Georgia Tech women outlast Georgia State, 62-50

Led by Sasha Goodlett's 11-point second half, Georgia Tech pulled away in the final five minutes to win its 11th straight game over Georgia State, 62-50, Tuesday.

Goodlett's inside game, using her 6-foot-5 size to create space in front of the basket, kept the No. 24 Yellow Jackets (10-2) afloat during the chilly first 10 minutes of the second half. Tech managed only made five baskets in that stretch, three of them coming from Goodlett, along with three free throws.

The slow spell allowed the Panthers (7-2) to cut a seven-point Yellow Jacket lead to 44-42 with 5:17 remaining, when Georgia Tech coach MaChelle Joseph took a 30-second timeout.

She told her players that something had to change on the defensive end and they came back on the court with a new plan.

"We had been trapping everything in our half-court defense. We went to switching everything," Joseph said. "We felt like we were able to shot-contest a little bit better and we weren't scrambling around trying to match up and run it at them. ... Then we were able to get some points pushing the ball up the court in transition."

The result was a 12-1 run that turned into a 56-43 lead and put the game away.

A major factor was the Jackets' defensive effort against Panthers star forward Danyiell McKeller, who entered the game third in the Colonial Athletic Association with 21.4 points per game.

The senior cracked the 1,000 career points mark in the process, but managed just 14 points on some 5-of-23 shooting and turning the ball over three times.

Tech's Brigitte Ardossi, who had game highs in both points (17) and rebounds (11), was one of the main defenders shadowing McKeller. Ardossi said they knew McKeller would be a priority if they were to win.

"The past couple of games, she had almost 20 points," Ardossi said. "When any player's capable of scoring that much, they have to be a threat to you. We made reference to that in practice [Monday], but she still got 23 shots off. That's a lot of shots to be getting off, but I think they were well-contested."

The Jackets struggled as well against the Panther defense, having to rally late just to shoot 8 of 25 in the second half. But on the ones that weren't defended, Georgia Tech was nearly automatic.

Tech shot 19 of 21 from the free-throw line, the team's best foul line performance since an 81-41 win over Longwood on Dec. 20, 2005. With the difficulties the Jackets had from the field while playing their fourth game in seven days, it was nice for Joseph to see the easy ones fall.

"That's what we talk about on the road. We've got to hit layups and free throws," Joseph said. "Obviously, we didn't hit layups, so we had to hit free throws. I thought Mimi Walthour, who hadn't been shooting her free throws particularly well, stepped up big for us (6 of 6 from the line) and knocked them down down the stretch."