THE FLATS – Georgia Tech led by as many as 24 points in the contest and Elo Edeferioka notched her third double-double of the season as the Yellow Jackets punched their ticket to the WNIT semifinals with a 76-66 victory over Alabama Sunday afternoon. Five Jackets scored in double-figures inside McCamish Pavilion to advance to the semifinals for the first time since 1992.
“I think it’s a really exciting time for our program and a really exciting time for this team because to know the journey we’ve been on all season long and see them come together at this point is pretty amazing,” head coach MaChelle Joseph stated. “I was really pleased with the play of Elo Edeferioka. I thought early in the first half she just really established herself and was relentless on the boards and did a great job finishing around the rim. I thought everyone stepped up and played their role. I’m just really pleased with the development and growth of this team.”
How It Happened
In a fast-paced first half, Georgia Tech took command of the game using an 18-4 run to close the second quarter. The teams stood tied at the end of the first quarter as Elo Edeferioka hit her first three-pointer at Georgia Tech from the top of the key as the buzzer sounded. Tech shot 48.6 percent (18-37) from the field and outscored Alabama 27-10 in the second frame to lead 44-27 at the halftime break. Highlighted by her triple, Edeferioka led the Jackets at the break with 12 points and eight rebounds.
The Jackets maintained a comfortable advantage in the third quarter and grabbed its first 20-point lead, 56-36, off an Antonia Peresson three-pointer in the near corner off a feed from Francesca Pan. Peresson would hit another three-pointer before the end of the frame as the Jackets led 61-44 at the final intermission. After Tech opened the fourth quarter with a 7-0 spurt, Alabama answered with a 10-0 run to cut the lead to 68-54 with 4:47 to play and forced Tech to burn a timeout. The Crimson Tide would close the game with a 12-3 run, but Tech’s strong second quarter allowed the rally to fall short.
* Georgia Tech moved to 21-14 overall, marking the most wins in a season since the Jackets posted a 26-9 record in 2011-12
* Tech last reached the WNIT semifinals in 1992 when it won the NWIT and the postseason tournament was still a field of 32 teams
* Elo Edeferioka led with 16 points and 11 rebounds (10 defensive), while Zaire O’Neil posted 15 points
* Antonia Peresson and Kaylan Pugh each added 12 points and Francesca Pan added 10 points
* Tech saw 26 points come off the bench fueled by Peresson and Pugh
* Alabama was 18-for-24 from the charity stripe compared to Tech’s 11-of-16 effort
* The Crimson Tide outscored the Jackets in the fourth frame, 22-15, but Tech’s strong second quarter was enough to seal the win
* For the game, Tech shot 50.0 percent (29-58) to Alabama’s 31.8 percent (21-66)
Georgia Tech continues postseason play and hosts the WNIT semifinals on Wednesday, March 29 at 7 p.m. against Washington State.