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Jackets Open Junkanoo Jam with 81-68 Victory Over Dayton

BIMINI, BAHAMAS — Five Yellow Jackets scored in double-figures led by Francesca Pan with a season-high 25 points as the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team opened the Junkanoo Jam with an 81-68 victory over Dayton Friday. Tech will face Missouri on Saturday at 2 p.m. to close out the tournament.

How It Happened
Tech led the entire first half until the final five seconds when Dayton grabbed its first lead off an old-fashioned three-point play by Kelly Austria to carry a 33-32 advantage into halftime. Dayton was limited to free throws in the first quarter, hitting its first field goal at the 46.7 second mark with a triple from Austria to cut the score to a four-point Tech advantage. The Yellow Jackets closed the first quarter with a 4-0 run to lead 20-12 at the quarter break. Chanin Scott immediately picked up Tech’s first double-digit lead on the ensuing possession to open the second quarter as Tech would lead by as many as 13 points following a Cha’Ron Sweeney jumper at 6:08 which forced Dayton to call a timeout trailing 31-18. Out of the timeout, Dayton would go on a 15-1 run to close the half and take the lead.

Dayton grabbed a 10-point edge on a three-point play by Lauren Cannatelli, 47-37, at 4:41 in the third quarter before the Yellow Jackets used a 15-7 run over the final minutes of the quarter to bring the score to 54-52 at the final intermission.

Tech outscored Dayton 29-14 in the final stanza to walk away with the 13-point victory. Imani Tilford led the way offensively for the Yellow Jackets in the final frame, chipping in 11 points, including a 7-of-9 effort from the charity stripe. The teams worked through two tied scores in the fourth quarter before Tilford returned the final lead to Tech at the free throw line with 5:63 to play. Tech was 18-for-21 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter and out-rebounded Dayton 14-7.

Pitching in Double Figures
For the second time this season, five players scored in double-figures. Pan led the way with a career-best 25 points and hit a career-best four three-pointers en route to the explosive performance. Along with Pan, Tilford followed with a career-best 15 points. Zaire O’Neil contributed 13 points, while Chanin Scott added 11 points and Cha’Ron Sweeney wrapped up the Yellow Jackets in double-figures with 10 points.

Pan on Fire
Georgia Tech freshman Francesca Pan has started all five games for the Yellow Jackets this season and has scored in double-figures on three occasions. Today, the Italian native finished with a career-best 25 points and a career-best eight rebounds. Additionally, Pan was 7-for-8 from the charity stripe to mark a career-best and hit 4-of-7 treys in 32 minutes of play.

Tech Tidbits
* Tech is now 3-0 when playing in the Bahamas and picked up its first neutral site win of the season against Dayton
* The Yellow Jackets won the rebounding battle 44-32
* Off the bench, the Yellow Jackets contributed 38 points in the victory
* For the game, Tech shot 38.6 percent from the floor and recorded a 74.4 percent efficiency from the charity stripe (32-43)
* Tech set a season-best appearance at the free throw line today, hitting a season-high 32 on a season-best 43 attempts
* Tech opened the all-time series against Dayton with a victory and is now 1-0 against the Flyers
* Five players scored in double-digits for the second time this season
* With the win, Tech moved to 5-0 on the season, marking the fourth time under MaChelle Joseph the Yellow Jackets have opened the season 5-0 (2004-05, 2005-06, 2007-08 and 2016-17)

Next Up
The Yellow Jackets return to action and close out the Junkanoo Jam on Saturday at 2 p.m. facing Missouri.

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