On Feb. 11 and 13, the Tech women’s basketball team played in two conference games that could go a long way in determining the team’s final finish in the ACC. Tech lost on the road to Florida State but rebounded to defeat N.C. State at home.
Florida State came into the game sitting on 19 wins and on the verge of its third straight season with 20 wins. Tech stayed within reach of the lead throughout the game, but the night ended in disappointment for the team as Florida State won, 73-60.
Tech grabbed an early three-point lead, but the No. 12 ranked Seminoles quickly took the lead back.
The ‘Noles built a 15-point lead towards the end of the second half. Freshman guard Tyaunna Marshall led all Tech scorers with 18 points followed by senior guard Alex Mongomery and junior center Sasha Goodlett, who scored 12 and 10, respectively.
Although the Jackets out rebounded Florida State by a margin of three, the team could not overcome its other glaring deficiencies. Tech shot just 34.3 percent for the game, nearing its season low. This was in contrast to the Seminoles, who shot an impressive 52.1 percent from the floor and an even better 53.3 percent from three-point range.
One bright spot in Tech’s shooting turned out to be the team’s free throw shooting, where it bested the ‘Noles’ 80 percent to Tech’s 68.2 percent. Marshall led the way for the Jackets at the line, shooting six-of-seven from the charity stripe. This excellent shooting percent was offset by Tech getting just 10 opportunities from the line against Florida State’s 22.
Tech’s defense was not as sharp as in previous games, as they allowed Florida State four double-digit point scorers and one player above 20 points. Tech had not allowed a player to score 20 points against them in regulation since Jan. 23 against Boston College.
Tech was coming off a string of tough losses in the ACC, falling to Miami, Maryland and Florida State in its previous three games. But last Sunday’s game proved to be one of the Jacket’s best as they beat the Wolfpack 74-65 to move up a spot in the ACC, to fourth, at 7-4.
Tech started off the first half cold, letting N.C. State jump to an 8-0 lead in the first three minutes. But Tech fought back and regained the lead with 4:47, on the back of Montgomery, who had a game high 26 points to go along with 12 rebounds, three assists and four steals. The Jackets dominated after taking the lead, going on their own run, scoring 10 points to the Wolfpack’s two. The half ended with Tech playing well, taking a nine-point lead into half time.
This first half dominance was due in great part to the stellar defense the Jackets played. Tech also led N.C. State in points in the paint, 18-6. The Jackets capitalized on the Wolfpack’s mistakes, scoring 14 points on N.C. State turnovers. In addition, Tech was able to get up and down the court, scoring 14 fast break points to the Wolfpack’s seven.
The second half only strengthened Tech’s lead, as the team was able to build 24-point leads at two different times. The Jackets never let the lead slip to less than eight points as the team shot 34 percent for the half and an impressive 40 percent from beyond the arc.
Tech also had the decisive edge in rebounds, posting a plus-12 rebound margin for the game, including 28 offensive rebounds. Goodlett contributed seven rebounds to that total and 10 rebounds overall, the only Jacket in double digits in that category.
Tech benefitted from the dominance on the glass by scoring 10 second-chance points to N.C. State’s zero. Senior guard Deja Foster and Marshall contributed double digit points to the win, scoring 11 and 12, respectively.
The Jackets also played a great team game, with seven different players scoring.