Tech Battles Back But Falls to No. 18 Clemson, 72-70

Jan. 28, 2018

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THE FLATS – Trailing by eight points with less than three minutes to play, Georgia Tech men’s basketball battled back to pull even with No. 18 Clemson, only to see the Tigers’ Marcquise Reed hit the game-winning layup with 25 seconds remaining and hand the Yellow Jackets a 72-70 defeat on Sunday evening at McCamish Pavilion.

Down 68-60 with 2:33 to go, Josh Okogie scored all 10 of Georgia Tech’s points during a 10-2 run over the next 1:52 and knotted the score at 70-apiece on a pair of free throws with 41 seconds remaining.

However, on the ensuing possession, the Tigers regained the lead on Reed’s go-ahead basket off a drive down the left side of the key.

Georgia Tech had two chances to win the game or send it to overtime but Okogie missed a shot amidst heavy traffic in the lane with seven seconds to go and, after a missed free throw by Reed with three seconds remaining, the Yellow Jackets weren’t able to get a shot off before the final buzzer.

Tech scored the game’s first seven points, led by as many as 12 points in the first half and held a 38-30 advantage with just 1:30 to go before halftime. However, Clemson scored the game’s next 13 points to take a 43-38 lead early in the second half and the Jackets never regained the lead.

Punctuating the difference between the early and late stages of the game, Georgia Tech never trailed in the first 22:12 of the game and never led in the final 17:48. After making 12 of their first 16 shots (75 percent), the Jackets shot just 36.1 percent (13-of-36) the rest of the way.

However, the biggest difference in the game was three-pointers. The teams shot similar percentages from beyond the arc (47.6 percent for Clemson, 45.5 percent for Tech) but the Tigers made 10 treys, compared to just five for the Yellow Jackets.

Okogie led all scorers with 26 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field and 10-of-12 shooting from the free-throw line.

Clemson’s Gabe Devoe paced the Tigers with a career-high 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting, including 5-of-8 from three-point land.

Sunday’s game wrapped a brutal stretch of the schedule for Georgia Tech (10-11, 3-5 ACC), which faced three top-20 opponents (No. 2 Virginia, No. 14 North Carolina and No. 18 Clemson) in a span of just 11 days.

TIP-INS

Clemson: The Tigers won in their second game without Donte Grantham, who suffered a season-ending knee injury last week against Notre Dame. The senior forward was second on the team with 14.2 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. … DeVoe hit a 3 to make it 46-40, marking the first time this season that he’s scored four 3s in the first half and hit one in the second. … Coach Brad Brownell improved to 13-4 against Georgia Tech. … The Tigers have won 14 of the last 18 in the series. … The victory moved Clemson into a third-place tie with No. 4 Duke in the ACC standings

Georgia Tech: In their second season under coach Josh Pastner, the Jackets are 5-7 against ranked opponents, 5-3 at home. … Ben Lammers had 10 points and nine rebounds., Jose Alvarado scored 11. … The Jackets committed just nine turnovers after totaling 49 in the last three games. … In its last game, an 11-point loss at Florida State, Georgia Tech allowed the Seminoles to shoot 59.3 percent, a season-high against the defense. Clemson shot 45.2.

UP NEXT

Clemson: Hosts No. 10 North Carolina on Tuesday night.

Georgia Tech: Hosts Syracuse on Wednesday night.

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