The Tech women’s basketball team has had a rough start to their ACC season as they moved to 0-7 in conference play and 9-9 on the year this past weekend. The team opened the weekend against the Miami Hurricanes, who had been making a lot of noise offensively. The Jackets had been playing well defensively though, and looked to stifle the Hurricanes attack.
Tech started out well, hopping out to a 4-0 lead which they maintained well until an onslaught of baskets from the Hurricanes that put Tech in a 12-4 hole early against a very quick striking offense. The Jackets battled back with a 9-4 run to end the first quarter, sealing the score at 16-13 in favor of Miami.
Things looked poor tipping off the second quarter as Tech would need to better their defense if they wanted a chance against the Hurricanes. Miami could not seem to miss any baskets, though, as they broke the game open with a 24 point second quarter that sent the game to half 40-23 in favor of the Hurricanes. Tech needed a huge momentum swing in the second half to make up a 17 point deficit on a team that seemed to be scoring at will as well as stifling Tech’s attack.
The third quarter saw Tech and Miami trade baskets, with Tech managing to cut the lead down to 15 at the end of the quarter. Trailing 55-40, the Jackets would need an incredible offensive fourth quarter with great defense to match, and they started off hot with an 8-0 run in the first two and a half minutes of the quarter. Eventually, Miami found a rhythm and Tech was never able to get closer than seven points on the Hurricanes, falling 69-60.
Sophomore forward Kayla Blackshear led the way for the Jackets as she played 37 minutes and landed her second straight double-double, scoring 18 points and posting 11 rebounds. This was a heartbreaking loss for the ladies, but they had a shot to rebound in a large way as No. 16 Duke was coming to McCamish on Sunday.
From the moment the game tipped off, Tech looked to be up to the challenge of taking out a ranked opponent as the ladies marched out to a 15-13 lead to end the first quarter. The second quarter saw an equal trading of baskets and Tech went into the half up 28-27 behind Blackshear’s phenomenal play. The second half told a different story and the Jackets fell behind quickly and could not overcome a ferocious 25 point Duke third quarter. The ladies dropped their second game of the week and their seventh straight ACC game 65-47. Blackshear once again led the team with 14 points and eight rebounds and is playing sensational basketball right now. The Jackets are still looking to grab their first ACC win of the year, and the team has proven they have the potential to do better than their record.
Behind Blackshear’s current play, the team may just find the rhythm they need to win.