clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Morgan, Swartz, and Blackshear all with big nights in win over Clemson

Second straight home win and another huge Tonie Morgan night

Tonie Morgan continues putting up new career highs in her young collegiate career
GT Athletics

ATLANTA — Georgia Tech defeats Clemson 85-74 in their second conference win of the season. January 26th’s game between the Yellow Jackets and Clemson Tigers similar to last year was one of the most exciting games of this season.

The Jackets have struggled so far in ACC play, winning only one of the last seven conference games, but Nell Fortner has been seeing improvement even in the losses.

Fortner started the press conference after the game on that beat. “The win-loss record is what it is. I can’t worry about that. I want this team to continue to get better and to continue to grow as a team, as individual players, and they are. I know they are.”

The Jackets had history on their side having won the last eight games against Clemson and 12 of the last 13 to take a 46-45 all-time series lead last year.

Five Yellow Jackets put up double figures last night with Cameron Swartz leading the Jackets in scoring with 24 points. Kayla Blackshear led the Jackets in rebounds with eight and went 9-13 from the field. Nerea Hermosa put up 12 points, seven rebounds, and three assists as well. However, Tonie Morgan was the star of tonight's show, posting her third career double-double and a career-high of 12 assists.

Fortner ended up using Morgan all 40 minutes of the game. “I’m so proud of Tonie Morgan. The kid plays 40 minutes at the point guard spot. That is not easy for a freshman to do, and lead a team to an ACC win. Really proud of her and the progress she’s making.”

Nell Fortner started the same line-up from the last three games. After a couple scoreless first minutes, Clemson made it on the board first with a made three-pointer from Daisha Bradford.

Clemson maintained the lead from then until the final minute of the quarter when a fast break layup from Kayla Blackshear turned the tides putting the Jackets up 13-12. Hannah Hank took back the lead for Clemson with a made three, but it was followed by a jumper from Cameron Swartz to tie up the score at 15 going into the second quarter.

The start of the second saw some quick buckets from the Tigers to take back the lead. Avyonce Carter kept the game in reach with two free throws and a fast-break layup in the most productive stretch of her twelve minutes played. That was immediately followed by nine straight points from four different Jackets to move ahead 28-23.

After a couple Clemson baskets, Tonie Morgan found a groove drawing an and-one foul on a jumper and sinking the free throw. With 1:12 left in the half, Swartz knocked down a huge three and sent the teams into the locker room with Tech up 34-29.

Clemson opened the third quarter with an intentional foul, resulting in two made free throws from Swartz immediately extending the Jackets’ lead. Kayla Blackshear was able to sink a jumper before a technical foul was called on Kara Dunn, allowing for two free points for the Tigers. Morgan found Blackshear in back-to-back plays adding four more points to the Jackets’ score in what became one of Blackshear’s best nights of the season. For Nell, she’s one of her primary coaching projects this season.

“It’s interesting coaching [Blackshear]. I felt like I was on her hard the whole game, and she finishes up 9-13 with eight boards. I’m always wanting more from her because I know there’s more in her. So I look at these numbers and say ‘this was a pretty good day at the office here,’ and let’s add five steals to her numbers. I was on her the whole game! But that’s how I feel about her. She has more in her [emphasis added] and I want to get it out of her and I’m going to keep trying.”

A Morgan steal led to a three-ball from Swartz to extend the lead again. Nerea Hermosa contributed to the Jacket’s scoring with a couple of layups, both assisted by Swartz. The Tigers fought back with eight unanswered points to close out the third 57-50.

The fourth quarter followed a similar thread with Morgan dishing out an assist to Kara Dunn for a fast-break layup. Swartz followed with two free throws and a three to send the Jackets up by 12.

Both teams took turns scoring for several plays keeping the point difference around 10. The Tigers fought back with fouls, reaching the double bonus with a little over two minutes left in the game. Clemson came within seven points thanks to three straight threes from Amari Robinson, but it was not enough to overtake the Jackets. Tech came away with their second ACC win and ninth straight win over Clemson 85-74.

Tech stays over .500 at 11-10, 2-8 in ACC play. They get a week off before hosting NC State on February 2 in McCamish.