Ga Tech topples No. 13 Maryland 70-64
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP)
Georgia Tech finally found the offensive balance it has been seeking most of the season.
Sasha Goodlett tied a season high with 18 points to help the Yellow Jackets rally past No. 13 Maryland 70-64 Friday in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
''We know we have one of the best backcourts in the ACC, but one of the things we've been lacking is an interior game,'' Georgia Tech coach MaChelle Joseph said. ''We really felt like today that Sasha Goodlett stepped up and was huge for us on the inside.
''When we have offensive balance, inside and outside, we're pretty tough to beat.''
Alex Montgomery added 17 points, including the clinching three-point play down the stretch, as the Yellow Jackets (23-9) advanced to the semifinals for the second straight year.
Montgomery shot just 4 of 12 from the field, but she scored 11 of Georgia Tech's 12 points in the final 4:26.
''I put the team on my shoulders, and I made big plays,'' Montgomery said.
Tyaunna Marshall scored 16 points and Metra Walthour added 14 for Georgia Tech, which used a 21-3 run to rally from an 11-point deficit early in the second half.
Kim Rodgers scored 13 points to lead the Terrapins (23-7), who had the advantage after a 22-2 spurt that spanned from late in the first half until early in the second. ACC rookie of the year Alyssa Thomas added 12 points for Maryland.
''I thought, obviously, we got beat today by a better team,'' Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. ''I thought Georgia Tech did a tremendous job dictating the tempo they wanted.''
The Terrapins, who entered the game third nationally in rebound margin, lost the rebound battle for only the fourth time this season.
Deja Foster grabbed 10 rebounds and Goodlett had nine in leading Georgia Tech to a 36-27 advantage on the boards and a 13-5 edge in second-chance points.
''On the offensive glass, that's what we do,'' Goodlett said. ''We're a blue-collar team. We come down and it doesn't matter who (takes) the first shot because our plan is to get the second and third.''
Goodlett led the charge for Georgia Tech, making a layup and a three-point play on back-to-back possessions to cut Maryland's lead to 44-42 with 13 minutes left.
After Montgomery tied the game at 47 for Georgia Tech with a free throw, Goodlett gave the Yellow Jackets the lead for good with a turnaround jumper with 9:52 to go.
Marshall added a layup in the paint on a give-and-go from Goodlett, Walthour made a 3-pointer, and Foster hit a pair of free throws to give the Yellow Jackets a 56-47 advantage with 7:18 remaining.
The Terrapins pulled within 64-62 with 1:18 left after a 3-pointer by Rodgers and two free throws by Lynetta Kizer, but the Yellow Jackets had a quick response.
After a nice pass by Goodlett over Maryland's pressure defense, Montgomery made a layup for a three-point play to restore Georgia Tech's lead to five.
''We were resilient, and one of the things that we've worked hard on all year long is being prepared to win against a top-20, top-15 team,'' Joseph said. ''And for it to come together today, here, is just really special for this team.''