Georgia Tech coach MaChelle Joseph directs her team during the second half of an NCAA tournament second-round women's college basketball game in Chapel Hill, N.C., Tuesday, March 20, 2012. Georgia Tech won 76-64. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Georgia Tech finally made it to the second weekend of the women's NCAA tournament, thanks largely to a freshman who isn't certainly playing like one.
Sydney Wallace continued her scoring tear with 23 points, and the Yellow Jackets claimed their first berth in the regional semifinals by beating Georgetown 76-64 on Tuesday night in the second round of the Des Moines Regional.
Sasha Goodlett added 14 points and 11 rebounds for Georgia Tech (26-8), which shot 50 percent and never let Georgetown get closer than eight in the second half to win for the 15th time in 18 games and prolong the best season in school history.
Up next is the Yellow Jackets' biggest challenge: A trip to Iowa to face Baylor -- the tournament's top overall seed -- on Saturday.
Sugar Rodgers had 14 points on 4-of-19 shooting and Tia Magee added 10 points for the Hoyas (23-9), who were denied a second straight spot in the round of 16.
Georgetown didn't get closer than 10 in the final 12 minutes, with Alexa Roche's jumper pulling the Hoyas to 64-54 with 6 minutes left. Chelsea Regins followed that with a layup and Metra Walthour added a 3-pointer with about 4 minutes to play to make it 69-54 -- the Yellow Jackets' largest lead to that point.
Walthour finished with 15 points and Regins added 14 for Georgia Tech, which had never won multiple games in any of its previous seven NCAA tournament appearances.
These Yellow Jackets set school records for victories both overall and in the Atlantic Coast Conference (12) and claiming its best-ever NCAA seed, and came to Chapel Hill hoping to make some more history.
Only, nobody thought it would be Wallace leading the way.
She played a total of just 22 minutes during her team's three-day run at the ACC tournament before becoming the unquestioned breakout player of this four-team subregional.
Wallace scored a season-high 28 points off the bench in her NCAA tournament debut against Sacred Heart, then followed that up with a performance nearly as impressive.
Showing no hesitation whatsoever to pull the trigger, she hit nine of her 20 shots and buried five 3-pointers. She needed just 15 minutes to hit double figures, scoring 14 points in the first half on 6-of-12 shooting while helping give Georgia Tech a comfortable lead it would enjoy virtually the entire second half.
Neither team led by more than five points until late in the first half, when Wallace and Goodlett helped the Yellow Jackets begin to pull away. Wallace's jumper in transition with 1 minute before the break capped an 18-6 run that gave the Yellow Jackets their first double-digit lead at 37-27. Georgia Tech then methodically increased its lead the rest of the way.