Jan. 17, 2013
CORAL GABLES, FLA. – Freshman Brittany Jackson posted her third straight game with at least 20 points and finished with a career-high 23 points but Georgia Tech (8-9, 1-5 ACC) fell to Miami (13-4, 4-2 ACC) 71-65 Thursday night at the BankUnited Center.
Jackson, the reigning ACC Rookie of the Week, led all scorers for the third straight game. It is the fourth time this year the Sebastian, Fla., native has scored at least 20 points.
Junior Tyaunna Marshall was the only other Yellow Jacket to score in double digits. Marshall finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and five steals in 30 minutes.
“I think Brittany Jackson was a bright spot in the game, the way she came out offensively and defensively,” head coach MaChelle Joseph said. “She does a tremendous amount for us, especially on the offensive end. There was no doubt tonight, I thought, that she was the best player on the floor. She made plays from the 3-point line, she made plays in transition, she just did what she needed to do to help her team be in a position to win.”
Despite another cold-shooting first half, Georgia Tech led Miami at the half, 31-30. A back-and-forth first half featured seven lead changes, five ties and big runs by both the Jackets and the `Canes. The Jackets shot only 25.7 percent (9-35) in the opening 20 minutes but went 10-14 from the free throw line in the first period.
After Tech took a 9-6 lead on a Jackson 3-pointer at the 13:25 mark, Miami reeled off seven straight points to take a 13-9 lead midway through the first half. The Jackets stayed in the game despite going without a field goal for four minutes by making 7-of-8 free throw attempts.
Another Jackson 3-pointer sparked a 9-1 Yellow Jacket run to give Tech a 25-18 lead at the under eight media timeout. Miami did not score a field goal in the final 2:55 of the first half but cut the Tech halftime lead to one at the charity stripe.
The Jackets were better from the field in the second half, shooting 48 percent, but got to the line only nine times in the second half.
“We got off to another slow start,” Joseph said. “And when that happens we struggle to get our defense set when we don’t score. One of the things we were able to do in the second half was make shots. But we had some defensive breakdowns at critical times against some experienced veterans and I thought Miami’s seniors stepped up and made plays in those situations.”
After trading baskets to open the second half, Miami was able to re-gain the lead and extend its edge to eight, the Canes’ largest lead of the game, on a pair of free throws by Shawnice Wilson at the 11:52 mark.
Two Jackson free throws trimmed the Miami lead to one, 53-52, with 8:27 left and one of Jackson’s five 3-pointers gave Tech the lead back, 55-54, with 7:30 to play. Miami took the lead back on the next possession on a Wilson layup and held off the Jackets down the stretch.
It is the third time this season Jackson has made five 3-pointers in game. She also accomplished the feat against Marquette on Nov. 18 and against Virginia Jan. 10. Jackson leads the Yellow Jackets in 3-pointers made with 29 this season and ranked seventh in the ACC in triples per game coming into the game against Miami.
Georgia Tech returns home to face the No. 10/10 Maryland Terrapins in a 3 p.m., contest on ESPN2 on Sunday, Jan. 20, for Kids’ Day at McCamish Pavilion. Anyone 18 and under can get buy a ticket for just $2. The Kids’ Zone, which will be located outside the east entrance, will feature a bounce house, pop-a-shot, poster making station and music will open at 1:30 p.m. Buzz, the Georgia Tech cheerleaders and dance team will all be in attendance.
At halftime, the Little Dribblers will entertain the crowd and an autograph session will follow the game. Tickets can be purchased online at RamblinWreck.com or by calling 888-TECH-TIX.
Fans are encouraged to follow Georgia Tech women’s basketball on Twitter, @GTWBB, and like the Yellow Jackets on Facebook, GTWomensBasketball, for an inside look at the program.