Jan. 20, 2017
Charlottesville, Va. – Georgia Tech finishes its longest road stretch of the season Saturday afternoon when it visits 16th-ranked Virginia for a regionally-televised Atlantic Coast Conference contest at 2 p.m. at the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Va.
Tech (11-7, 3-3 ACC), in its first season under head coach Josh Pastner, has split its first three ACC games, defeating No. 9 North Carolina, Clemson and NC State (on the road). The Yellow Jackets go to Charlottesville on the heels of a tough, 62-61 loss at Virginia Tech Wednesday night. Tech enters the weekend tied for sixth place in the ACC standings.
Virginia (14-3, 4-2 ACC) is coming off a 71-54 road victory at Boston College Wednesday night, its third straight victory after a 1-2 start in ACC play. The Cavaliers defeated Wake Forest and Clemson prior to the BC win, and are 7-2 at John Paul Jones Arena this season.
Saturday’s game will be aired on the ACC Network (Peachtree TV in Atlanta), and will be streamed live online on the ACC Network Extra, available through the WatchESPN app. Radio coverage is provided by Tech’s flagship station, 680 the Fan (680 AM/93.7 FM), and is available via satellite radio (Sirius ch. 132, XM ch. 194).
• Georgia Tech is at .500 through six ACC games for the first time since the 2009-10 season, the Jackets’ last NCAA Tournament team. The Yellow Jackets last started the ACC schedule 4-2 in 2003-04.
• Three keys for Tech – The Jackets are 11-1 this season when they shoot a better percentage from the floor, are 10-0 when scoring 70 points and 10-1 when attempting more free throws than the opponent.
• Ben Lammers’ +11.3 per game scoring average increase over the 2015-16 season is the second best in the ACC. But Tadric Jackson (+6.1) and Quinton Stephens (+6.0) also have posted impressive increases over last season. Josh Heath (+3.2) has more than doubled his 2015-16 average.
• Georgia Tech leads the ACC in field goal percentage defense vs. ACC teams, and ranks sixth in scoring defense. The Yellow Jackets rank 34th nationally vs. all opponents in field goal percentage defense, and 46th in adjusted defensive efficiency accoring to KenPom.com.
• Quinton Stephens is averaging 18.7 points and 9.0 rebounds over his last three games; he has hit 18-for-42 from the floor, 11-of-25 from three-point range, and has 10 assists over that stretch.
• Virginia has won nine of the last 11 meetings, but Georgia Tech leads the all-time series, 40-38.
• The teams split their two meetings last season, Tech defeating the Cavaliers, 68-64, in Atlanta and Virginia capturing a 72-52 win in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament.
• Tech has four wins in its last 10 trips to Charlottesville, but is just 1-5 at John Paul Jones Arena and has lost on its last four trips to Charlottesville.
• The Yellow Jackets were 10-16 against Virginia at University Hall, the Cavaliers’ former homecourt, Tech’s best winning percentage on any ACC foe’s home court.
• Since Tech joined the ACC, the Yellow Jackets are 38-37 against Virginia.
• Tech was 11-8 against Virginia under Paul Hewitt, including wins in all three meetings in Hewitt’s first season of 2000-01. Josh Pastner is 0-1 vs. Virginia (while at Memphis), and Tony Bennett is 8-2 vs. Tech.
• Tech has averaged just 54.6 points per game in 10 meetings against Bennett’s Virginia teams, and tallied just 28 on its last visit to John Paul Jones Arena.
• Tech and Virginia have played to overtime seven times since the 1983-84 season, including a 72-71 triple-overtime win for Tech in Atlanta on Jan. 23, 1984, and an 88-85 double-overtime triumph for Virginia in Charlottesville on Jan. 22, 1995.
PASTNER ON CLOSE CALL AT VIRGINIA TECH
“As a coach, all you can ask for is at the end there to have a chance to win the game, and we had a chance and the shot by Quinton was a 15-foot elbow jumper. That’s what we can ask for and it came up a little short, so you’ve got to give Virginia Tech credit on the win.
“I was proud that we were down 49-40, we found a way to battle back and we didn’t let it hurt us in terms of letting it get away.
“We’ve been very limited offensively throughout the season. That’s why missing those layups and free throws are just devastating for us, because we don’t have that margin for error to afford that.”
• Georgia Tech ranks No. 46 (through Wednesday’s games) in adjusted defensive efficiency on KenPom.com, No. 34 in the nation in field goal percentage defense, No. 80 in scoring defense.
• The Yellow Jackets have risen to No. 98 in CBSSports.com RPI (through games of Wednesday), and have a 3-3 record vs. teams ranked in the top 50 of that RPI.
