Georgia Tech got their first win in the 2023-2024 Clean, Old Fashioned Hate multi-sport series with a 64-53 win in women’s basketball, only the ninth win in the series history for the Jackets. Tech is now 7-3 this season with one non-conference game remaining.
Kara Dunn was once again Tech’s leading scorer after earning ACC Player of the Week for her 39 point performance against Georgia State, scoring 21 points with five rebounds and two steals. Tonie Morgan, Rusne Augustinaite, and Kayla Blackshear all hit at least 11 points. Aixa Wone Aranaz and Sydney Johnson were the only bench players to score for Tech with five combined points.
Tech’s defense did the job they needed to against a tall and lanky Georgia team, holding their primary scorer Javyn Nicholson to just 12 points on 28% shooting. The Bulldogs critically were not effective at the free throw line, shooting 9-21 to Tech’s 12-17.
Tonie Morgan flirted with a triple-double, the second player to do so this year after Inés Noguero nearly had one against Mercer. She was extremely close after the third quarter, only needing a rebound and three assists, but a cold 4th quarter shooting for Tech prevented her from getting the necessary assists.
It’s been 21 years since a Jacket had a triple-double (Milli Martinez, 2002 vs. Morris Brown), but this might be the team for someone to get one. Morgan twice in her career has come close. Dunn is a point and rebouding machine, Blackshear regularly is in double-double range, and Noguero as said as gotten close. If this is something you can bet on, I’d do it.
I missed the first half while running errands (but got to be treated to Richard Musterer and Kurt Hoyt on the radio), so just recapping the second half here:
Georgia’s press was much more effective after the halftime break, shutting down Tech’s offense to just one made bucket in the opening five minutes of the half. They shrunk the Jacket lead to ten at 44-34 before Tech roared back with five points from Tonie Morgan to make it 49-34. Augusinaite earned herself a three point play (not converted) and then Morgan reached 11 points to be within three assists and one rebound of a triple-double by the end of the quarter, Tech leading 55-41.
Tech kept the pressure up in the fourth quarter, going up 20 points on Kara Dunn’s 20th point of the game for a 61-41 lead. The Bulldogs finished with a 12-3 run, but could not get any further with most of the points coming in the final five minutes of the game. The lack of scoring for the Jackets down the stretch did prevent Tonie Morgan from getting a triple-double, missing out on the needed assists.
Points: Kara Dunn (GT) - 21
Assists: Tonie Morgan (GT) - 8
Rebounds: Tonie Morgan (GT) - 12
Turnovers: Tonie Mogan (GT) - 7
- The demolition of the state of Georgia: Against opponents from Georgia, Tech went 4-0 against Kennesaw State, Mercer, Georgia State, and Georgia by a combined 87 points, winning by nearly 22 points a game. It’s rare in recent years for Tech to play four teams from Georgia, but 2019 was the last time they beat at least three in state opponents (Georgia, Kennesaw State, and Georgia State by a combined 90 points). This isn’t even counting the preseason exhibition game against Georgia College, where they won 93-56.
- This offense...Is very good. After Aixa Wone Aranaz was medically unavailable against Georgia State, the lineup with Kayla Blackshear playing at center with Noguero, Morgan, Dunn, and Augustinaite starting has been offensively potent. Despite only shooting 7% in the fourth quarter (it was effectively all garbage time) today, the Jackets shot no worse than 35% in any quarter, and have scored at least 15 points in every quarter save the fourth today between today and the Georgia State game. This is exactly what we’ve been hoping to see as Tech shifts its identity to an offense first team over defense.
- On Defense.. Noguero did a great job today, serving as a primary defender for Georgia’s guards who all shot 33% or worse. Even though she shot a couple airballs and didn’t record a point, she’s filling in her role extremely well and it complements the other scorers on this team. The bagel in the scoresheet does not worry me in the slightest knowing she’s impacting the game in many other ways.
Georgia Tech Women’s Basketball next plays Wednesday, December 20 at 2 p.m. against USC Upstate in McCamish Pavilion on ACCNX.
Jack Purdy is a non-revenue sports writer and co-host of Scions of the Southland for From the Rumble Seat. He previously served as The Technique’s assistant sports editor before graduating Georgia Tech in 2022. Follow Jack on Twitter @JackNicolaus