TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Georgia Tech battled through 18 lead changes and 12 ties against No. 9/12 Florida State and cut the score to one point with less than 40 seconds to play, but could not pull out the upset, falling 64-61.
“Obviously we are really disappointed in the final result, but I really was proud of the way our team competed,” commented head coach MaChelle Joseph. “Florida State has been averaging 90-plus points at home this season and I thought our defensive effort was the difference in the game. I think we gave ourselves a chance to win.”
How It Happened
It was a back-and-forth battle in the first half with 14 lead changes and nine ties as Georgia Tech held the largest lead by either team of five points in the second quarter. Neither team led by more than one possession in the first frame with the Seminoles grabbing a 13-12 edge at the break. Elo Edeferioka opened the second stanza with a bucket, sparking a 7-1 Jacket run to give Tech the 19-14 advantage with 7:29 to play in the quarter. The Seminoles answered with a 6-0 spurt to regain the lead as the teams traded the lead through the remainder of the stanza. Tied at 23-23, Imani Wright hit the front end of a pair of free throws with the second attempt rolling off the back iron and Francesca Pan pulling down the rebound. Pan converted the board into a three-point play to give Tech a 26-24 lead with 1:23 to play, but FSU knotted it up and took the 29-28 halftime edge on a three-pointer from Wright with 12 seconds on the clock.
Tech kept a close hold on FSU in the third frame as the Seminoles pushed out with a six-point lead twice, but the Jackets rallied back, coming within a single possession. Trailing 48-43 with 1:34 to play in the frame, Pan drained a triple from the top of the key to close the quarter with Tech trailing 48-46. The Jackets opened the final stanza with a pair of layups from Imani Tilford and Breanna Brown to retake the lead, 50-48, and force FSU to call an early timeout. After FSU took a slight edge, the Jackets would claim their final lead off an Edeferioka bucket at 6:34 before FSU’s Thomas returned the advantage to the Seminoles for the final time.
FSU led by five points, 61-56, with 2:12 on the clock, but Imani Tilford drained a triple at 1:42, slicing the score to 61-59. Thomas hit the front end of a pair of free throws, extending FSU’s lead to three before Pan pulled the Jackets within one hitting two free throws of her own. As the clock wound down, FSU missed the shot and a jump ball was called with 5.9 on the clock with possession to the Seminoles. The home squad sealed the win hitting two free throws as Pan’s three-point attempt as time expired hit the back iron.
* Edeferioka posted a double-double behind 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Jackets
* Pan finished with 14 points
* FSU committed 19 turnovers to Tech’s eight
* The Seminoles won the rebounding battle, 46-42
* For the game, Tech shot 28.6 percent (20-70) — FSU shot 37.7 percent (20-53)
* The Jackets finished 18-of-21 from the charity stripe, while FSU was 20-for-28
Tech will head to Greensboro, N.C. for the 2018 ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament. The tournament runs Feb. 28-March 4.