Out Toughed

Jan. 15, 2012

By Matt Winkeljohn
Sting Daily

– Most of Georgia Tech’s previous problems became real again Sunday afternoon when the Yellow Jackets lost 61-50 at Maryland.

Gone were most signs of the Jackets’ two-game resurgence.

Their newfound offensive firepower was wet, turnovers (16) were an issue again, and only rarely did the Jackets figure a way around 7-foot-1 freshman center Alex Len of Maryland. The guy from Ukraine did not score, but he had nine rebounds, blocked three shots, and mucked up the middle.

Kammeon Holsey led Tech with 11 points, but the sophomore forward got off a modest seven shots, making four. No other Jacket scored in double figures.

“We missed too many shots at the basket,” Tech head coach Brian Gregory told Wes Durham after the game. “We need to be more aggressive in finishing around the rim.”

Maryland scored the final five points of the first half to break a 19-all tie, and Tech never again led nor tied.

The Jackets’ defense was solid enough, actually, to get the job done in a game that was not for fans of offense in the paint.

The Jackets (8-9, 1-2 ACC) blocked nine shots, forced 14 Maryland turnovers and held the Terrapins to 30 percent shooting (12-for-40) – from inside the arc. There was a defensive problem, though, in that Maryland made 6-of-14 shots from three-point land where Tech was 3-for-17.

Plus, the Terps (12-4, 2-1) scored 10 more points than Tech from the free-throw line.

The Jackets, meanwhile, lost the stroke they had in back-to-back games against Duke and N.C. State. Mfon Udofia and Glen Rice Jr., who both played so well against the Blue Devils and the Wolfpack, missed on all six of their combined attempts from distance.

Udofia and Rice combined for just 10 points while drawing considerable attention from the Terps of first-year coach Mark Turgeon. Whether the Jackets expected that or not – and they certainly should have – they had no counter.

Rice and Udofia were each 2-for-8 from the field and all other teammates made a combined 15-of-40 shots. Overalla, the Jackets made just 33.9 percent of their shots (19-of-56).

The Terps also made more of Tech’s turnovers than vice-versa, out-scoring the Jackets 16-7 off miscues. The margin was 10-2 in the second half.

Gregory said, “They out-toughed us in a lot of areas, which was really disappointing.”

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