After winning their first conference matchup against N.C. State, the women’s basketball team was riding on a month-long six-game win streak entering conference play at 11-3 overall. However, the Jackets could not maintain the streak, falling to the No. 5 ranked Maryland Terrapins 77-74 on Jan. 6 before dropping a second straight game at home on Jan. 9 to the No. 13 ranked Maryland 77-65.
The Terrapins, who are undefeated on the season, overcame a 20-point deficit in the second half to rally and beat the Jackets 77-74 on a last second steal. Maryland’s Alyssa Thomas scored 18 of her 24 points for the game to lead the Terrapins and eventually win the game.
The game started off evenly, with both teams tied at 14 through the first eight minutes to bring the score to a tie for the sixth time in the half. Maryland then scored six unanswered points before the Jackets responded with a 9-2 run to give the Jackets a 23-22 lead with 8:14 left in the first half. Sophomore guard Tyaunna Marshall led the charge with four points during the run to spark the Jackets.
Marshall finished the game with 16 points and three rebounds while only making six of her 21 shot attempts. Senior forward Sasha Goodlett was the Jackets’ top performer with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
After a media timeout, the Jackets finished the half outscoring Maryland 22-12 to go into halftime up 45-34.
“We got on our toes and we attacked early, and we were able to control the boards in the first half and stop transition baskets, the two things that Maryland does. We were able to take those away in the first half,” said Head Coach Machelle Joseph in an interview with ramblinwreck.com
The Jackets then started the second half off quickly, scoring 11 of the first 13 points in the half to take a 56-36 lead with 17:39 left in the game.
Alyssa Thomas then began a run for Maryland, scoring 11 points of her own to cut the score to 57-53. After the quick rally, The Terrapins took the lead for the first time in the second half on two free throws by Thomas that brought the score to 63-61.
After a 9-2 run by Tech, Maryland made their final scoring rally in the last 4:23 while down 72-64 with help from Thomas again.
The game was sealed after the Terrapins took a 76-74 lead in the final minute and senior point guard Metra Walthour turned the ball over to Maryland. Maryland went on to win the game 77-74 hitting their final point on a free throw attempt.
After the loss, the Jackets returned home to the Gwinnett Arena to face their second consecutive top-25 opponent in the No. 13-ranked Miami.
The first half kicked off with both teams hitting baskets back and forth through the first eight minutes. With Miami up 14-12 in the first half, the Hurricanes proceeded to go on a 10-3 run to go up 24-15 with 8:40 left in the first half.
Despite the Jackets’ attempts to close the game to within one possession late, the Hurricanes held off the Jackets and went into halftime up 42-36.
The Hurricanes missed all four of their three-point attempts in the first half, and went on to miss all ten of their attempts through the game.
To start the second half, senior forward Chelsea Regins and Marshall led the Jackets with a strong effort to bring the score to 54-50 with 11:40 left in the game.
However, the Jackets could not capitalize, missing four shots and turning the ball over twice over a four-minute span to help Miami build a 66-51 lead.
The closest the Jackets would come to winning was in the final two minutes before allowing the Hurricanes to regain control of the game.
The 15-point deficit was too much to overcome through the rest of the game, as the Hurricanes went on to win 77-65 despite their three-point shooting woes.
Marshall finished the game with a strong performance, despite the loss, posting 12 points, nine rebounds, and one assist.
The Jackets went on to face Wake Forest at home on Thursday, Jan. 12. Results were not available at the time of press. The Jackets will then head on the road to face off against Boston College on Jan. 15 before returning home to play Duke on Jan. 18.