Feb. 10, 2013
THE FLATS – Junior Tyaunna Marshall recorded her fourth double-double in the last five games, but it wasn’t enough as Georgia Tech’s (10-14, 3-10 ACC) upset bid of No. 16/18 North Carolina (22-3, 10-2 ACC) came up just short, 60-58, Sunday afternoon at McCamish Pavilion.
Marshall finished with game-highs of 19 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Jackets. She also dished out four assists and grabbed four steals for Tech. Senior Danielle Hamilton-Carter tossed in 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds in 21 minutes off the bench. Junior Dawnn Maye added nine points, seven assists and seven steals for the Yellow Jackets.
“I’m proud of our effort,” head coach MaChelle Joseph said. “I think any time you can play a top 20 team like North Carolina to a two-point game and it comes down to the last possession, you have to be proud of your kids. Especially after bouncing back after a tough, heartbreaking loss in a late game on Friday night to Virginia Tech and then turning around and playing at 11:30. I’m just really proud of the young kids, their relentless effort and the way they keep bouncing back. I think the future is very bright.
“I’ve been really pleased with the way Ty has played the last couple weeks,” Joseph added. “The last three weeks she has led this team. She’s done everything I’ve asked her to do on and off the court. She has stepped up in big ways and multiple times in games. Ty does so much for this team and has done so much for this program, I feel like she needs to start and has earned that back. She’s had double-doubles in four of her last five games. Big time players play big time in February and that’s what she’s doing.”
Tech, which opened the first meeting against UNC slowly, raced out to a 7-2 lead at the first media timeout, capped by a Sydney Wallace 3-pointer. That three gave Wallace 80 for her career and moved her past Christie Finney for sole possession of 10th all-time for 3-pointers made at Georgia Tech.
The Tar Heels responded with a 13-3 run over the next six minutes to take a 15-10 lead midway through the opening half. A steal by Marshall who found Maye for a fastbreak layup tied the game at 26-26 with 5:36 to go in the half. An 8-0 UNC run put the Tar Heels up 34-26. Tech added a layup from Nariah Taylor and a free throw from Breana McDonald but trailed 34-29 at the half.
North Carolina earned its biggest lead of the day on a Waltiea Rolle layup at the 13:55 mark of the second half which put the Tar Heels up nine, 46-37. An Aaliyah Whiteside fastbreak layup tied the game at 48 with 7:03 to play. Marshall’s layup on the ensuing possession gave Georgia Tech its first lead since the 15:01 point of the first half when the Jackets were up 9-8.
Tech’s biggest lead of the second half was five, 54-49, on a Marshall jumper with just over four minutes remaining. UNC took a 57-55 edge with 1:24 to go when Xylina McDaniel knocked down a pair of free throws.
Marshall grabbed her final steal and layup to put Tech up 58-57 with 46.5 seconds left. Tierra Ruffin-Pratt made two free throws to nose North Carolina ahead, 59-58, on the next possession. Two more Tar Heel free throws by Latifah Coleman with 13 seconds left put UNC up 60-58.
With seven seconds left, Marshall drove the lane and as the UNC defense collapsed on her, she kicked it out to an open Whiteside, whose 3-point attempt was just off. North Carolina was able to inbound the ball to the front court as the clock expired.
Georgia Tech will have its first bye of the conference season as the Jackets don’t play until next Sunday when the Jackets travel to Raleigh, N.C., for a rematch with the NC State Wolfpack. Sunday’s tilt at Reynolds Coliseum will tip off at 2:30 p.m. ET and be televised on ESPN2.
Fans are encouraged to follow Georgia Tech women’s basketball on Twitter, @GTWBB, and like the Yellow Jackets on Facebook, GTWomensBasketball, for an inside look at the program.