HOUSTON, Texas – In a nearly three-hour battle that took two overtimes, Georgia Tech dropped a hard-fought 95-89 decision at -/RV Houston to open the season. Five Yellow Jackets finished in double-figure scoring numbers led by sophomore Kierra Fletcher with 25 points.
How It Happened
Georgia Tech raced out of the gate in the first quarter, grabbing an 11-2 lead following a Lorela Cubaj bucket at 6:32. However, the Cougars slowly began to chip away at their deficit, answering the nine-point Tech lead with a 6-2 run, cutting the score to 13-8 with 3:41 left in the first. Lotta-Maj Lahtinen scored her first collegiate basket to stop the run, but Myyah West scored four unanswered to bring Houston within three, 15-12, with 15 seconds on the clock. Cubaj hit a layup to put the Jackets in front 17-12 entering the second frame. Momentum shifted in the second quarter as Houston outscored Tech, 24-6, to lead 36-23 at intermission.
Dominating the third quarter, Tech closed the gap to within four points, outscoring Houston, 26-17, in the frame. Francesca Pan led the Jackets with 13 points in the stanza, followed by Fletcher with eight points. It was a back-and-forth affair in the fourth quarter as the teams traded the lead. Trailing by one, Fletcher returned the lead to Tech with a jumper at 1:26 and followed hitting 3-of-4 free throws to extend Tech’s lead to 71-67 with 46 seconds left. With the score set at 72-69, Jasmyne Harris drained a triple from the corner to knot the game at 72-72 and force overtime.
In overtime, Elizabeth Balogun connected on a three-pointer to break a tie and give Tech a 79-76 edge with 2:18 to go. But after Julia Blackshell-Fair hit the back end of a pair of free throws, Harris scored on a layup to tie it all at 79-79. Coming out of a Tech timeout, Cubaj gave the Jackets the go-ahead bucket, but Alyssa Okoene forced a second overtime, converting a layup off a missed trey for an 81-81 tally.
Houston struck first in the second overtime as Dorian Branch hit back-to-back treys to give the Cougars an 87-81 edge. Tech cut it to three points twice, the second coming off a Kondalia Montgomery jumper, but it wasn’t enough as Houston sealed the 95-89 victory in double-overtime.
* Fletcher poured in 25 points, followed by Pan (22), Elizabeth Dixon (14), Balogun (13) and Cubaj (10)
* Tech won the battle on the glass, 54-44, led by Dixon and Cubaj each with nine rebounds
* For the game, Tech shot 57.6 percent (38-66) to Houston’s 37.5 percent (38-88)
* The Cougars posted four players in double-figures, led by Okoene and J. Harris with 26 points each. Harris finished with a double-double behind 11 rebounds
* It was the first double-overtime game for Georgia Tech since a 103-101 loss to Virginia on March 2, 2008
Georgia Tech returns to Atlanta to host Appalachian State on Sunday at McCamish Pavilion. Tip is slated for 2 p.m. on ACC Network Extra.