CLEMSON, S.C. – Sydney Wallace’s 19 points powered Georgia Tech’s best offensive performance of the season and the Yellow Jackets (8-6, 1-2 ACC) earned their first Atlantic Coast Conference win of the season with an 81-59 victory over the Clemson Lady Tigers on Sunday afternoon at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson, S.C.
Tech finished the day with season-highs of 81 points, 53.7 percent shooting and eight 3-pointers. It was also the most points and the best shooting percentage by a Clemson opponent this year.
Wallace’s 19 points were a season-high and junior Tyaunna Marshall tossed in 11 for the Jackets. Tech’s depth proved key against the Lady Tigers (4-10, 0-3), who only list eight players. The Yellow Jacket reserves finished with 44 points to only eight for Clemson’s bench players.
“I was really impressed with how we came out offensively and defensively, the way we shared the ball,” head coach MaChelle Joseph said. “Even though we only had two players in double figures, we had several players score and make contributions on the offensive end. I thought our defense, for the most part, holding an ACC team on the road to less than 60 points, any time you do that you feel like you’ve done a good job defensively.
“When Sydney Wallace is scoring, we’re a different team. We proved that last year,” Joseph added. “This is about the time she turned it on last year. I haven’t really been playing Frida Fogdemark, but she gives us another scoring option at the four position. We can put three 3-point shooters on the floor and Clemson had to come out of their zone, which is what they love to play.”
Georgia Tech’s first-half offense ran like a well-oiled machine for the second straight game. After a back-and-forth opening eight-plus minutes in which there were four ties and three lead changes, Fogdemark made a 3-pointer from the corner that sparked an 8-0 Tech run and gave the Jackets a 22-14 lead with 8:44 to play in the first half.
The Yellow Jackets shot 55.6 percent from the field in the first half and made 6-of-10 3-point attempts, including two each by Wallace and Fogdemark. It was the most points Clemson has allowed in the first half this season and the highest shooting percentage by a Lady Tiger opponent in a half this season.
Tech’s six 3-pointers tied as many as the Yellow Jackets had made in any game this year.
Another Wallace 3-pointer extended Tech’s lead to 12, 53-41, at the 14:08 mark of the second half. After Clemson’s Quinyotta Pettaway cut it back to 10 with a layup, the Jackets reeled off 11 straight points to take a 64-43 lead with 11:04 to play.
The Jackets held the Lady Tigers without a field goal for better than five minutes midway through the second half and built an 18-point lead with eight minutes left in the game.
Clemson only converted three of its final 10 shots in the last eight minutes of the game, while Tech made five of its last 11 field goal attempts.
Georgia Tech returns home to face the Virginia Cavaliers at 7 p.m. Thursday at McCamish Pavilion. The contest with the ‘Hoos can be seen on ESPN3 or heard on WREK 91.1 FM.