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Tech Tops App State in Home Opener, 71-53

THE FLATS – Behind three players in double-figures, the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team secured its first win of the 2018-19 season Sunday afternoon, defeating Appalachian State, 71-53. Elizabeth Balogun led the Jackets with a game-high 21 points.

“I thought we were a little fatigued today coming off a double-overtime loss [at Houston Friday night],” commented head coach MaChelle Joseph. “But I thought we did a great job persevering and making big plays down the stretch. We went with a four guard lineup and were able to get some momentum trapping their ball screens, turning them over and getting some easy baskets. I thought Elizabeth Balogun and Francesca Pan carried us offensively. Kierra Fletcher, in the second half was big, she came in and dug out a lot of rebounds and really started our transition game.”

How It Happened
For nearly the entire game, Georgia Tech held an advantage over App State, surrendering the lead for a mere 1:26 of the game. ASU hit the first bucket of the game, but the Jackets answered opening an 11-3 lead off Balogun’s first of three triples on the afternoon less than six minutes into the game. Balogun and Francesa Pan would combine for back-to-back field goals to close the opening frame, leaving Tech with a 21-12 advantage entering the second quarter.

The Mountaineers gained momentum in the second frame, coming within two points, 21-19, after a 7-0 spurt to open the period. However, the run was snapped on two free throws from Lorela Cubaj followed by six unanswered points from D’asia Gregg for a 29-19 Tech lead. Coming out of the media break, Pan connected on a three-pointer for a 32-21 tally before App State used a 12-0 run to reverse its deficit into a 33-32 lead. Balogun closed the half hitting her second three-pointer to send Tech into the locker room with a 35-33 halftime lead.

App State would tie the game in the third quarter on a Lainey Gosnell bucket, but Balogun would return the final lead to the Jackets on the next possession. Tech led by as many as 20 points in the fourth quarter following a three-pointer from Lotta-Maj Lahtinen for a 71-51 Tech advantage. ASU closed the game with its final field goal for the 71-53 score.

Tech Tidbits
* Balogun has opened her freshman campaign on a high note finishing with a game-high 21 points
* Pan posted 17 points followed by Kierra Fletcher with 10 points
* Fletcher led the Jackets in the rebounding battle, pulling down eight rebounds
* Tech dished out 17 assists on the afternoon led by four apiece from Cubaj and Fletcher
* For the game, Tech shot 41.2 percent (28-68) from the field and 80.0 percent (8-10) from the charity stripe
* App State was held to a 35.8 percent (19-53) shooting clip and was paced offensively by Pre Stanley and Tierra Wilson each with 13 points
* ASU won the battle on the glass, 38-33, paced by 15 rebounds from Bayley Plummer

Next Up
Georgia Tech continues this three-game homestand on Wednesday, Nov. 14, welcoming Western Carolina. Tip is slated for 7 p.m. on ACC Network Extra.

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