Dec. 1, 2010
Site: Atlanta, Ga. (Alexander Memorial Coliseum)
Score: Georgia Tech 67, Northwestern 63
Records: NU (6-1, 0-0 Big Ten), Georgia Tech 5-4, 0-0 ACC)
Next NU Event: Dec. 5--vs. Missouri (Evanston, Ill./Welsh-Ryan Arena), Big Ten/Big XII Challenge, 1 p.m.
ATLANTA, Ga. -- Sophomore Kendall Hackney turned in a career-best 24 points, including 5-of-9 from deep, but it was not enough as Northwestern faltered against Georgia Tech 67-63 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge Wednesday evening in Atlanta. Amy Jaeschke came up big in the second half, scoring 18 of her team-high 26 points in the final stanza. She also added nine rebounds and four blocks.
"It was a great college basketball game tonight," head coach Joe McKeown said. "I felt like we had a chance at the end when we had the lead. Kendall had a good look at the shot at the end, and she played a great game, as did everyone. Georgia Tech made the shots when they need to, give them credit."
After falling behind 13-8, Hackney caught fire, registering eight points, including a pair treys over a two-minute span to cut Tech's lead to three, 17-14, at the 8:18 mark of the first half. The Yellow Jackets, who shot 47 percent from the field during most of the first half, continued to find their mark, advancing the lead to as much as seven on several occasions before Hackney struck again. The sophomore coupled with Brittany Orban to deposit back-to-back treys and pull Northwestern to within one, 25-24, with 3:40 left in the half.
Another three from Hackney and a lay-in by Jaeschke gave NU a 29-25 lead--its first since the 16:20 mark. An exchange of buckets set the halftime tally at 31-28 in favor of the 'Cats. Hackney notched 17, while Jaeschke added eight and Orban chipped in six. Hackney was 4-of-6 from deep, and 6-of-10 overall.
Northwestern nailed its first three shots to open the second half, including back-to-back threes from the familiar tandem of Orban and Hackney. Georgia Tech took a page out of that same book, shooting 85 percent from the field, notching 14 points in just 4:30--more than they had scored in the first 10 minutes of the first half--to take a 42-39 lead.
Georgia Tech's lead never exceeded two possessions, and a free throw by Jaeschke capped off an And-1 with 9:29 remaining pulled the score even at 48. After the Yellow Jackets built a four-point lead, NU widdled it down to two, and a Hackney lay-in with 7:20 remaining deadlocked the game and gave the sophomore a career-best 24 points.
Tech ran off seven unanswered points, capped off by a triple, to make it a 59-52, at the six-minute mark. The next few minutes proved extremely critical, as Georgia Tech got repeated second-chance looks that enabled it to maintain at least a three-point lead. But, a turnover at the 1:26 mark proved to be costly. With Tech up 62-59, Jaeschke was fouled and converted on both free throws to make it a one-point game.
Jaeschke altered Deja Foster's attempted lay-in on the next possession and then drained a fade-away jumper with 31.3 seconds left to give NU a one-point lead. But a three from the corner proved to be the final dagger for Georgia Tech as a triple from Hackney coming out of a timeout was just off the mark.
The Wildcats are next in action Sunday, Dec. 5 when they host Missouri in the inaugural Big Ten/Big XII Challenge. Tip is set for 1 p.m. and will be carried live on the Big Ten Network.
Be the first to know what's going on with the 'Cats -- Follow @NU_Sports on Twitter, become a fan of Northwestern Athletics on Facebook! and subscribe to the NU Sports Express e-newsletter to receive the latest news, schedule updates and video and to interact with NU. For more information on following specific Northwestern teams online, visit our Social Media page!