Georgia Tech senior Tyaunna Marshall entered last night's game against #13 North Carolina needing 32 points - almost exactly twice her career average - to set the program's all-time scoring record.
With 4.3 seconds on the clock and the Georgia Tech women's basketball team only up by one, 92-91, against #13/11 North Carolina, the game changing moment rested on the senior's shoulders...Marshall hit nothing but net on those two free throws, breaking the school record and cementing the Yellow Jackets (15-8, 5-5 ACC) first win against a ranked opponent since a victory against #17/16 Georgetown on March 20, 2012...Overall, Marshall scored 32 points on Thursday night, recording her third career 30 point game. Marshall also grabbed eight boards, dished out five assists, had three steals and shot 11-for-14 from the foul line. Her 32 points broke Kisha Ford's previous record of 1,955 points which was set in 1997. When Ford, who went on to play in the WNBA, broke the school's record in 1997, she also scored 32 points against Duke.
Not mentioned in the recap is that Marshall shot just 10-for-26 from the field to get those 32 points. But the way she got those 26 shots was still impressive.
About 2/3 of those shots came inside the lower half of the painted area, meaning Marshall was extremely aggressive in attacking the basket and getting inside UNC's defense almost at will. Even when she missed a shot, she was able to break down the defense off the dribble, which created opportunities for offensive rebounds and scoring opportunities for others. And it can't be stressed enough how impressive it is for her to get to the rim like that and grab 8 rebounds (2 offensive) at 5-foot-9 - it's one thing to say she's athletic, but to do what she's doing at her size demonstrates a relentlessness in getting to the ball that is rare among guards.
It wasn't a perfect game for Marshall - in addition to the missed shots, she had a few uncharacteristically bad turnovers that were likely the result of pressing for the record - but it was an excellent showcase of the kind of talent she has to dominate a game on both ends of the floor.
And since Kisha Ford's five-season WNBA career was mentioned in the recap, it's probably worth revisiting Tyaunna Marshall's WNBA outlook. The top seven (or so) prospects in the 2014 WNBA Draft look pretty clear, but after that filling out the remainder of the first round gets a little bit more difficult as a number of players in the mix for those late first round selections have a significant red flag or two. Marshall might not be considered a lock to be drafted in the first round, but her numbers suggest a good chance of making a roster which should certainly make her a top-15 prospect.
For more on draft prospects, check out our 2014 WNBA Draft prospect watch storystream.
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