The Jackets completed a road swing through North Carolina and Maryland, winning the first game and losing the second.
Tech battled No. 4 Maryland for a key ACC win. It took two overtimes before the Jackets finally fell, 99-95. The loss dropped the Jackets to 16-3 overall, 3-2 in conference play.
Freshman Alex Montgomery led the way with 26 points. Mitchell and freshman Iasia Hemingway also broke the 20-point plane, scoring 20 points each. The three were the only Jackets to be in double figures.
The team outperformed Maryland on paper in several categories. They had ten less turnovers, 16 to Maryland’s 26, and came up with 16 steals to Maryland’s six. They also outshot the Terps, shooting 45.5 percent to Maryland’s 44.8. The Jackets also shot well from behind the three-point line, making 9-of-17 three pointers compared to Maryland’s 3-of-14 from behind the arc.
The main difference between the two teams was the fouls and free throw shots. Maryland went to the line a staggering 44 times as compared to Tech’s 12. While Maryland’s free throw percentage was just average, Tech made only half of their shots.
Crystal Langhorne was Maryland’s best player on the floor, finishing with 31 points and 15 rebounds.
In the end, the score was tied 18 times and there were 23 lead changes in this back-and-forth game.
Despite the loss, Tech was able to work themselves into the top-25 rankings, their first time in the rankings in nearly 15 years. They came in at No. 23 in the AP poll.
They also had one of their own freshman honored as ACC Freshman of the Week, Alex Montgomery. It was her second time winning the award.
The women’s basketball team did beat N.C. State at home last Thursday,67-63.The win improved the team to 16-2 overall, 3-1 in conference play.
While the game was generally close, Tech was able to lead for much of it. They were led by Chioma Nnamaka and Janie Mitchell, who scored 16 and 17 points, respectively. Mitchell also had seven rebounds to lead the team.
The team was defined by stretches. Often, Tech was able to build up a large lead, but then allowed N.C. State to inch towards tying or taking the lead of the game. Despite the see-saw nature of the game, there was only one lead change.
With nearly two minutes to go, the Jackets had a 10 point lead and a victory seemed all but secure.
Unfortunately, the Jackets allowed the Wolfpack to jump back in the game and cut the lead to three with 30 seconds to go. Tech was able to sink their free throws in the final seconds and come out with a victory.
“I felt like I could do more for my [teammates],” Mitchell said.
Tech’s defense played a major role in the victory, forcing 34 N.C. State turnovers. They had 17 steals and were able to score 23 points off of defensive opportunities. The Jackets only had 23 turnovers and allowed eight steals.
The Jackets played last night versus No. 10 Duke. Results were unavailable at press time. The next home game will be against Clemson on Jan. 31. Tip off for that game will be at 7 p.m.