Starting Five: Maryland (16-11, 6-7) at Georgia Tech (9-18, 2-11)

Feb. 24, 2012

By Jon Cooper  |  Sting Daily

Georgia Tech looks to regroup offensively and snap a dry spell that has seen four straight losses and 11 in 12, when it hosts Maryland. Tip-off at Philips Arena is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.

The Yellow Jackets dropped a 56-37 decision Tuesday night at Philips against Clemson. Kammeon Holsey led Georgia Tech with 12 and Brandon Reed added 11, but the Tech couldn’t overcome offensive struggles. Tech managed only 18 first-half points, then shot only 25 percent in the final 20, making on one of 12 three-point attempts.

The Terrapins are trying to build momentum, having won two of three and three of five, but have not been able to put together a winning streak in that span. The last time out, on Tuesday night, Maryland edged Miami, 75-70, at the Comcast Center. ACC scoring leader Terrell Stoglin knocked down a game-high 20 and the Terps used a 10-0 run to overcome a five-point deficit with 2:04 left.

Today will be the 74th meeting in a series that dates back in 1972. The Jackets trail 39-34 but hold an 18-11 edge in Atlanta. This will be the team’s first meeting at Philips Arena. The Jackets could use a win, as they have dropped 12 straight to Maryland, including a 61-50 loss in College Park on Jan. 15. They’ve come close several times, as four of the last seven meetings have been decided by five points or fewer.

Today’s game can be watched on the ACC Network (WATL-TV in Atlanta), with Bob Rathbun and Dave Odom 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 128) and XM Radio (Channel 192). 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: Kammeon Holsey had 11 points and two blocks, but the Yellow Jackets shot only 33.9 percent and fell, 61-50. The Jackets held Maryland to 33.3 percent shooting and blocked a season-high nine shots (Holsey, Daniel Miller, Jason Morris and Glen Rice had two each, Nick Foreman had the other), but they struggled from behind the arc, making only three of 17 attempts. Tech trailed 24-19 at half-time and cut the lead to one early in the second half but then surrendered a 12-3 run and never got closer than four the rest of the way.

Brandon Comes Alive: Sophomore guard Brandon Reed has been a bright spot offensively of late, as he’s scored in double-figures in four of his last six games and in each of the last three. The current consecutive games run is his longest streak of 10-plus-point games with Georgia Tech, topping by one his back-to-back efforts at Georgia on Dec. 7 and at Savannah State on Dec. 10. He’d had two double-figure scoring games in his previous 10 ACC games. Reed is shooting 42.8 percent over his last three games (12-for-28) and has showed a nice touch from three, as he is 8 for his last 18 (44.4), including 3-for-5 against Clemson.

Everybody Line Up!: The Yellow Jackets have had a tough time getting to the foul line recently, as in their last five games they’ve attempted 58 free throws (11.6 per game). Opponents have averaged 15.2 FTAs. But getting to the line hasn’t been the entire problem, as twice in the five games they’ve attempted more free throws than their opponent. They’ve also struggled from there as in two of the last three games they’ve shot at or below 50 percent, including 36.4 percent (4-for-11) on Tuesday. One Yellow Jacket who has been superb at the line has been Reed, who has hit his last 16 attempts and is converting at 92.3 percent in ACC games (24-for-26). The problem has been getting him to the line, as he hasn’t attempted a free throw in the last three games.

Tightening Up: After four games in which opponents shot at least 47 percent from three, Georgia Tech has better defended the three-point line in its last five. In that stretch three opponents (Boston College, 29.6, Wake Forest, 20.0 and Clemson, 23.1) have shot below 30 percent from three, and another, NC State, was only a hair above 35 percent (35.3). Virginia Tech shot 55.0 percent on its home floor, but would have been at 50 had it not been for the final buzzer-beating heave of overtime.

Five-Speed Kam Engine: Kammeon Holsey continues to get it done offensively in the paint. His 5-for-5 game against Clemson was his fourth game in five in which he’s made at least five field goals. Over those games, Holsey is averaging 12.6 points while shooting 56.1 percent (23-for-41). He also hit the boards at both ends against the Tigers, grabbing eight rebounds, four at each end. The four offensive boards matched his season high, the fifth time this season he’s grabbed four offensive caroms.

The Sixth Man: Playing his first game in almost a month, senior guard Derek Craig got some floor time against Clemson. He didn’t score, going 0-for-3, 0-for-1 from three, but was active on the boards, grabbing a defensive and an offensive rebound in his seven minutes. The two rebounds were a season-high and his seven minutes were his ACC-best and only two off his season high set back in the season opener against Florida A&M.

GEORGIA TECH LEADING SCORER: Glen Rice, 13.0 ppg
LEADING SCORER (ACC): Glen Rice, 13.7 ppg

MARYLAND LEADING SCORER: Terrell Stoglin, 21.3 ppg
LEADING SCORER (ACC): Terrell Stoglin, 21.6 ppg

GEORGIA TECH LEADING REBOUNDER: Glen Rice, 6.7 rpg
LEADING REBOUNDER (ACC): Glen Rice, 6.6 rpg

MARYLAND LEADING REBOUNDER: James Padgett, 5.7 rpg.
LEADING REBOUNDER (ACC): James Padgett, 5.3 rpg.

GEORGIA TECH PPG/ACC: 61.0/57.9 ppg
OPP. PPG/ACC: 63.2/66.8 ppg.

MARYLAND PPG/ACC: 68.5/68.3 ppg
OPP. PPG/ACC: 70.1/71.8 ppg.

Maryland Player to Watch: James Padgett: The junior forward is a man possessed on the boards. Padgett is Maryland’s leading rebounder, having grabbed 154, with 95 of them on the offensive end (61.6 percent). He is one of the best in the ACC on the offensive glass, pulling down 3.2 ORs per game. He also can score, averaging 9.1 points in ACC play. In the first meeting with Georgia Tech Padgett grabbed a team-high-tying nine rebounds, and pulled in seven of Maryland’s nine offensive rebounds.

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