McCAMISH PAVILION — Coming off a ten point win in Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech Women’s Basketball won their third straight game by defeating the Clemson Tigers 70-62. Tech moves to 12-4 on the year and 3-1 in the ACC.
Kara Dunn’s 19 points and 11 in the fourth quarter alone was the final burst Tech needed to close out the win after Clemson came within a bucket in the third quarter, and again in the fourth but after Tech had stretched the lead to ten.
“Thankful for the win, a hard fought one. Clemson is a hard charging team that never quits for 40 minutes. I’m proud of how we had to handle some adversity down the stretch and continue to score the ball,” said Georgia Tech head coach Nell Fortner after the game.
Clemson got things rolling with a couple threes before Tech countered with a three by Augstinaite and a three point play by Tonie Morgan to take a an 8-6 lead. a second-chance putback from Axia Wone Aranaz with under 5 minutes left gave Tech the lead they’d hold throughout the rest of the quarter, capitalized by a Tonie Morgan buzzer-beater three to end the quarter 17-11.
2nd Quarter (17-11 GT)
The Tigers opened the second with a 7-0 scoring run, shutting down the Tech offense until Tonie Morgan connected with Kayla Blackshear for a three-point play. Augstinaite kept the momentum going with a three and Morgan lengthened the lead before a timeout from Clemson at 28-18. Both sides then went cold for four minutes before Morgan revived the offense with a bucket to go up 30-23.
3rd Quarter (32-23 GT)
Clemson hit two quick baskets early, but Inés Noguero countered with a a three to make it 35-28.. Kara Dunn then scored off a steal before Tech entered their customary third quarter nap where Clemson scored eight unanswered points in less than a minute, cutting the lead to 41-39. Tech’s scoring drought ended with Tonie Morgan sinking two at the line, she was 5-5 from the line.
4th Quarter (45-41 GT)
The Jackets started the fourth with a four-point lead which was immediately cut to one by a three-point play from Amari Robinson. A reverse layup from Dunn followed by a Sydney Johnson steal-turned-Nogureo score began a 7-0 scoring run from the Jackets. The Tigers found some life in scoring and hustle from Dayshan Harris, but the Jackets were able to answer with big points from Blackshear and Augustinaite. Tigers made it a one-possession game with one minute left, but Kara Dunn answered with her 17th point of the game. Dunn increased the lead from the charity stripe and Agustinaite put the final nail in Clemson’s coffin with a last-second bucket the 70-62 win.
Points: Kara Dunn (GT)/Amari Robinson (CLEM) - 19
Assists: Tonie Morgan (GT) - 7
Rebounds: Kayla Blackshear (GT)/Amari Robinson (CLEM) - 10
Turnovers: Ruby Whitehorn (CLEM) - 4
- Beating a team we should beat: Clemson came in with an 8-8 record. Tech is a plus-.500 team. They should be winning these games, and they did. If there was a perfect aggregation of how this game could unfold, this was that game. There was a little bit a foul trouble, a little bit of three point shooting, regular free throw shooting, some phantom fouls, good transition buckets, almost like a simulation.
- Third quarter naps have plagued both basketball teams: I don’t know why we do this in seemingly every basketball game played by a Georgia Tech team, but after a couple minutes in the third quarter (or front half of the 2nd period for the men), the offense sputters to a halt and our opponents go on big runs that negate any lead we create in the first half. We saw it happen to the men against Boston College, and it nearly cost Tech their lead tonight. I wish I had an explanation for this. We asked Kayla Blackshear about it in the press conference, but her response, likely the acutal reason, was “we had to take a blow and they we responded. That’s just the name of the game.” Still, the pattern bugs me. We’ll do more research on this.
- Potential injuries: Fortner noted in the press conference that Tonie Morgan has been dealing with cramps (she came out at a critical moment in the middle of the fourth quarter with Tech only up 2), and they had to manage that with added minutes by Sydney Johnson (20 minutes, seven assists). Noguero has been playing with a left elbow injury as well and could be seen grabbing at it multiple times during the game. Thankfully, it’s not her shooting arm, so at least for now, it hasn’t been an issue to play through.
Georgia Tech Women’s Basketball next plays Sunday, January 14 at 2 p.m at Duke on ACCNX.