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Jackets Top Southern Miss, 63-44

THE FLATS — Closing out non-conference play on Thursday, the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team picked up a 63-44 victory over Southern Miss in McCamish Pavilion. Four Jackets finished in double-figure scoring numbers as Tech improved to 11-2 on the season and 8-0 at home.

“In the first half, I wasn’t pleased with our defense but I thought we did a better job in the second half,” noted head coach MaChelle Joseph. “I thought Elo Edeferioka really started us off strong in the game, especially in the first half. I thought Zaire O’Neil did a great job of finding open players and getting six assists with only one turnover. Chanin Scott continues to get better and better. Other than her turnovers, I thought she played one of her best games she’s had at Georgia Tech. Kierra Fletcher is just starting to come into her own and she’s starting to understand her role and how to play point guard on this team.”

How It Happened
Chanin Scott scored seven points in the first quarter with Tech claiming a nine point lead, 17-8, on a Zaire O’Neil bucket at the 2:08 mark. Francesca Pan closed the frame hitting a pair of free throws for a 21-15 Tech lead after the first break. After the Jackets claimed a 25-15 advantage in less than two minutes into the second quarter, Southern Miss called a timeout at the 8:22 mark. USM held Tech scoreless over the next six minutes and a quick 6-0 spurt in a minute from the Lady Eagles setup a 25-21 tally with 4:15 to play in the half. O’Neil hit a trio of free throws, but USM’s Respect Leaphart posted four unanswered points, slicing the score to 28-25. Pan and Imani Tilford returned a seven-point advantage to the Jackets to close the half and lead 32-25 at intermission.

Tech outscored USM 16-4 in the third frame to pick up a 48-29 lead entering the final quarter. Pan handed the Jackets their first 20-point lead hitting two free throws to open the fourth quarter, but back-to-back three-pointers from USM’s Molly Brown cut the score to 49-35 with 8:19 to play. Tech would reopen a 20-point lead on a Kierra Fletcher layup from O’Neil for a 55-35 edge with 4:33 to play. Scott posted a career-high in three-pointers, finishing with three as the sophomore helped fuel the Jackets to a 63-44 victory to close out non-conference play.

Tech Tidbits
* Scott tied her career-high of 17 points, hitting a personal-best three triples
* O’Neil dished out a career-high six assists and finished with 11 points, six rebounds, six assists, two blocks and a steal
* Fletcher and Edeferioka each added 10 points to the board
* Tech hit 13-of-19 from the charity stripe, while limiting Southern Miss to a 1-of-3 effort
* In the paint, the Jackets outscored the Lady Eagles, 28-18
* For the game, Tech recorded 17 assists on 23 made field goals and finished 23-for-51 from the field (45.1 percent)
* USM was held to one player in double-figures, Jayla King with 13 points

Next Up
Tech opens ACC play after the holiday break, welcoming No. 3/4 Louisville to McCamish Pavilion on Dec. 28. Tip on ACC Network Extra is slated for 7 p.m.

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