• Tech started Heath, Lammers, Moore, Okogie and Stephens for the fourth straight game and have won two of those. It is the fifth different starting lineup used by the Jackets this season. Three Yellow Jackets – Ben Lammers, Josh Okogie and Quinton Stephens – have started every game this season.
• Tech led at the half for the 12th time this season (29-28 at Virginia Tech), and for the third straight game. The Yellow Jackets are 10-2 when leading at the half this season.
• Tech’s game at Virginia Tech was the closest decision in six ACC games this season. All five prior games were decided by double digits.
• Tech lost for the first time this season (11-1) when out-shooting its opponent. The Yellow Jackets shot 45.1 percent from the floor and held Virginia Tech to 40.0 percent.
• Tech held the Hokies to their lowest point total of the year, and their lowest shooting percentage from the floor. Virginia Tech came into the game averaging 82.6 points per game, fourth in the ACC, and 48.8 percent from the floor, third in the ACC.
• Nine out of Tech’s last 10 opponents have shot 40.6 percent from the floor or lower. Tech has held its ACC foes to 40.9 percent, and that includes a 55.7-percent game by Duke.
• Tech has shot 47.1 percent (81-for-172) from the floor in its last three games, 47.6 percent from three-point range (20-for-42).
• Tech is now 1-7 this season when scoring less than 70 points. The Jackets are 10-0 when they score 70 or more.
• Tech turned the ball over just 10 times, matching a season low set first against Wofford on Dec. 22.
• Tech went 6-for-14 from three-point range and is 16-for-30 in its last two games.
• Tech lost the rebounding battle (34-29) for the first time in three games.
• Tech blocked 10 shots for the second consecutive game (8 by Ben Lammers), the team’s most in a game since setting the school record of 16 back on 11/14 vs. Southern. The Yellow Jackets are averaging 6.2 blocks per ACC game, 6.8 in all games this season (third in the nation).
• Pastner meter 1 (assists to made field goals): Tech assisted on 16 of 23 made field goals (69.6 pct.) vs. Virginia Tech – 60 percent goal accomplished. Tech is at 61.9 percent for the season, 67.6 percent in ACC games. Tech has 59 assists on 81 field goals (72.8 pct.) in its last three games.
• Pastner meter 2 (free throws made to opponents’ attempts): Tech made 9 of 15 free throws to Virginia Tech’s 12 of 16 (goal of making more than opponent tries not accomplished). It was Tech’s poorest free throw performance in ACC games this season; the Yellow Jackets still maintain a 77.0-percent clip from the foul line in ACC games.
• Quinton Stephens notched his third straight game in double digits and his 13th this season. He also posted his fourth double-double of the season with 18 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. Tech is 16-3 in since the beginning of the season when Stephens scores 10 points or more.
• Coupled with his 16 points against Clemson and career-best 22 at NC State, Stephens has put together the best three-game stretch of his career with 56 in his last three games. Before this season, Stephens had never put together back-to-back double-digit games.
• Stephens is averaging 18.7 points and 9.0 rebounds over his last three games; he has hit 18-for-42 from the floor, 11-of-25 from three-point range, and has 10 assists over that stretch.
• Stephens played the full 40 minutes, one game after playing 40-minus (leaving the game for less than 30 seconds) at NC State. It was the first 40-minute game by a Yellow Jacket since Marcus Georges-Hunt in a win over Notre Dame late last season, and just the second since 1999. The last Tech player to play 40 minutes in consecutive games was Matt Harpring vs. Virginia (1/22/97) and NC State (1/25/97).
• Stephens is averaging 36.3 minutes in ACC games, Ben Lammers 36.0.
• Ben Lammers blocked eight shots in the game, his most since swatting nine against Southern on Nov. 14. It tied the most for a Tech player ever in an ACC game (Alvin Jones vs. Maryland, 2001). He is averaging 3.56 for the season, ranks third in the nation, and 3.17 per ACC game.
• Lammers went 6-for-11 from the floor and scored 12 points. Lammers has scored in double figures in every game but one this season (9 vs. Duke).
• Josh Okogie scored 12 points and reached double figures for the 14th time this season. Okogie went 6-for-6 from the free throw line and is up to 78.4 percent in ACC games, 76.2 percent overall. Okogie scored eight of his 12 points in the final 11 minutes as Tech rallied from a 49-40 deficit.
• Josh Heath scored 10 points with six assists, reaching double figures in points for the fourth time this season and for the third time in six ACC games. He has 24 assists in his last three games, 5.0 per ACC game.
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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