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Davis and Whiteside lead Jackets past Elon; Wolfpack advances after strong second half; Virginia falls to Elon
THE FLATS - The Georgia Tech women's basketball team (19-14, 7-9 ACC) used explosive offensive efforts from Kaela Davis and Aaliyah Whiteside to defeat Elon (19-13, 11-7 CAA), 69-47, Thursday night in the first round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament at McCamish Pavilion.
"I thought we did a good job with our game plan and we took away their strengths," head coach MaChelle Joseph said. "We zoned in on what we needed to take away from them. I thought Aaliyah Whiteside and Kaela Davis came out strong and set the tone for us."
It was only the second meeting between the two schools and the first since the 1999. The Jackets are now 6-3 all time in the WNIT and Thursday's game marked the first postseason game in McCamish Pavilion.
All eight Yellow Jackets that played scored at least two points and the Jackets were led by sophomore Kaela Davis who scored 24 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. Junior Aaliyah Whiteside scored 23 points and made a team-best three 3-pointers. It was the second time in two games that Tech had two 20 point scorers. The last time two Yellow Jackets scored 20 points apiece was against Clemson in the ACC Tournament when Whiteside scored 23 and junior Roddreka Rogers tallied 20 points.
Whiteside and Davis combined to score 47 points, which accounted for 68 percent of Georgia Tech's overall point total.
Freshman De'Ashia Jones had a career day, recording career-best in points (7) and rebounds (6).
Whiteside and Davis combined for 34 of the Yellow Jackets' 42 points in the first half and a Tech tough defense held the visitors to just five points in the first 10 minutes of the game. The Yellow Jackets held the Phoenix without a field goal for 8:53 while the Jackets outscored Elon, 19-0, to go ahead 21-5 at 10:44 in the first half.
The Yellow Jackets took a 42-20 lead into the locker room at halftime thanks to Davis and Whiteside each scoring 17 points in the first 20 minutes.
In the first six minutes of the second half, the Phoenix put together a run of their own, outscoring Tech, 8-3, to come within 18 points of the Jackets' 46-28 lead. Three-straight 3-pointers from Jones, Whiteside and freshman Antonia Peresson gave Georgia Tech a 24 point lead 55-31 with 12:42 on the scoreboard.
Tech's largest lead of the night came with 2:18 left in the game when sophomore Katarina Vuckovic sank a free throw shot to give the Jackets' a 30 point advantage, 69-39.
Georgia Tech will play at Ole Miss in the second round of the WNIT on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET.
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - In its fourth straight postseason appearance and 10th in the last 12 seasons, the NC State women's basketball team (17-14) picked up a win Thursday evening in the first round of the WNIT at East Tennessee State.
In head coach Wes Moore's 600th victory (600-191), the Wolfpack was led in scoring by Miah Spencer (23 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals) and Len'Nique Brown-Hoskin (14). After a difficult first half, NC State shot 13-26 (.500) from the field and 6-12 (.500) from three in the final 20 minutes.
Jennifer Mathurin led the Pack with 10 rebounds on an evening when State outrebounded its foe by a 43-32 margin. Seventeen of NC State's rebounds came on the offensive end, leading to 17 second chance points.
Serena Clark recorded a double-double for ETSU (21-12), scoring 14 points and pulling down a game-high 11 rebounds. She was joined in double figures by teammates Chandler Christopher (11 points) and Cara Bowling (11).
In a first half which featured nine ties and four lead changes, the Wolfpack and Bucs ended the opening 20 minutes all square at 25-25. Both sides struggled from the field in the opening stanza, as the Pack shot 9-33 (.273) while ETSU operated at a 9-25 (.360) clip. The teams combined to shoot 1-24 from three-point range.
Spencer had a strong opening half, leading all scorers with 10 points on 4-9 shooting. Teammate Carlee Schuhmacher grabbed five rebounds as the Pack dominated the glass in the first half, pulling down 27 rebounds to just 16 by the Bucs. Thirteen of NC State's rebounds in the opening 20 minutes came on the offensive end, leading to 12 second chance points.
State only trailed once in the second half, outscoring the hosts 48-33 to earn the win. The Pack would lead by as many as 18 points before ultimately winning by the final margin of 15.
NC State returns to action against East Carolina in the second round of the WNIT. The Pack and Pirates will play in Greenville, N.C., on Sunday at 4 p.m.
NORFOLK, Va. - The Virginia women's basketball team's season came to an end with a 69-62 loss at Old Dominion (21-12, 11-7 Conference USA) in the first round of the Postseason Women's National Invitation Tournament on Thursday (March 19) at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va.
Old Dominion will face the winner of Friday night's game between Villanova and Maine in the second round.
Freshman guard Mikayla Venson (Arlington, Va.) scored 19 points with six assists and four rebounds for the Cavaliers (17-14, 7-9 ACC). Sophomore guard Breyana Mason (Woodbridge, Va.) scored 17 points with six assists.
ODU's Destinee Young scored 20 points with seven rebounds.
This was Virginia's fifth time playing in the WNIT and its 30th overall post-season appearance. All four of Virginia's previous trips to the WNIT, including its last appearance in 2012, ended with a loss in the quarterfinals.