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Strong Second Half Sends Jackets Past Clemson, 60-48

CLEMSON, S.C. — Georgia Tech used a strong second half to pull away with a 60-48 victory Sunday afternoon at Clemson. The Jackets shot 51.9 percent in the second half, while holding Clemson to a 31.8 percent shooting efficiency to pick up their first ACC road win of the season.

“I was really proud of the resiliency we showed in the second half,” commented head coach MaChelle Joseph. “I thought that getting the defensive stops was huge, but the fact that we were able to shoot over 50.0 percent for the first time in the second half in a long time made me really pleased with the players that stepped up. Adversity doesn’t build character, it reveals it and I was really proud of the way we stepped up and took care of the game in the second half. When Clemson made a run at us, we were able to weather the storm. I felt like Francesca Pan made some big plays down the stretch as well as Zaire O’Neil.”

How It Happened
Neither team held larger than a four point lead in the first half as Tech gained an 11-7 edge on a Breanna Brown bucket to close the first quarter and hold the advantage. The score remained within one possession in the second quarter as the teams stood tied for the fifth time in the game at halftime, 23-23. Breanna Brown posted seven points, three rebounds, a steal and a block in the first half for Tech, while Lorela Cubaj set a personal best with three blocks.

Trailing by one following a Kobi Thornton free throw, Zaire O’Neil sparked a 12-4 run over two minutes, fueled by the senior with six points, as Tech pulled away with a 41-34 lead in the third. Clemson was forced to call its first timeout at 2:25. The Tigers answered with five unanswered points before Antonia Peresson drained a triple to end the frame and send Tech into the final period leading 45-39.

Tech outscored Clemson 15-9 in the final stanza to secure the win. The Jackets opened a double-digit lead, 52-42, off a Francesca Pan three-pointer with 4:26 to play. Tech would lead by as many as 15 points in the final 10 minutes hitting 50.0 percent (5-10) from the floor in the frame. Clemson shot 25.0 percent (3-12) in the fourth quarter.

Tech Tidbits
* For the game, Tech shot 46.2 percent (24-52) from the field and Clemson hit 34.8 percent (16-46)
* Pan led the Jackets offensively with 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting
* The Jackets dished out 15 assists on 24 made field goals, led by Kierra Fletcher and O’Neil each with three
* Lorela Cubaj set a new personal best in blocks, recording three through halftime
* Tech won the battle on the glass, 35-29, paced by eight boards from Cubaj and seven from Brown

Next Up
Tech returns to Atlanta to host Boston College on Thursday. Tip inside McCamish Pavilion is slated for 7 p.m. on ACC Network Extra.

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