Starting Five: Georgia Tech (8-8, 1-1) at Maryland (11-4, 1-1)

Jan. 14, 2012

By Jon Cooper
Sting Daily

Georgia Tech looks to make it two straight ACC road wins when they head to College Park, Maryland. to take on the Maryland Terrapins. Tip-off at the Comcast Center is at 4:00 p.m.

The Yellow Jackets snapped a four-game losing streak and evened their ACC record on Wednesday night, beating North Carolina State, 82-71, at the RBC Center. Glen Rice led five double-figure scorers with 22 points and Mfon Udofia added 17 for the Jackets, who hit nine of 15 three-pointers. Tech went on a 19-3 run late in the first half to take an 11-point lead into intermission. The lead was cut to five with 14:01 to play but Tech answered with an 11-0 run to pull away.

The Terrapins also evened their ACC record on Wednesday, with a 70-64 win over Wake Forest at Comcast Center, where Maryland is 137-30 all-time (an 82.0 winning percentage). Terrell Stoglin had 20 and Sean Mosley added 15 as Maryland used a 16-3 run to take a 16-point halftime lead then held off the Demon Deacons. The lead got down to three with 8:59 to play but Wake would get no closer.

Today’s game is the 73rd in a series that started in 1972. Tech trails, 38-34, and is 11-23 in Maryland, only 1-6 at the Comcast Center. The series has gotten away from the Jackets lately, as since 2005, they have won only once in 12 games — a win in the 2010 ACC Tournament that snapped a nine-game series losing streak. But six of those games were decided by seven-or-fewer points.

Today’s game can be seen on the ACC Network, with Steve Martin and Dan Bonner calling the action. Of course, fans can listen to Wes Durham and Randy Waters on Georgia Tech/ISP Sports Network’s flagship stations WQXI-AM (790 the Zone) and WYAY (106.7 FM). The game also can be heard via satellite radio on Sirius (Channel 91, the Maryland broadcast). Tech fans can always follow the game and get live stats on Ramblinwreck.com.

And now, the starting five for today’s game.

The Last Time We Met: Glen Rice had a team-high 16 points and Iman Shumpert chipped in 12, but Georgia Tech had no answer for Jordan Williams and the Terps’ inside game, falling, 74-63, at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, last Jan. 30. The Jackets trailed 35-34 at the half, thanks to five three-pointers, then, after falling behind by 13 with 10:05 left, went on a 13-4 run to pull within four with 3:34 to play. But they managed only one field goal the rest of the way. Tech was outscored at the foul line 24-7 and made only 7 of 14 FTAs, while Maryland was 24 of 32 from the line. The Jackets played without Brian Oliver (flulike symptoms) and Nate Hicks (appendectomy).

Rookie Initiation: When first-year Georgia Tech Head Coach Brian Gregory’s squad duels first-year Maryland Head Coach Mark Turgeon’s today it will mark the fourth game this season and second straight within the ACC, that Gregory matches wits with a school’s first-year head coach. Thus far, it hasn’t been much of a match. Gregory is 3-0, having topped Florida A&M’s Clemon Johnson, Alabama A&M’s Willie Hayes and NC State’s Mark Gottfried.

Hot Stuff: Conference play has brought out the marksmanship in Georgia Tech, which leads the ACC in field goal percentage, shooting 50.0 percent. Rice and Udofia have especially sizzled in Tech’s two ACC games. Rice leads the ACC with 25.0 ppg, while shooting 63.0 percent, 58.8 percent from three. His second of three threes, Wednesday night was the 89th of his career and moved him into the top 20 in school history in three-point FGMs, passing Stephon Marbury. Udofia, has put in 18.0 ppg (tied for sixth in the conference) and is shooting 64.7 percent, 71.4 percent from three. Heading into ACC play Rice was averaging 12.5 points a game, on 49.1 percent shooting, 28.9 from three. Udofia’s improvement is as dramatic, as he was scoring 10.2 ppg, while shooting 38.3 percent, 27.7 from three.

Our Friend, the 3: Georgia Tech has found an unexpected ally of late in the three-point shot. The Yellow Jackets have outscored their opponent from three in each of the last four games by a total of 29-20 and have outshot opponents 43.3 percent (29-for-67) to 27.8 percent (20-for-72). In its previous 10 games, Tech hit more three-pointers than its opponent once (a 4-3 edge over Siena on Nov. 23) and only twice shot for a better percentage (against Siena and Dec. 19 against Alabama A&M). Over the last eight games, the Jackets have allowed only two opponents to shoot better than 30 percent from behind the arc, and even then, those teams, Fordham and Mercer, managed only 31.8 and 31.6 percent success.

Good Swatsmanship: Daniel Miller blocked four more shots against North Carolina State to give him 45 for the season. The 45 blocks are one fewer than the rest of the team combined. In two ACC games, the Jackets have seven blocked shots. Miller has six of them. The redshirt sophomore is averaging 2.8 blocks per game, tied for second in the ACC, he has a streak of 22 games with a block dating back to last season, and has had multi-block efforts in 13 of the last 14 games, including a streak of 11 straight games that was snapped Jan. 3 vs. Alabama.

The Sixth Man: There may not be safer hands in the ACC than those of point guard Pierre Jordan. In his six games since returning from an illness that sidelined him nearly a month, Jordan has played 65 minutes and committed only two turnovers. In his seven games prior to being sidelined he turned the ball over eight times in 88 minutes.

TECH LEADING SCORER: Glen Rice, 14.4 ppg
LEADING SCORER (ACC): Glen Rice, 25.0 ppg

MARYLAND LEADING SCORER: Terrell Stoglin, 21.3 ppg
LEADING SCORER (ACC): Terrell Stoglin, 22.5 ppg

TECH LEADING REBOUNDER: Glen Rice, Daniel Miller, 6.8 rpg
LEADING REBOUNDER (ACC): Glen Rice, Kammeon Holsey, 6.5 rpg

MARYLAND LEADING REBOUNDER: Alex Len, 7.4 rpg.
LEADING REBOUNDER: James Padgett, 7.5 rpg.

TECH PPG/ACC: 65.6/78.0 ppg
OPP. PPG/ACC: 61.9/76.0 ppg.

MARYLAND PPG/ACC: 69.7/72.0 ppg
OPP. PPG/ACC: 68.5/71.5 ppg.

MARYLAND Player to Watch: Terrell Stoglin: The ACC’s leading scorer has been unstoppable this season. He’s hit for double-figures in 15 of 16 games and has scored at least 20 points in six straight games (15 times in his career). The 6-1, 185-pound sophomore is second in the conference in three-point shooting (40.9 percent), three-pointers made (2.5 per game) and leads the ACC with 80 free throws made. He also is durable, playing 31.7 minutes per game (eighth). He’s canned eight three pointers in Maryland’s two conference games, converting at 38.1 percent.

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