Dec. 19, 2016
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech continues a stretch of three home games in five days Tuesday night with a 7 p.m., nationally-televised contest against state rival Georgia at McCamish Pavilion. The game is officially sold out – tickets may be available via StubHub – Georgia Tech Athletic’s official secondary ticketing partner.
Tech (6-3), in its first season under head coach Josh Pastner, is playing its second straight home game since a nine-day hiatus for exams, having defeated Alcorn State, 74-50, on Sunday. The Yellow Jackets, 5-1 at home this season, have won their last two games, including a 73-70 overtime decision at VCU on Dec. 7.
Georgia (7-3) has won two in a row since its exam break, taking down Louisiana Lafayette (73-60) and Charleston Southern (84-64) at home in the past week. The Bulldogs have played only one true road game, a 74-64 loss at Clemson in their season opener.
Tuesday’s game will be televised nationally on ESPNU, the Yellow Jackets’ third appearance this season on that network, and the broadcast is also available online through the WatchESPN app. Radio coverage is provided by Tech’s flagship station, 680 the Fan (680 AM/93.7 FM).
Tuesday night’s game is the second of five straight home games coming up for the Yellow Jackets, who host Wofford Thursday before breaking for Christmas, then entertain North Carolina A&T (Dec. 28) and begin ACC play against North Carolina (Dec. 31).
Tuesday’s game is the second for Tech this season against an opponent from the Southeastern Conference. The Yellow Jackets lost at Tennessee on Dec. 3.
Center Ben Lammers leads the ACC in rebound average (11.0 rpg), offensive rebounds (4.67 pg) and blocked shots (4.22 pg). He leads the nation in blocks and ranks 16th in rebound average. Lammers also is third in the ACC in field goal percentage (60 pct.) and 18th in scoring average (15.3 ppg).
Georgia Tech has hit 61.8 percent of its free throws in its wins, 76.1 percent in its losses. However, the Jackets have outscored their opponents 17.5-10.5 points per game from the line in their six wins, and has been outscored 12.3-11.7 per game in three losses.
Former Tech guard Jon Barry is the color analyst for Tuesday night’s game on ESPNU, working with Atlanta resident Tom Hart. Barry played at Tech from 1990-92 and made the All-ACC team in 1992. A first-round draft pick by Boston in 1992, Barry is an NBA analyst for ESPN.
Coach Pastner Audio
Before last season’s 75-61 loss in Athens, Georgia Tech had won four consecutive games over Georgia for the first time since winning 10 in a row over the Bulldogs, the longest for either team in the series, from December of 1958 to February of 1961.
Brian Gregory was the first Tech coach to win his first four meetings against Georgia since Roy McArthur, who won his first four during the 1946-47 and 1947-48 seasons.
Georgia Tech leads the overall series 105-87 and has played the Bulldogs more than any other opponent in its basketball history.
The series has been played alternately on the respective schools’ campuses since the 1995-96 season. Georgia holds an 11-10 lead over that period,
In the 21 on-campus meetings since 1995, each team has won twice on the other’s home court. Tech won two straight meetings in Athens in 2011 and 2013 to put the series back “on serve,” while Georgia has won twice in Atlanta, both at Alexander Memorial Coliseum in 2000 and 2010.
Before that December, 1995 meeting in Athens, the teams played 14 straight years at the Omni in downtown Atlanta, which was located on the site of the current Philips Arena. Tech went 8-6 against the Bulldogs in the facility, including eight of the last 10 before the neutral series ended. The teams have played on neutral sites other than the SEC or Southern Intercollegiate Championships only one other time, that coming at the 1960 Gator Bowl Tournament in Jacksonville, Fla.
Tech is 4-3 against Georgia teams coached by Mark Fox, who won his first two encounters against the Jackets.
Tech and Georgia were both charter members of the Southeastern Conference, and the Yellow Jackets went 55-29 against the Bulldogs in the SEC before leaving the conference after the 1963-64 season.
Tech is 35-31 against Georgia since leaving the SEC.
PASTNER ON TECH’S WIN OVER ALCORN STATE
“We missed a lot of layups, a lot of short layups. We’ve got these three games in five days but once we get back from Christmas break and the young men aren’t in school, we’ll be able to have a little bit more time of individual attention and individual skill work to really work on some things especially like making layups. We work all the time on things like attacking, attacking, attacking and we’re getting to the rim, we’re just missing some short shots that we’ve got to be able to put in. We’re not a team that’s going to shoot a lot of threes, we’re going to be in attack mode. We had some good looks from three, we just missed some open ones. But a good win, always good to get a W.”
