The Georgia Tech women’s basketball program is off to a dominating start in the 2019-20 season with four blowout victories.
The Nell Fortner era of Georgia Tech women’s basketball is off to a strong start through the Jackets first four games. The Yellow Jackets, who are looking to put a disappointing end of last season behind them have dominated their first four opponents this season.
While still early, the Jackets this season have outscored their opponents a combined 300-148. Complete domination from start to finish each game so far. Now, it’s still early in the season obviously but the dominating wins are a good sign of what could be to come for Fortner’s squad.
The story for the Yellow Jackets has been after playing close first quarters (total score 62-52), the Jackets have completely dominated the final three quarters of play so far. In second quarters this season, the Jackets have outscored their opponents 86-23 and have all but left no doubt of a win by the end of the third quarter, outscoring 73-35.
More from Yellow Jacked Up
- Georgia Tech Women’s Basketball: Yellow Jackets find out opponent for Big Ten-ACC Challenge
- Georgia Tech Football: What the new ACC scheduling format means for the Yellow Jackets
- Georgia Tech gets six new commits to 2023 class after official visits
- Georgia Tech hosts a plethora of 2023 recruits this weekend
- Dontae Smith slated for big season in 2022
Through the first four games, the Jackets have had two similar opponnts to last season’s early schedule. Those opponents being the Houston Cougars and the Georgia Bulldogs. Looking at the scores, it’s truly amazing how much difference one season could make. Last year, the Jackets opened up their season with an overtime loss to Houston, a final score of 95-89. This season, the Jackets didn’t give Houston a chance, cruising to a 69-38 victory.
Georgia, on the other hand, played the Jackets close last season, with the game ultimately ending up a 63-53 win for the Jackets. This season? The Jackets last Sunday took down the Bulldogs 73-40 in Athens. Again, those are just two results, and early season results at that but such domination just a year apart is quite impressive. Additionally, when you average 75 points per game as a team, you’re going to become quite hard to beat and we’ve seen that early on.
A huge part of the Jackets success this season has obviously come thanks to their defense. The Jackets are holding opponents to just a 28.5% shooting percentage including 18.5% from beyond the arch. They’re forcing over 20 turnovers per game and are coming away with almost 10 steals per game. Add in the six block they average per game and you can get the picture, the Jackets early on this season have been ELITE defensively. All of this plus their offensive success has lead the Jackets to a scoring margin of +38.0 which is the seventh best in the country. Above them are traditional women’s powers such as Baylor, Mississippi State, and South Carolina.
Offensively, the Jackets are being lead by senior Francesca Pan who is averaging 17.5 points through four games after averaging just over 11 points per game last season. Pan, is going to have to be the Jackets leader this season offensively after seeing key players Elizabeth Balogun and Liz Dixon transfer away from the program this past offseason.
Pan is getting a ton of help, however, with four other players averaging double-digit points here early in the season. Sophomore Jasmin Carson wasn’t much of an offensive threat last season but is averaging 13 points per game so far and has already surpassed her points total from a season ago. Add in 11.3 points per game by Kierra Fletcher, 10.5 from Lorela Cubaj, and 10.0 Lotta-Maj Lahtinen and it’s quite easy to see just why the Jackets are dominating so far this season.
Now, what does this all mean? Well, I think it’s important to note that this doesn’t mean the Jackets are suddenly ACC title contender. That being said, I think the Jackets could make quite a bit of noise in ACC play this season and improve on their 7-9 conference record from a year ago.
Now, going forward, the Jackets are going to have a few days off before heading to the Bahamas and set to take on Seton Hall on November 28. The Pirates are 4-2 this season and have been decent. They should give the Jackets a good shot on the 28th. The Jackets will then take on either Rutgers or Vanderbilt on November 29th, both are very winnable games.
Following their trip to the Bahammas, matchups against Wisconsin and Kennesaw State await the Yellow Jackets in the upcoming weeks. With that, the Jackets have a great chance of starting 8-0 this year. Though going 3-1 over the next four games should be considered an acceptable outcome as well. Ultimately, the Jackets goal should be to be a one-or-two loss team heading into their December 29th showdown against Virginia as they start ACC play.
That all being said, there are still plenty of games to be played even until then but if the Jackets keep winning, momentum and chatter should begin to grow around Nell Fortner’s squad.