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Late Surge Falls Short as Jackets Drop 75-68 Decision to No. 13/15 Duke

THE FLATS — Georgia Tech cut it to five points late in the game, but couldn’t upset No. 13/15 Duke Thursday night, falling 75-68 in McCamish Pavilion. With the loss, the Jackets dropped to 11-4 on the season and 0-2 in ACC play.

“I’m disappointed in the result. I really felt like our freshmen and sophomores really stepped up and played pretty well — in particular Francesca Pan,” commented head coach MaChelle Joseph. “I thought she [Pan] did what I knew she was capable of doing all year long and I thought Kaylan Pugh is starting to get in the flow of things offensively and defensively. I’m really excited to see where we’re going to go. I’m disappointed in our defense — we usually don’t give up that many points.”

How It Happened
Georgia Tech led 22-20 after the first quarter using a 6-of-7 performance at the charity stripe, but a 15-12 scoring edge from Duke in the second quarter setup a 35-34 Blue Devil lead at halftime. Francesca Pan raced out to open the game, scoring Tech’s first 12 points, helping the Jackets erase an eight-point deficit midway through the first frame. Tech closed the opening stanza with a 7-0 spurt to carry a 22-20 edge into the second quarter. Tech held a four point lead twice early in the second quarter before Duke tied it up with buckets from Erin Mathias and Kyra Lambert. Following the tie, the teams traded the lead back-and-forth the remainder of the half with Duke finishing the frame hitting two free throws for a one point lead at the break.

Duke spanned the third and fourth quarters with an 8-0 run to grab its largest lead of the game, 59-47, forcing the Jackets to call a timeout with less than two minutes expired in the final frame. The teams traded baskets over the next five minutes before Antonia Peresson went to the line for three and connected on two to bring the score to 71-65 with 22.4 seconds remaining. Following a pair of free throws from the Blue Devils, Cha’Ron Sweeney drained her third triple of the game to bring the Jackets within five at 73-68 with 8.8 ticks on the clock. Duke closed out the game at the free throw line for the final score.

Tech Tidbits
* Tech out-rebounded the Blue Devils in the second half to walk away with a 34-32 edge on the boards
* Freshman Francesca Pan was two points shy of matching her career-high, finishing with 23 points on the night
* Pan nearly missed a double-double, pulling down nine rebounds
* Kaylan Pugh pitched in a personal-best 17 points on the evening, shooting 8-of-9 from the field
* Tech finished 14-of-21 from the charity stripe after going 6-of-7 in the first quarter
* The loss snapped a two-game win streak the Jackets held over the Blue Devils

Next Up
Georgia Tech hits the road for its next matchup, traveling to Boston College on Thursday, Jan. 12 for a 7 p.m. matchup.

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