RALEIGH, N.C. — Francesca Pan scored 13 of her 30 points in the first six minutes of the third quarter and Georgia Tech built a double-digit lead and withstood a late rally to stun No. 4 N.C. State in a 65-61 win Sunday.
The Yellow Jackets (17-9, 8-7 ACC), who had lost six of their past eight games, trailed 30-25 at halftime after missing their last six field-goal attempts of the second quarter and being held scoreless for 3:38. But Pan got going in the third quarter, making 6 of 7 field-goal attempts to help Georgia Tech build a 49-38 lead.
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N.C. State (22-3, 11-3), which started 22-1, lost at home for the second time in four days following a defeat to No. 9 Louisville on Thursday.
Wolfpack senior guard Aislinn Konig, who was held to four points by the Cardinals, had her second straight rough outing with no points on just three field-goal attempts against Georgia Tech. The Wolfpack entered the day in a first-place tie with Louisville in the ACC.
Nerea Hermosa added 12 points for Georgia Tech.
Elissa Cunane and Kayla Jones each scored 17 points for the Wolfpack, which shot just 3 of 13 from 3-point range. The Wolfpack cut Georgia Tech’s 11-point lead to 51-47 on Cunane’s free throws 31 seconds into the third quarter, but two 3-pointers by Pan helped the Yellow Jackets build their lead to 12 points.
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That lead almost didn’t hold up as N.C. State removed Cunane from the game to go with a quicker lineup featuring reserve Jada Boyd at center. Boyd scored 10 points in the final five minutes to help the Wolfpack draw within 61-59 with 1:39 remaining.
But a potential tiebreaking shot by Boyd was blocked in the lane on the next possession, and Pan made 3 of 4 free throws in the final 25 seconds as Georgia Tech held on to win.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets have experienced a lot of heartbreak this season, but were finally rewarded with a big win on the road. After losing three times in overtime since Jan. 23, Georgia Tech managed to close out a strong performance with a marquee win that will give its NCAA tournament hopes a huge boost.
N.C. State: Losing two home games in a row after starting 22-1 is likely to damage the Wolfpack’s seeding for the NCAA tournament. Georgia Tech and Louisville both found ways to slow an N.C. State offense that may be too dependent on Cunane and struggles when she can’t dominate in the lane.
Georgia Tech: Plays host to Louisville on Thursday.
N.C. State: Visits Miami on Thursday.