THE FLATS – In the 13th edition of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge Thursday night in McCamish Pavilion, Georgia Tech cruised to a 60-41 victory over Wisconsin led by Lorela Cubaj, Nerea Hermosa and Francseca Pan. The Jackets, who improved to 6-1 on the season, led by as many as 20 points in the contest.
How It Happened
Using a 15-3 run in the first quarter, the Yellow Jackets opened a double-digit lead over the Badgers and led 15-6 at the quarter break. But with Tech leading 18-8 with 8:02 on the clock in the second, Wisconsin closed the distance with a 7-0 spurt from the free throw line to setup an 18-15 tally with 5:21 on the clock. The Jackets maintained a seven-point advantage at halftime, 27-20, with Jasmine Carson converting the layup at the buzzer. The Badgers shot just 27.3 percent (6-22) from the floor in the first half, scoring more free throws than field goals, going 7-for-11 at the charity stripe.
The Jackets shot 46.7 percent (14-30) from the field in the second half and outscored the Badgers, 33-21, to pocket the victory. Tech quickly took control of the game in the third quarter, utilizing a 10-0 run capped by a Kierra Fletcher bucket to open a 37-22 edge and force Wisconsin to call a timeout. Georgia Tech continued to build its lead and a free throw from Pan at 5:32 in the fourth handed the Jackets a comfortable 49-30 edge, but the Badgers closed the gap to within 11 points following a 7-0 spurt capped by a triple from Suzanne Gilreath. Carson hit Tech’s only three-pointer of the game with less than a minute to play as Tech closed the game on a 11-3 run to account for the final 60-41 tally.
For the game, Tech was led offensively by Hermosa and Pan with 14 and 13 points, respectively. Cubaj nearly recorded a double-double with a game-high 11 rebounds and nine points. The Jackets outscored the Badgers in the paint, 40-22, and converted 16 Wisconsin turnovers into 19 points. Fletcher finished the game with eight points, five rebounds, five assists, a steal and a block, while Carson totaled nine points in the outing. The Jackets shot 41.9 percent (26-62) from the field to Wisconsin’s 33.3 percent (15-45) effort and dominated on the glass, 44-26.
“I’m really pleased with the win and taking care of our end of the bargain with this Big Ten/ACC Challenge,” commented head coach Nell Fortner. “I’m really proud of this team to come out and play a tough Wisconsin team. We really had to bear down in the second half because Wisconsin did not go away. They continued to battle challenge us defensively. I was proud of our kids for taking the challenge and coming away with a win.”
Tech returns to the hardwood with a Sunday matinee at Kennesaw State. Tip is slated for 2 p.m. on ESPN+.
ACC Network has launched!
The ACC Network is a linear and digital platform dedicated to 24/7 coverage of ACC sports that launched on Aug. 22, 2019. It will exclusively televise approximately 450 live events each year, including 40 football games, as well as 150 men’s and women’s basketball contests.
Don’t get shut out! For more information and to learn if your cable/satellite/digital provider is carrying the ACC Network, visit GetACCN.com. Georgia Tech fans whose cable/satellite/digital providers aren’t carrying the ACC Network are urged to contact their providers and ask for the ACC Network to be a part of their subscription.