Forward Lorela Cubaj, appearing to show no effects from an ankle injury suffered late in Tech’s win over North Carolina on Sunday, was the Jackets’ principle tool in blanketing the Eagles. Fortner assigned Cubaj to mark Eagles forward Taylor Soule, her team’s scoring leader (15.8 points per game) who had made 56.7% of her shots.
Soule, named an All-ACC first-teamer last season, obtained 11 points, but shot 3-for-13 from the field. Cubaj played 37 minutes and was typically effective, with six points, 15 rebounds, seven assists, three blocks and two steals against five turnovers.
“I thought Lorela Cubaj was absolutely phenomenal defensively,” Fortner said. “She had to guard Taylor Soule, and that is not an easy assignment. Taylor started at the 3, she’s a player that you can move around and I thought ‘Lo’ just really did a great job. That’s probably the most perimeter defense Lo has played since I don’t know when. She was all over the place on the perimeter.”
Love scored a career-high 20 points to lead the Jackets on the offensive end. Love was 9-for-14 from the field, with seven of the nine scores resulting from assists. The Jackets, in fact, assisted on 24 of their 28 field goals.
“My teammates were able to get me the ball in the sweet spots, and my teammates have a lot of confidence in me, which instills a lot of confidence in myself,” Love said. “I was just happy that the ball was able to drop (Thursday).”
Tech plays at Clemson on Sunday.
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