THE FLATS – Led by Francesca Pan and Lorela Cubaj, who scored a combined 43 points, Georgia Tech picked up a 62-52 victory over Wake Forest Sunday afternoon on Alumnae Day to improve to 16-8 overall and 7-6 in league play. Pan led all scorers with 22 points, followed by Cubaj with a career-high 21 points.
How It Happened
After the teams traded baskets in the early going and Tech led by four after the first quarter, Wake Forest grabbed a 20-17 lead, opening the second frame with a 7-0 spurt. Tech called a timeout and out of the break, closed the frame with an 11-2 run to lead 28-22 at halftime. Cubaj dominated in the paint in the first half, dropping in 12 points to lead Tech offensively.
The Jackets opened a double-digit lead in the third quarter, racing out with a 7-0 run as the Demon Deacons were forced to use an early timeout. Tech pushed its lead out to 15 points, but after Pan converted an old-fashioned three-point play to open the fourth quarter, Wake Forest used a 12-1 run to cut the score to 47-43 with 2:46 to play. Kierra Fletcher hit Tech’s last field goal of the game at the 1:38 mark as the Jackets went 15-for-17 at the free throw line in the final 10 minutes to hold off the Deacs’ late rally.
For the game, Tech shot 76.0 percent (19-25) at the free throw line, while limiting Wake Forest to a 7-for-10 effort. After Wake Forest won the rebounding battle in the final frame, 10-5, the teams finished even on the boards, each with 36. Cubaj just missed a double-double with 21 points and eight rebounds, while Pan was perfect at the free throw line, going 8-for-8 to set a personal-best in free throws made.
“We shot our free throws well today and that’s an area that has not been that good for us this year,” said head coach Nell Fortner. “We’ve lost games because of the free throw line and tonight, we won a game because of the free throw line. I’m really proud of that.”
Georgia Tech opens a two-game road swing visiting Virginia Tech on Thursday, Feb. 13. Tip in Blacksburg is slated for 7 p.m. on ACC Network Extra.
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