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Strong Finish Pushes Jackets Past Panthers, 73-60

GREENSBORO, N.C. – A strong fourth quarter finish by Georgia Tech propelled the Yellow Jackets to a 73-60 victory over Pitt in the first round of the ACC Tournament on Wednesday afternoon in the Greensboro Coliseum. Tonie Morgan finished with her eighth double-double of the season, leading a quartet of Yellow Jackets in double-figures.

It was a close battle in the first half as Pitt gained a three-point edge as time wound down, but Morgan hit a jumper as time expired to end the first quarter with Tech in the lead, 19-18. The Panthers quickly regained the advantage to open the second frame, but it was short-lived as Kara Dunn and Rusne Augustinaite sparked a 14-3 run midway through the period to open a 33-25 advantage. A pair of triples from Bella Perkins setup a one-point game, but Aixa Wone Aranaz drained a triple to help Tech hold a 38-32 lead at halftime.

It all came down to the final quarter with Tech holding on to a 48-47 lead after Pitt claimed the third stanza. A pair of buckets from Liatu King put the Panthers up by one, but it would be the last time Pitt held an advantage as Dunn and Morgan answered with back-to-back three-point plays for a 58-53 Tech lead with 4:54 to go. Pitt chipped away, cutting the score to 60-58, but a three-pointer from Augustinaite at the 1:50 mark sank the Panthers as Tech controlled the final two minutes. The Jackets would extend their lead to 69-58 following a pair of free throws from Kayla Blackshear and closeout the win to advance to the second round.

Morgan led the Jackets with 24 points and 11 rebounds, hitting seven field goals and converting 10-of-13 free throw attempts. Dunn followed with 14 points and nine rebounds, while Augustinaite added 13 points and Blackshear contributed 12 points to the board. The Jackets dominated on the glass, winning the battle, 40-29, and hit 73 percent at the free throw line (19-26).

Aislin Malcolm and Perkins led Pitt with 16 points apiece, while King, who was held scoreless in the first half, finished with 15.

The win marked the 250th win in head coach Nell Fortner’s career as a collegiate head coach.

Georgia Tech will face No. 7-seeded Duke in the ACC Tournament second round on Thursday. Tip is slated for 5 p.m. on ACC Network.

 

Alexander-Tharpe Fund
The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of the development of Yellow Jackets that thrive academically at the Institute and compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes. To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.

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