Starting Five: Georgia Tech (9-15, 2-8) at Wake Forest (11-14, 2-9)

Feb. 14, 2012

By Jon Cooper
Sting Daily

Georgia Tech looks to get back in the win column and snap a four-game ACC road losing streak when it invades Lawrence Veterans Joel Memorial Coliseum to take on Wake Forest. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m.

The Yellow Jackets are coming off a 61-52 loss to NC State last Thursday night at Philips Arena. Kammeon Holsey scored a game-high 17 points and Glen Rice added 15, but Tech shot only 32.2 percent for the game and hit only one of 17 three-point attempts. The Jackets led 21-13 with 8:27 go in the half, but made only one field goal the rest of the half as State chipped away and closed on a 13-3 run to take a 26-24 lead into the half. After tying the game 10 seconds into the second half, the Wolfpack went on an 11-2 run and Tech never got closer than four the rest of the way.

The Demon Deacons are looking to put the skids to a rough stretch that has seen them lose four in a row at home, six straight and nine of 10 overall. Wake fell, 78-58, to Clemson its last time out on Saturday afternoon. C.J. Harris led three double-figure scorers with 18 and Travis McKie added 12 and six rebounds. Wake led by seven in the first half but an 8-0 run to finish the half gave the Tigers a 42-36 halftime lead. Clemson then open the second 20 minutes on a 17-5 run to put the game away. The Tigers shot 64.3 percent in the first half and 58.2 for the game.

Tonight’s game is the 72nd in a series that dates back to 1949. Tech looks to even the overall series, which stands at 36-35 in Wake’s favor. The Jackets have closed the gap lately, having won three of the series’ last four match-ups and six of eight. Tech has split the last four games at LJVM, where it is 6-16 all-time.

Tonight’s game can be seen on Fox Sports South, with Rich Waltz and Mike Gminski 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 136 — Wake’s broadcast). Tech fans can always follow the game and get live stats on Ramblinwreck.com.

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

The Last Time We Met: Iman Shumpert had 24 and Moe Miller added 20 as Georgia Tech demolished Wake Forest, 80-54, at Joel Coliseum on March 3, 2011. The win was Tech’s first — and would be its only — conference road win and snapped an eight-game losing streak. Jason Morris added 13 for the Jackets, who shot 42.1 percent from three (8-for-19), while limiting Wake to 32.6 percent shooting. A 17-0 run midway through the first half turned an 18-13 deficit into a 30-18 lead and the Jackets put the game away by opening the second half on an 18-3 run, opening up a 53-31lead less than four minutes in. Miller and Shumpert combined for 13 of the points, with Miller scoring six straight in the run.

Holsey Smokes!: Power forward Kammeon Holsey has had the power the last two games, as he’s combined for 27 points, 10 rebounds and two assists. Holsey’s shot 55.6 percent in the two games and has put in as many as five field goals in back-to-back games for the first time since putting in nine and six against Delaware State on Nov. 14 and St. Joseph’s on Nov. 17. The eight rebounds and four offensive boards against NC State matched his season-highs, both done on three previous occasions, the last for both coming at NC State on Jan. 11.

Let Freedom Ring: Holsey was locked in at the foul line against State, making a season-best seven free throws in eight attempts. The redshirt sophomore came into the NC State game shooting 44.4 percent from the line (24-for-54) and left shooting an even 50 percent (31-for-62). It marked the first time he made more than four free throws in a game (he had four on two occasions, Jan. 11 at NC State and eight days later vs. Virginia) and the first time he missed as few as one attempt in a game in which he’d taken as many as five free throws. Holsey’s found the touch at the line in ACC play, as he’s converted at 65.6 percent (21 of 32). To show how far he’s come, in his final seven non-conference games, Holsey shot .06 percent at the line, making one of 15 attempts.

From Away From Downtown, BANG!: Home may be where the heart is but for Georgia Tech, the road is where the three is. In five ACC road games, the Yellow Jackets have shot 42.0 percent from three (37-for-88), more than double what they’ve done at Philips Arena, where in four home games, they have made 20 percent from behind the arc (15-for-75). On the road, Tech has made at least EIGHT three-pointers in four of its five games. The most threes they’ve made in a home game is six and that was in the home opener. Since then, the Jackets have shot nine of 62 from three (14.5 percent).

Dan The Man: Center Daniel Miller has had back-to-back-to-back multi-block games after a four game stretch that saw him block three total shots. Miller has seven swats over the last three games and his three against NC State are the most since the Jan. 11 meeting with the Wolfpack and the most against a team not NC State since sending away four at Fordham on Dec. 29, 2011. Miller is fifth in ACC play, with 1.8 blocks per game. He’ll go head-to-head against Wake senior center, Ty Walker, whose 3.2 BPGs lead the conference.

The Sixth Man: Point guard Mfon Udofia is 0-for-19 shooting, 0-for-8 from three, in Tech’s last two games, both at Philips Arena, but there is good reason for him to be happy with his performance in those games. Udofia has contributed in other ways, like distributing at an 11-2 assists-to-turnover ratio. Against NC State, in addition to his five assists (against two turnovers), Mfon grabbed a season-best three offensive rebounds and seven total boards, one off his season best. Udofia had been shooting 53.6 in Tech’s first three ACC home games (6-for-15), but with two assists and two turnovers.

TECH LEADING SCORER: Glen Rice, 13.1 ppg
LEADING SCORER (ACC): Glen Rice, 13.9 ppg

WAKE FOREST LEADING SCORER: C.J. Harris, 17.3 ppg
LEADING SCORER (ACC): C.J. Harris, 15.5 ppg

TECH LEADING REBOUNDER: Glen Rice, 6.6 rpg
LEADING REBOUNDER (ACC): Glen Rice, 6.3 rpg

WAKE FOREST LEADING REBOUNDER: Travis McKie, 7.1 rpg
LEADING REBOUNDER (ACC): Travis McKie, 8.7 rpg.

TECH PPG/ACC: 61.9/59.3 ppg
OPP. PPG/ACC: 63.2/68.0 ppg.

WAKE FOREST PPG/ACC: 65.4/59.0 ppg
OPP. PPG/ACC: 70.9/72.3 ppg.

Wake Forest Player to Watch: C.J. Harris: The junior guard brings a 24-game double-figure scoring streak into tonight’s game. The streak is the 11th-longest in school history and the longest since current Atlanta Hawks point guard Jeff Teague graduated in 2009, taking a 35-game streak with him. Harris is almost impossible to get off the floor, as he leads the ACC in minutes played (34.8 mpg) and is money at the foul line, where he’s hitting at an conference-best 93.5 percent. He is second in the conference in free throw, getting to the line 6.4 times a game. Wake averages 19.1 FTAs per game. He’s making more than a third of their free throws (5.2 of the team’s 14.2 FTMs).

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