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Ken Sugiura

Upset for Tech women boosts NCAA chances

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Thursday was a most memorable night for Georgia Tech star guard Tyaunna Marshall and her team.

The Yellow Jackets scored their first win over a ranked team since the 2012 NCAA tournament and Marshall became Tech’s all-time leading scorer with game-clinching free throws in their 94-91 win over No. 13 North Carolina Thursday night at McCamish Pavilion.

“I feel blessed right now,” Marshall said. “To do it with my teammates that I have and the coaches that I have, I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

Marshall passed Kisha Ford, whose record of 1,955 points had stood since 1997. Going into the game, Marshall led Tech in scoring (19.8 points), minutes (32.2), rebounding (7.7) and steals (2.5) and second in assists (3.1). Following the game, coach MaChelle Joseph called Marshall the “epitome of what our program has represented and stood for.”

If you’re wondering, it’s nowhere close to the highest single-game scoring total in team history. The Tech women have 25 games of 100 points or more. The highest against an ACC team was a 105-point game against Virginia in 1989.

With a young roster – eight players are freshmen or sophomores  – Tech had been unable to pick up a significant victory until Thursday night. The Jackets are now 15-8 overall and 5-5 in the ACC.

“Obviously, it’s a huge win for our team,” Joseph said. “We’ve had some highs and lows, but we’ve decided to turn this around. We know what we have to do to win and get into postseason.”

With about three weeks remaining, Tech’s NCAA chances are wavering. Going into the week, the Jackets were ranked No. 59 in RPI after falling from No. 40 the previous week. They’ll have opportunities to improve their resume with upcoming games against Notre Dame (No. 2), Maryland (No. 22), Virginia (No. 45) and Florida State (No. 29) in their final six regular-season games. They play at Miami Sunday, followed by their next home game next Wednesday against Virginia.

Tech missed the NCAA tournament last year after making six consecutive appearances.

“We know what we have to do,” Joseph said. “We’ve been there before, we know what we have to do and we’re ready to take care of business.”

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