*Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics/Greg Fiume
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Georgia Tech erased a 20-point halftime deficit and came within one possession in the second half, but could not overcome the No. 7 Maryland Terrapins on Thursday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, falling 67-54. Tech used a strong third quarter in its rally and was led offensively by Kierra Fletcher with 14 points on the night as Tech dropped to 5-2 overall. No. 7 Maryland improved to 7-0.
“I thought Maryland was exceptional in the first half,” commented head coach MaChelle Joseph. “I’m proud of my team and the way we battled back in the second half. I thought we played our hearts out, but we have to be able to put two halves together. I think our young players – our freshmen and sophomores – really grew up today. It was a great experience for us today heading into ACC play because this is the night we have night in and night out in our league.”
How It Happened
Georgia Tech shot just 21.4 percent (3-14) in the opening frame and 29.6 percent (8-27) for the first half to fall behind Maryland early. The Terrapins opened a double-digit lead off a three-point play bookending the first media timeout and expanded their lead to 25-8 at the 7:22 mark in the second frame. Francesca Pan and Elizabeth Balogun each hit a three-pointer within the next minute to draw the score to 27-14, but Maryland closed the period with a 6-0 spurt for a 38-18 halftime lead.
Tech outscored Maryland 26-9 in the third period to make it a one possession ballgame entering the final frame. Pan opened the stanza with a three-pointer that shifted momentum to the Jackets. With 5:34 on the clock, Lorela Cubaj hit a jumper that sparked a 19-3 run over the remainder of the frame as Tech cut its 20-point halftime deficit into a three-point disadvantage, 47-44, at the end of the third quarter.
Lotta-Maj Lahtinen connected on a bucket to open the final period, setting up a 47-46 tally, but Maryland’s Kaila Charles went on an 11-0 run to push the Terrapins back out with a double-digit lead that sealed the win for Maryland.
* Fletcher led Tech with 14 points followed by Balogun with 13 points
* Cubaj finished with a team-high six rebounds as Maryland won the rebounding battle, 43-26
* Maryland finished with a 17-for-18 performance at the free throw line, while Tech was limited to a 4-for-6 effort
* The Jackets forced 20 Terrapin turnovers and converted the miscues into 17 points
* Lahtinen finished with six steals as the Jackets recorded 14 on the night
* For the game, Tech shot 37.9 percent (22-58), while Maryland shot 42.6 percent (23-54)
* Maryland was led by Charles with 23 points and Taylor Miksell with 20 points
The Jackets conclude this four-game road swing visiting Georgia State on Sunday, Dec. 2. Tip is slated for 2 p.m.