Georgia Tech's Tyaunna Marshall, left, drives between North Carolina State's Bonae Holston, back, and Myisha Goodwin-Coleman, right, during the second half of an NCAA Atlantic Coast Conference women's tournament basketball game in Greensboro, N.C., Saturday, March 3, 2012. Georgia Tech won 87-61. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Tyaunna Marshall scored 16 of her 20 points in the first half and No. 15 Georgia Tech claimed a spot in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game by routing North Carolina State 87-61 on Saturday.
Metra Walthour added 13 points for the fourth-seeded Yellow Jackets (24-7). They led by 36, shot 53 percent (32 of 60) and built a 53-28 rebounding advantage to reach their first title game since 1992 and just their second in school history.
"Yeah, it's been a while since Tech has been in the championship game. But we're coming in with the focus and concentration that we're not just happy to be here," center Sasha Goodlett said. "I mean, we feel like we have more goals to accomplish. So we're ready to prove ourselves."
Goodlett had 12 points and 10 rebounds to help Georgia Tech win its seventh straight and beat the Wolfpack for the third time this season.
The Yellow Jackets shot 69 percent -- 22 of 32 -- in the first half, and went up by double figures to stay during a Marshall-led 21-7 run late in the half that all but ended it at the break. Marshall hit four straight jumpers in a 2-minute stretch midway through that burst.
Myisha Goodwin-Coleman had 13 points, Kody Burke added 12 and Marissa Kastanek had 10 for ninth-seeded N.C. State (18-15), which never got closer than 18 after halftime. Foul trouble kept Kastanek, who averages 13 points, on the bench for much of the first half while the Yellow Jackets took control.
The Wolfpack, playing their third game in three days, couldn't build on their 75-73 upset of top-seeded and No. 5 Duke in the quarterfinals. They were denied their third berth in the championship game since 2007 and their second since Kellie Harper took over before the 2009-10 season.
"I thought we ran out of gas," Harper said. "I thought the energy level that we normally play with, we were trying. We were really trying, and we just couldn't get it. Part of that is the emotion we played with (against Duke), and part of that is Georgia Tech making shots. And any time an opponent makes shots, it really takes the wind out of your sails."