Stephen F. Austin nearly had the first upset of the 2021 NCAA women's basketball tournament. But the final putback was a millisecond too late.
The 12th-seed Ladyjacks went up early on fifth-seeded Georgia Tech and had a chance at the game-winner in the final seconds of overtime. Avery Brittingham missed a final-possession layup in traffic and grabbed her own rebound. When that didn't go she secured it again and made the shot only a bit too late.
Georgia Tech instead will move on the second round having erased a 17-point halftime deficit, the fourth-largest comeback in NCAA Division I women's tournament history. The Yellowjackets escaped with the 54-52 overtime victory in the Hemisfair Region.
The Ladyjacks fell behind by four points and again by five in overtime with 1:38 on the clock. Brittingham tipped a shot in and sunk the and-1 to come within a bucket.
Georgia Tech ran out the shot clock and missed a 3-pointer that would have sealed it right there and instead gave the Ladyjacks a final chance with 21 seconds. Brittingham secured the defensive rebound and did work on the other end only to miss by a fraction of time.
She came off the bench for a 16-point, 13-rebound double-double.
Georgia Tech rallies to forces OT
Georgia Tech forced overtime with a 10-2 run over the final two minutes. Anaya Boyd tied it 48-48 with free throws at the 1:12 mark. It was the first tie since each matched buckets to open the contest.
The Yellowjackets had a chance at taking the lead after Lorela Cubaj collected the defensive rebound, but they tried to kill clock and were left with a bad look as the shot clock expired. Cubaj led the team with a double-double of her own at 14 points and 10 rebounds with four assists, four blocks and one steal.
SFA had 18 seconds to work with after the ball went out of bounds on Georgia Tech and missed a final second jumper to force overtime.
The Ladyjacks led 34-17 at halftime, keeping Georgia Tech to its lowest output of the year. The Yellowjackets shot 7-for-29 overall (24 percent).
It was SFA that struggled offensively in the third quarter. The Yellowjackets outscored them, 19-5, to head into the final quarter facing a slimmer deficit, 39-36. Georgia Tech shot 14-for-32 (44 percent) in the second half to force overtime.
Georgia Tech moves into the second round to face the winner of No. 4 West Virginia and No. 13 Lehigh.
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