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GTWBB will finish winless in road ACC play

76-53 loss at #10 Notre Dame ensures Tech will finish no better than 5-13 in ACC play, with all wins in McCamish

Bianca Jackson (center) finished with eight points on 3 of 6 shooting.
Ian Baker - GT Athletics

For the first time since the 05/06 season, Georgia Tech women’s basketball will finish ACC play without a win on the road. Tech simply did not have the weapons to stay with #10 Notre Dame and the Olivia Miles led Fighting Irish squad tonight. Olivia herself bested all scorers with 13 points on 5 of 15 shooting. Cameron Swartz was Tech’s leading scorer with 10 points.

Tech actually had a very impressive start, going out to an 8-0 lead from four different scorers, including what I’d bet to be Aixa Wone Aranaz’s longest made jump shot of the season coming a couple feet inside the arc on the left side. Notre Dame called timeout with 7:48 on the clock in the first quarter, and proceeded to go on their own 8-0 run to tie it up.

Tonie Morgan’s layup to make it 10-8 Tech made it so all five Tech starters scored a bucket. Tech only made one more basket in the final few minutes of the first, going down 17-12.

Sonia Cintron’s three with 6:04 left in the 2nd put Notre Dame up 27-18, their largest lead at the time, and ultimately Tech had nothing in them to pull closer than four points the rest of the way. Notre Dame’s lead quickly ballooned in the second half, gaining a 20 point lead with 2:11 left in the third.

The entire fourth quarter essentially was garbage time, to the point Fortner played Raeven Boswell for the first time since the Furman game on December 21. Swartz took a hard fall to her tailbone with under a minute to go while drawing a foul under the basket. She was able to shake it off to make one of two free throws before the final buzzer, the Irish winning 76-53.

A couple big picture thoughts

This was by far the best team Tech played all year, and the result is not a far cry from what anyone with knowledge of these two teams would expect. It was already an emotionally charged night for Notre Dame as it was senior night, and they were nice enough to acknowledge Bianca Jackson, Nerea Hermosa, and Swartz as this is their final seasons as well.

If I got to ask Nell Fortner questions tonight, I would be interested to know if she thought this was a bad loss more than anything. She knows this team is young and these kind of games are new experiences for the core that will take Tech forward the next couple seasons, but she also continually expects progress.

It does suck that Tech won’t come out of this season with a conference road win. Virginia and Wake Forest are the only other teams winless in ACC plays. At time of writing, Virginia was down 10 at Clemson, and has a road date with Miami on Sunday. Wake Forest has played all of their road games. Tech had their best chance at Wake, losing 51-50.

Georgia Tech women’s basketball next plays Sunday, February 26 vs. #9 Virginia Tech at 4 p.m. at McCamish Pavilion, their final home game of the season. TV: ACCN