Feb. 8, 2012
ATLANTA – Looking to build some momentum following its Saturday win over Boston College, Georgia Tech hosts NC State at 7 p.m. Thursday night at Philips Arena in a game nationally televised on ESPNU.
The Tech radio broadcast can be heard in Atlanta on flagship station 790 the Zone (790 AM) and True Oldies 106.7 FM, as well as across the country on satellite radio (Sirius Ch. 92, XM Ch. 190). Tickets are $30 and available at the box office or by logging onto www.ramblinwreck.com/tickets.
In its first year under head coach Brian Gregory, Tech (9-14, 2-7 ACC) snapped a six-game losing streak last time out with a 51-47 win over Boston College, getting the second half of its ACC slate off to a good start. Tech had lost 10 of 11 games before that, but the lone win was an 82-71 triumph against the Wolfpack Jan. 11 in Raleigh.
Tech has four of its remaining seven regular-season games at Philips Arena, site of the 2012 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. One of two off-campus home venues this year while the McCamish Pavilion is being readied for next season, Philips Arena has not been all that friendly to the Yellow Jackets, who had lost all five of their games in the downtown building before Saturday’s win over BC.
NC State (17-7, 6-3 ACC) won three straight games and five of seven after its loss to Tech, and comes to Atlanta on the heels of consecutive wins over Boston College (56-51 on Feb. 1) and Wake Forest (87-76 on Saturday).
Tech/NC State Update
Georgia Tech’s primary goals this season have been to play solid team defense, win the rebounding battle, and be efficient on offense. The Yellow Jackets have allowed only seven teams to score as many as 70 points and three to shoot 50 percent from the floor. Tech has a +3.9 edge in rebounding for the season and has won that battle in 13 of 23 games.
The Yellow Jackets rank No. 5 in the ACC (63rd nationally) in field goal percentage defense (40.5 pct.) and in scoring defense (85th nationally, 63.3 ppg). Tech has held 12 opponents under 40 percent from the field, and have held nine teams under 60 points.
The Yellow Jackets have had difficulty scoring of late, averaging 55.0 points a game during the last seven games (including an 81-point effort at North Carolina). Tech has shot 46 percent or better from the floor in the second half of its last three games, but 39 percent overall during these seven games.
Saturday against Boston College, Tech shot 46.2 percent and turned the ball over just three times in the second half after intermission to pull out the 51-47 win. It was the third time in the last six games that Tech finished a game with fewer than 10 turnovers.
Tech shot 51 percent from the floor in its first meeting with NC State, 57.9 percent in the second half. The Jackets went 23-for-31 from the free throw line in the game, both marks season highs against an ACC team. Five Tech players reached double figures in scoring, one of three times that has happened for the Jackets this year, led by Glen Rice, Jr.’s 22 off the bench.
Tech closed the first half on a 14-2 run to lead 40-29 at intermission in that game, and built its lead to as many as 18 in the second half.
NC State has one of the higher scoring teams in the nation, ranking 43rd in points per game (74.9, 3rd in the ACC). The Wolfpack also rank third in the ACC in field goal percentage (47.0, 51st nationally), and second in three-point percentage (36.4).
The Wolfpack placed all five starters in double digits in the Jan. 11 meeting, led by C.J. Leslie’s 16.
Whom to Watch
Two Yellow Jackets are averaging double figures in scoring, led by 6-5 junior Glen Rice, Jr., of Marietta, Ga., who is scoring 13.0 points (15th in the ACC) and grabbing 6.6 rebounds per game (11th). Mfon Udofia, a 6-2 junior from Stone Mountain, Ga., averages 10.5 points per game.
Both players average more points against the ACC – Rice has averaged 13.8 ppg while hitting 38.9 percent of his three-point shots. They have scored in double digits in the same game four times.
Udofia went 0-for-7 from the floor against BC, but had a career-high-matching 6 assists and 0 turnovers in 36 minutes.
Tech got 50 turnover-free minutes from its point guards against BC, including 14 from Pierre Jordan.
6-11 sophomore center Daniel Miller has scored 10 points in each pf Tech’s last two games, hitting 8-of-13 shots from the floor, 4-for-4 from the foul line. He had four blocked shots and 14 total rebounds in the two games. He ranks 12th in the ACC in rebound average and 2nd in blocked shots.
Rice returned against Boston College after missing the FSU game with a sprained right toe. He scored 11 off the bench and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds.
6-3 sophomore Brandon Reed has scored 18 (career-high at Tech) and 9 points in his last two games. The 18 came at FSU and included four 3-point baskets. He has made his last 9 free throw attempts, including two to help seal the BC win with 11 seconds left in the game.
6-8 sophomore forward Kammeon Holsey is hitting 61.9 percent of his shots from the floor, but has not taken enough shots to be listed in the ACC rankings. He went 5-for-7 with 10 points against BC.
All five NC State starters average in double figures in scoring for the season, and all five rank among the ACC’s top 25.
Tech-NC State History
Georgia Tech won the first meeting between the two teams this season, 82-71, on Jan. 11 at the RBC Center, only the second win in 11 games there for Tech.
Tech has won three of the last four games between the two teams, including a 73-71 victory the last time the teams met in Atlanta (Feb. 6, 2010).
Thirteen of the last 15 meetings in the series have been decided by 10 points or less.
Tech is 22-14 against the Wolfpack in Atlanta, including one home-court meeting that was played at the Omni in 1986.
Since it joined the ACC, Tech is 29-38 against NC State, including regular-season and tournament.
The Jackets are 9-29 against NC State in Raleigh, including a 2-9 mark at the RBC Center.
Tech is 3-3 against NC State in ACC Tournament games, the last meeting occurring in 2003 in a 71-65 Wolfpack victory in Greensboro. The Jackets won first-round games in 1996 in Greensboro (88-73) and 1990 in Charlotte (76-67).