The Georgia Tech women’s basketball team is coming off their best season in nearly a decade and it looks like the 2021-2022 season is already shaping up to be another strong campaign for Nell Fortner’s team.
On Tuesday afternoon, it was announced that senior forward Lorela Cubaj and senior guard Kierra Fletcher will be returning for another season on The Flats taking advantage of the NCAA’s extra-season of eligibility ruling. With both returning now for next season, the Jackets are expected to return their top three scorers from last season in Lotta-Maj Lahtinen (15.0 ppg), Fletcher (13.0 ppg), and Cubaj (12.5 ppg). Theoretically, they’re set to return all of their production from this past season which should make the Jackets a contender once again for the NCAA Women’s Tournament. We’ll have to wait and see what type or if any roster movement occurs over the course of the offseason.
Cubaj this season started and played in all 26 games for the Jackets and averaged 33.2 minutes per contest. She was strong from the field with a 43.9% shooting percentage, the second-highest on the team amongst Tech regulars. To go along with her 12.5 points per game she also averaged 11.5 rebounds per game this season.
Fletcher played in 21 of 26 games and made 19 starts over the course of the season. She averaged 35.2 minutes per game and was a 41.6% shooter from the field including 35.9% from beyond the arc, the highest on the team as she averaged her 13 points per game. Notably, she also finished second the team in assists with 78 while also totaling 11 blocks and 17 steals over the course of the season.
The two seniors were a huge part of the program’s success this past season and helped lead the Yellow Jackets to a 17-9 overall record including 12-6 in conference play. The Jackets 12 conference wins were the most the program has had since the 2011-12 season. It was also the first time the program history, the Jackets notched back-to-back 10+ win seasons in conference play after winning 10 games in 2019-2020.
The Jackets would make the NCAA Tournament as a No.5 seed in the Hemisphere region of this year’s NCAA Women’s Tournament defeating No.12 Stephen F. Austin in the round of 64 and No.4 West Virginia in the Round of 32 before being eliminated by No.1 seed South Carolina 76-56 in the Sweet Sixteen. It was the program’s second Sweet Sixteen appearance in their 10 tournament appearances.