THE FLATS – Dominating the fourth quarter, Georgia Tech staged a comeback win against No. 23 Miami Thursday night, pocketing a 61-54 victory over the Hurricanes inside McCamish Pavilion. The Yellow Jackets, who trailed by as many as 16 points in the contest, finished with three in double-figures, including a double-double from Lorela Cubaj. The win kept the Jackets perfect at home (7-0) and improved the squad to 11-2 overall and 2-0 in ACC play.
How It Happened
Trailing by 11 points entering the fourth quarter, Georgia Tech outscored Miami, 30-12, in the final 10 minutes to erase the deficit and take home the win. The Jackets staged an 11-0 run, capped by a Jasmine Carson three-pointer, to open the quarter and tie the game for the first time at 42-42 with 7:24 to play. Lotta-Maj Lahtinen handed the Jackets their first and final lead of the contest, hitting a jumper at the 6:55 mark for a 44-43 Tech edge.
The Jackets shot 85.7 percent (12-14) from the field in the fourth quarter and led by as many as 10 points following a Lorela Cubaj bucket with 2:16 remaining. The Hurricanes snapped Tech’s run and put together a 7-0 spurt to setup a 57-54 tally with 1:01 to play. Kierra Fletcher hit a jumper with 33.8 on the clock as Carson connected on a pair of free throws to account for the final 61-54 win.
In the final 10 minutes, Tech scored 20 points in the paint, went 5-for-6 from the free throw line, forced seven Miami turnovers and won the battle on the glass, 7-3. Carson led the Jackets in the quarter with 10 points, followed by Lahtinen with eight.
Tech trailed by as many as 16 points in the first quarter as Miami came out strong and led 23-9 after the first 10 minutes. The Hurricanes led by 12 at halftime, 32-20, before Tech slowly began chipping away at its deficit in the third. Miami’s Beatrice Mompremier was held to her lowest offensive output of the season, finishing with nine points and eight rebounds. Miami shot 36.5 percent for the game and 76.9 percent from the free throw line.
For the game, Tech shot 41.1 percent from the field, 65.0 percent from the free throw line and won the rebounding battle, 39-32. Carson and Lahtinen each finished with 15 points, while Cubaj recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The win marked Tech’s first over a ranked opponent since a 65-55 victory over then-No. 12 Syracuse on Jan. 20, 2019.
“I’m just really proud of this team and the fight they showed in the second half,” commented head coach Nell Fortner. “We talked about it at the half, but I thought Miami came out and just punched us in the mouth with their speed, quickness, and their attack. They were playing at a pace that we weren’t ready to match. We challenged the team at the half that they had to match that and go beyond in the third quarter – and I thought we did that.
“But on the whole, this team is doing a good job of responding to the coaching and the information and working hard on the floor to translate it. I’m really proud of the effort and this win.”
Georgia Tech hits the road for the first time in 2020, traveling to Wake Forest for a Sunday matinee. Tip is slated for noon on ACC Network.