THE FLATS – Georgia Tech men’s basketball was unable to overcome cold shooting in the first half and 44-combined turnovers between the two teams in the 65-47 non-conference setback to Ball State on Wednesday night at McCamish Pavilion.
The Yellow Jackets (4-5) shot just 22.7 percent in the first half (14.3 from three) en route to finishing at 41.4 percent overall. Conversely, the Cardinals (6-4) started red-hot, shooting 50 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from downtown and finished with a 46.4 field goal percentage.
Tech also committed 16 turnovers in the first half and 24 overall as Ball State turned those miscues into 22 points on the other end to forge its lead.
Individually, the Jackets were led by senior forward James Banks III, who amassed 13 points and eight boards on the night, while sophomore guard Michael Devoe finished with 11 points. The Cardinals’ redshirt freshman Jarron Coleman led the way offensively, scoring 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting, while senior Kyle Mallers recorded 11 points and seven rebounds.
Tech returns to action Sunday, Dec. 22, facing Boise State in the opening round of the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu, Hawai’i. Tipoff is at 5 p.m. Eastern time, and the game will be televised live on ESPNU.
Sophomore guard Michael Devoe led the Yellow Jackets in scoring, finishing with 11 points and four rebounds on the night. (photo by Danny Karnik)
- Tech’s 47 points, 17 field goals and 33.3 percentage from the floor against Ball State were all season lows. The Jackets last scored less than 50 points last Feb. 16 (69-47 loss at Florida State) and last scored fewer than 47 points on Feb. 6 of last season (65-42 loss at home to Clemson).
- Tech has trailed at halftime in seven of nine games this season. The Jackets are 12-44 under Josh Pastner when trailing at the half.
- Tech, third in the nation in blocked shots coming into the game, blocked only five against Ball State and just 11 in its last three games, dropping its average to 6.6 per game this season.
- Tech has connected on just 26-of-100 three-point field goals in its last five games (4-for-16 vs. Ball State) after hitting 21-of-63 (33.3 percent) in the first three games of the season. The Jackets are hitting 28.7 percent for the season.
- Jordan Usher made his Georgia Tech debut against Ball State, his first collegiate game in 361 days. His last game was Dec. 21, 2018 against Southern Utah, in which he scored nine points (4-5 FG) with four assists and three rebounds. Against Ball State, he started and played 18:54, scoring four points (1-7 FG) with four rebounds.
- Moses Wright tied season lows with two points and four rebounds against Ball State. He had averaged 15.0 points and 10.0 rebounds over his previous four games, and hit 56 percent of his shots from the floor (28-of-50) in that stretch.
- Bubba Parham has averaged 8.4 points with four double-figure games over his last seven games. He has hit 10-for-30 from distance over that stretch.
- Michael Devoe, the ACC’s third-leading scorer, posted his first double-digit game (11 points) against Ball State since scoring 26 against Nebraska on Dec. 4. The nation’s leader in three-point shooting and scoring earlier in the season, the sophomore went 1-of-3 from three-point range against the Cardinals and is 2-of-13 in Tech’s last three games (8-of-37 overall).
- James Banks III scored 13 points against Ball State, his first double-figure game since Bethune-Cookman on Dec. 1 (12 points, 12 rebounds), and fell short by one rebound of his first double-double since that game.
- Banks blocked two shots against Ball State, and has 33 in nine games this season for an average of 3.67, still No. 1 in the ACC and 1.1 per game more than last season.
- Shembari Phillips scored a season-high six points on a pair of three-point field goals. It was his most points since scoring six against UTRGV on Nov. 21 of last season.
Senior forward James Banks III led the big men, hauling down a team-high nine rebounds to go along with 13 points on Wednesday. (photo by Danny Karnik)