Georgia Tech has started the lineup of Lammers, Stephens, Moore, Heyward and Okogie in five of nine games this season. Three Yellow Jackets — Ben Lammers, Josh Okogie and Quinton Stephens — have started every game this season.
Tech’s 24-point margin of victory over Alcorn State was its highest of the season, surpassing the 15-point wins the Yellow Jackets scored against Tennessee Tech and Southern in the season’s first two games.
The 50 points Tech allowed to Alcorn State were a season low, surpassing the 55 surrendered to the Tennessee Tech in the season opener.
Tech led at the half (39-22) for the seventh time in nine games, and are 6-1 this season when leading at the half.
Tech didn’t sink its first three-point basket against Alcorn State until Tadric Jackson drained one with five seconds left in the first half. The Yellow Jackets connected on 2-for-11 shots from three-point range in the game and are 29-for-72 (40.3 percent) from long distance in their last five games, 36.4 percent for the season.
Tech used all 14 available players players against Alcorn State, the first time that has happened this season. Nine played double-digits in minutes, including three off the bench. Freshman walk-ons Norman Harris and Shaheed Medlock saw their first action of the season. Christian Matthews didn’t dress due to an illness.
Four Yellow Jackets reached double figures in scoring, the fourth time this season Tech has placed four or more players in double digits. The Jackets are 3-1 in those games. Ten players scored altogether.
Tech led the game for 39:40, from its opening basket, and never trailed for the second time this season (Tech never trailed against Sam Houston State).
Tech held Alcorn State to 31.4 percent shooting from the floor, the lowest by a Tech opponent this season. The Jackets have limited three foes under 40 percent this season, six under 41.2.
Tech assisted on 18 of its 26 made field goals (69.2 percent) against Alcorn State, well above its stated goal (60 percent), and stands at 57.8 percent for the season.
Tech out-rebounded Alcorn State, 46-31, its biggest margin on the boards this season, and has out-rebounded its opponent six times in nine games. Tech is 4-2 this season when winning the boards.
Tech went 20-of-27 from the free throw line, making more free throws than its opponent for the fourth time this season. For the season, Tech has made 140 free throws, while its opponents have attempted 154.
Tech’s committed 14 turnovers, fewest since Nov. 18 vs. Ohio, and Alcorn State scored 18 points from those. Tech has surrendered 113 points off 85 turnovers in its last five games.
Tech blocked six shots (Ben Lammers had just one of them), and is averaging 7.5 blocks for the season. Tech came into the game ranked second nationally in blocks per game.
Tech matched its season-high of 10 steals and forced 21 turnovers for the second straight game.
Ben Lammers posted his sixth double-double of the season (second most in the ACC), reaching 10 rebounds with four and a half minutes to go in the first half and getting into double figures in points early in the second half. He finished the game with 12 points and 13 rebounds, hitting 5-of-7 from the floor, in a season-low 20 minutes. He did not play the final 6:30 of the game.
Quinton Stephens scored in double figures (11 points) for the eighth time in nine games, hitting 5-of-10 shots from the floor in a season-low 24 minutes. It was a typical game for Stephens; he also grabbed eight rebounds and added three assists, one block and three steals.
Josh Okogie returned to double figures in the scoring column after scoring just three points at VCU. He scored 10 in the first half and finished the game with a team-high 14. He has reached double figures seven times in nine games. True to form, he went to the line for eight free throws (and made all eight) to improve his season rate to 72.4 percent. At his current rate, he will shoot 206 free throws this year (Tech record is 205).
Abdoulaye Gueye scored baskets on Tech’s first two possessions after he entered the game at 14:01 of the first half, matching his career high of four points set in the season opener against Tennessee Tech. He also had two assists and two blocks in a four-minute stretch. He finished with five points and six rebounds, and his 18 minutes were his most since the Ohio game.
Tadric Jackson reached double figures for the fifth time in eight games, finishing with 14, matching the team high. He went turnover-less for the second straight game (51 minutes).
Justin Moore finished the game with seven assists, one shy of his season high (8 vs. Ohio), and added five points and four rebounds with just two turnovers in 28 minutes.
Sylvester Ogbonda put together his best game of the year, with season highs of five points and four rebounds in nine minutes off the bench.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL
Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is in its first year under head coach Josh Pastner. Tech has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993), played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004). Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball on social media by liking their Facebook Page, or following on Twitter (@GTMBB) and Instagram.
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