WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — It wasn’t always pretty, but the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team improved to 4-0 in the ACC for the first time in the program’s history with a 54-46 win at Wake Forest on Monday night.
Leading the way for the Jackets was freshman Tyaunna Marshall, who tallied 17 points, 15 of which came in the second half. With the win, Tech improves to 16-4 overall and 4-0 in league play, while the Demon Deacons fall to 10-9 overall and 1-2 in the ACC.
“First I want to give credit to Wake Forest,” coach MaChelle Joseph said. “I thought they made us play defense for 28-30 seconds on every single possession. That wore us down on the offensive end and they kept us from running. There’s no doubt the strength of our team is our transition game. I was proud of our team for the way we weathered the storm and gutted it out at the end."
The first half was a game of runs and each would put together double-digit runs over the opening eight minutes. The Jackets opened the game with a 14-0 run to the 15:11 mark, but the Demon Deacons would answer with a 13-0 run of their own to the 12:04 point of the first half.
Tech ended the Deacs’ run with its second 14-0 run of the first 20 minutes and making the score 27-15 with 5:47 left in the half. Again, Wake Forest would not quit and put together an 11-0 run to end the half, capped by a Chelsea Douglas three with three seconds left, making the halftime score 27-24 in favor of Tech.
“Wake plays hard and they make you play ugly,” Joseph said. “They’re good on the defensive end, they’re good on the offensive end and they have a lot of depth. I was pleased with the way Ty Marshall stepped up in the second half and put us on her back on the offensive end and made some key plays. MeMe Walthour hitting that three sort of separated us at the end in the last couple of minutes.”
The Jackets went over 14 minutes without a field goal, from the 7:02 point of the first half to the 12:27 point of the second half. Over that span, the Demon Deacons built a 35-28 lead, the only Jacket point being a Sasha Goodlett free throw at 14:25. Tech would take the lead back as Marshall drove down the lane and floated a runner in to put Tech up
39-38 at the 8:06 mark.
The Demon Deacons would take one lead and tie the game twice in the next three minutes. The three-pointer Joseph referenced from Walthour came with 4:03 remaining and put the Jackets up for good.
“The key to the game was our defense and rebounding, because if you don’t score for that long, 10-plus minutes, you should lose by 20 on the road,” Joseph said. “We were getting defensive stops and we were able to get the defensive rebound to keep us in the game.”
The Jackets are back in action on Friday as they travel to Durham, N.C., and face the third-ranked Duke Blue Devils.