THE FLATS – Kierra Fletcher and Lotta-Maj Lahtinen combined for 43 points Sunday afternoon as Georgia Tech concluded its regular season with a 65-60 Atlantic Coast Conference victory over visiting Pittsburgh at McCamish Pavilion.
Tech (14-7, 12-6 ACC) snapped a two-game losing streak and solidified its third place position in the conference standings, the highest regular-season outright finish in program history. The Jackets’ 12 ACC wins also ties the program record, and they earned a double-bye in the upcoming ACC Tournament. The Panthers fell to 5-13 overall, 3-12 in the ACC.
On its Senior Day, the Yellow Jackets held off a feisty Pitt team behind a tremendous performance by senior Kierra Fletcher, who hit 6-of-13 shots from the floor and 8-of-10 from the foul line with six assists. Lahtinen led the Jackets with 22, going 6-of-15 from the floor with three three-point field goals, and 7-of-10 from the line, adding five rebounds. Nerea Hermosa was the third Jacket in double digits with 12, going 6-of-9 from the floor, while freshman guard Loyal McQueen added eight, including a pair of threes.
Tech’s other senior, Lorelaj Cubaj, struggled to score against the Panthers Sunday, but took 17 rebounds and had three assists. Her only field goal was a critical one with 3:58 to go that gave the Jackets a 60-54 lead.
Trailing by as many as 11 points in the final period, Pitt closed the gap to three on Rita Igbokwe’s layup with 5:41 left, but got no closer as Tech held the Panthers to one field goal and four free throws over the final five minutes. Panthers’ guard Jayla Everett scored all of those points to finish with a game-high 25 points. She hit 8-of-15 from the floor with three triples and 6-of-9 from the line.
Besides Cubaj’s layup, Fletcher hit a jumper and Lahtinen drained a three over the final five minutes to hold off the Panthers.
Georgia Tech returns to action later this week in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C.
The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the A-T Fund’s Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes, and the Support The Swarm Fund, created to give fans an opportunity to help Georgia Tech athletics maintain its recent momentum through the financial challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic! To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.
Head coach Nell Fortner postgame press conference vs. Pitt
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