Men’s basketball wins at buzzer, women take losses

Junior guard Deivon Smith (left) and senior forward Ja’von Franklin (middle) score against the Demon Deacons. // Photo courtesy of GTAA

The Tech women’s basketball teaAfter losing nine straight games, the men’s basketball team took down Notre Dame last week thanks to a last second tip by senior guard Lance Terry. However, they were unable to convert the momentum they gathered from the midweek win into the weekend, falling to Wake Forest in the dying seconds of the game 71–70. The women’s basketball team did not have quite the same amount of success as the men’s team this past week, falling to Clemson as well as Pitt. The Pitt game went to double overtime with the Panthers just outlasting the Jackets 85–79.

On Wednesday night, Tech’s men’s basketball took on Notre Dame in hopes of snapping their nine-game losing run which is the program’s worst losing streak since 1981. The first period was a tightly fought affair with neither team taking full control of the game and the score staying within seven for the whole period. Going into the half the Yellow Jackets were leading 38–37. The first period was led by Terry who had 10 points and senior center Rodney Howard who had the best plus minus of the half with +5. The second period started off with solid defense from both sides with everyone being held scoreless for the first two minutes but then the game found its rhythm. The second period was just as tight as the first with the biggest lead of the half being when the Fighting Irish led 62–56 with 7:28 to play. The Jackets clawed back into the game and tied with 1:55 to play. After some outstanding defense from both teams and with five seconds remaining, senior guard Kyle Sturdivant drove towards the basket. Defense forced him to take a jumper that hit the rim, but with just under half a second left in regulation, Terry tipped the ball in to end the game 70–68 Tech. On top of getting the winning bucket, Terry led the Jackets in scoring with 19 points.

The team was hoping to make it back-to-back wins for the first time since December against Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons started off the first period hot building up an 11-point lead in just under seven minutes with the score at 16–5. The Jackets slowly but surely clawed their way back into the game and had the lead going into the half 38–34. The first period resurgence was led by junior guard Tristan Maxwell and sophomore center Jalon Moore who both had a plus minus of +15. Tech started the second period opposite to the way they started the first, taking a seven point lead with 13 minutes to play 50–43. Wake Forest clawed their way back into the game with the last 10 minutes being very back and forth. Tech led with 6 seconds to play, but a foul was committed with two seconds remaining where the Demon Deacons drilled both to end the game 71–70. Junior guard Deivon Smith and senior forward Ja’von Franklin led the jackets in scoring 15 and 14 points respectively.

The women’s basketball team took on Clemson on Thursday, looking to bounce back from a 14 point loss against Miami. The Yellow Jackets started off the game well, gaining a 10 point lead with graduate guard Cameron Swartz scoring 7 of the 10 points. Clemson would fight back but Tech would hold the 27–24 lead going into the half. The Tigers fought back in the second half and gained a 40–31 lead. The Yellow Jackets never really got back into the game and Clemson closed out to win 57–41. The Jackets were led in scoring by Swartz who finished the game with 14 points.

On Sunday, the Lady Jackets faced off against Pitt for what turned out to be a thrilling game. Tech started off well and consistently outscored the Panthers in the first and second period resulting in a 41–33 point lead for the Yellow Jackets at the half. 

Pitt came out of the half strong and went on a eight point run to tie the game at 41. The game would stay close heading into the fourth period with the score at 56–53 Pitt. Tech would reclaim the lead in the fourth but would not be able to hold onto it with Pitt hitting a three-pointer as time expired to send the game to overtime 71–71. The first period of OT would end 75–75 with both teams getting two baskets forcing a second OT. Pitt would then outscore the Yellow Jackets 10–4 to win the game 85–79. Freshman guard Kara Dunn alongside fellow freshman guard Tonie Morgan would lead the Yellow Jackets in scoring with 20 and 12 points respectively.

Tech’s men’s basketball team will host Florida Tech on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 2 p.m., and the women’s team will travel down to Tallahssee to face Florida State on Sunday, Feb. 19 at 2 p.m.