 Tech run to open the third quarter put the Jackets up by 32 points as Tech extended its lead to as many as 37 points in the period, outscoring Bethune-Cookman 19-6. The Wildcats were unable to connect from the field in the fourth frame, scoring only four points from the free throw line as Tech took a commanding lead in the final 10 minutes.
* The Jackets allowed just two field goals over the final three periods against Bethune-Cookman as the Wildcats were 2-for-34 from the field
* For the game, Tech shot 47.1 percent (32-68) from the field
* Five Jackets finished in double-figures for the third time this season
* Cubaj posted a career-night behind 17 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists
* O’Neil finished with her fourth double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds
* Pan led all scorers with 19 points, while Kierra Fletcher added 14 points
* Tech outscored BCU in the paint, 50-10, and used 29 Wildcat turnovers for 32 points
The Jackets advanced to round two of the WNIT where they will host UAB on Sunday, March 18. Tip is slated for a 2 p.m. start in McCamish Pavilion.