THE FLATS — Kaylan Pugh led all scorers, but Georgia Tech could not hold on to a fourth quarter lead, dropping a 69-63 decision to No. 6 Florida State Thursday evening in McCamish Pavilion.
“I felt like we competed on both ends,” commented head coach MaChelle Joseph. “Anytime you play a top-10 team, you have to make layups. I thought we did a better job of hitting our free throws today — you have to look at the positives. Zaire O’Neil started out slow, but she bounced back. I thought Kaylan Pugh had a tremendous game. We have to get better play out of our point position. I thought we got better tonight than we were at Wake Forest and we now have three games that aren’t against the top-25 for the first time all season. I’m looking forward to this next stretch.”
How It Happened
Georgia Tech grabbed the lead early in the fourth quarter on a Zaire O’Neil layup, but Florida State answered with an 11-2 run to retake the lead – an advantage it would hold the remainder of the game. The Jackets cut the score to one possession after Kaylan Pugh converted a three-point play with 4:27 to play, capping a 5-0 Tech run for a 60-57 game. The spark was short-lived as the Seminoles responded with six unanswered points to seal the win.
Tech held the top-ranked team in the ACC to its second lowest offensive output of the season. Pugh finished with 23 points to lead all scorers, while FSU was paced by Shakayla Thomas with 17 points.
* Tech dropped to 13-7 overall and 2-5 in ACC play with the loss
* The Jackets shot 39.7 percent (25-63) from the field and finished 11-of-16 from the charity stripe
* FSU recorded a 45.3 percent (29-64) shooting efficiency, but posted an 8-of-15 effort at the charity stripe
* Zaire O’Neil ended with 12 points, while Elo Edeferioka led the team in rebounding, pulling down eight boards
* FSU scored 42 points in the paint and won the rebounding battle 39-33
After a brief stint at home, Georgia Tech hits the road for another pair of matchups beginning at Clemson on Sunday, Jan. 28. Tip in Clemson is slated for 2 p.m. on ACC Network Extra.