Georgia Tech Women’s Basketball: Jackets Upset NC State on Sunday Afternoon

The Georgia Tech women’s basketball team picked up a big late season win over the NC State Wolfpack on Sunday afternoon.

The Georgia Tech women’s basketball team (17-9, 8-7) picked up a huge late-season resume boosting win on Sunday afternoon over the NC State Wolfpack (22-3, 11-3) by a final score of 65-61. The Wolfpack entered Sunday’s game as a the No.4 ranked team in the nation with a 22-2 record, the Jackets on the other hand entering the game 16-9 and winners of three of their last four following a six-game losing streak.

To earn the victory, the Yellow Jackets needed to garner a big second half, something that has alluded them during much of their struggles. The Yellow Jackets entered the second half of Sunday’s game down 30-25 after a back-and-forth first quarter before their offense sputtered int the second quarter that they were outscored 13-7 in.

Senior Francesca Pan was the dynamite the Jackets offense needed in the second half. During the third quarter, the native of Italy provided the Yellow Jackets withe half of their offense, scoring 13-points in the third quarter.

Pan finished the game with a new career of high of 30-points. She was 11-for-24 from the field on Sunday afternoon including an efficient 4-for-9 from beyond the arch and 4-for-5 from the free-throw line. She was also strong on the boards, bringing down seven rebounds which was tied for the team-high with Lotta-Maj Lahtinen.

Defensively, the Jackets performance in the quarter was good enough as they allowed 15 points in the quarter. The Jackets forced five turnovers in the quarter allowing the Jackets to take advantage on the offensive side of the court.

With their strong play on both sides of the court, the Jackets were able to erase their 30-25 deficit at halftime and turn it into a 51-45 lead heading into the final quarter of play.

The fourth quarter wasn’t as strong offensively for the Jackets, only scoring 14-points in the final 10-minutes of play. Luckily for the Jackets, the Wolfpack only managed 16-points themselves. The Jackets lead during the fourth quarter rose to as much as 12-points (59-47) with 6:51 remaining before the Wolfpack began to make a run.

After the Jackets took a game-high 12-point lead, the Wolfpack would keep the Yellow Jackets scoreless for the next four minutes and 19 seconds and cut Tech’s lead down to four points with an 8-0 run. The game would come down to free throws in the final minute and the Yellow Jackets would pass the test, hitting four of their six attempts. The Jackets would hold off on the Wolfpack and win the game 65-61.

To go along with Pan’s 30-point performance, freshman Nerea Hermosa was also strong in the Jackets victory, providing the Jackets with a strong scoring option off the bench in the game. The native of Spain provided the Yellow Jackets with 12-points in 26 minutes of action and was perfect from the field, hitting all six of her shots. She also provided six rebounds, one assist, one steal, and three blocks in the winning effort.

The victory on Sunday for the Yellow Jackets is an important one to say the least. Earlier this season, the Yellow Jackets were in prime position to make the NCAA Tournament, however, a nearly one month stretch nearly erased all their early season good will with a six-game losing streak. Sunday’s win is what is the beginning of the Jackets last stand in possibly trying to save their season.

The Yellow Jackets will play their penultimate home game of the 2019-20 regular season on Thursday when the No.9 ranked Louisville Cardinals come to Atlanta, an opportunity for another huge resume boost. The Georgia Tech men’s basketball team pulled off a wire-to-wire upset over the Cardinals last week and the women will now be looking to do the same on Thursday night. Tip-off for the game is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. at McCamish Pavillion.