Dec. 6, 2016
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech plays its final game in a three-game road stretch, visiting VCU in a nationally televised game at 7 p.m. Wednesday night at the E.J. Wade Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center in Richmond, Va.
Tech (4-3), in its first season under head coach Josh Pastner, has dropped the first two games of this road stretch, 67-60 at Penn State and 81-58 at Tennessee. The Yellow Jackets began the season with five straight games at home, winning four of those, before hitting the road for the first time.
VCU (6-2) is coming off a 64-46 loss to Illinois Sunday in Miami, which followed consecutive victories over St. John’s, LSU and Princeton. The Rams’ only other loss came against Baylor in the Bahamas.
Wednesday’s game will be televised nationally on ESPNU, and 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).
• Wednesday’s game is the final game of a stretch of three straight road games for Georgia Tech. They are the only non-conference road games for the Yellow Jackets, who began the season with five straight home games and play four more at McCamish Pavilion after this road stretch.
• Wednesday’s game is a return for VCU’s visit to Atlanta last December, a 77-64 Tech victory.
• This is Tech’s first non-conference game played in the Commonwealth of Virginia since February 17, 1993, when the Bobby Cremins-led Yellow Jackets captured a 65-60 victory at Richmond. The Yellow Jackets are 6-9 all-time in the Commonwealth in games outside of ACC competition. This includes four games played at the University of Richmond’s Robins Center, as well as visits to Old Dominion, VMI and William & Mary.
• Since 2000, Georgia Tech has played on the homecourt of team outside one of the Power-5 conferences 17 times, and has won 10 of them.
Georgia Tech and VCU are meeting for the fourth time; the Yellow Jackets won all three prior games in the series, including a 77-64 victory over the Rams on Dec. 15 of last season at McCamish Pavilion.
• The Rams visited Alexander Memorial Coliseum on Dec. 29, 2003, a game Tech won 86-65 as part of its 12-0 start and eventual run to the national title game. Marvin Lewis, now Tech’s associate director of athletics and chief financial officer, led the Yellow Jackets with 19 points in that game.
• The team’s only other meeting was the Nov. 18, 2011 encounter in the Charleston Classic, a 73-60 Tech win in which the Yellow Jackets overcame an early 13-point deficit.
• Tech is 29-17 all-time against current members of the Atlantic-10 Conference.
LAST YEAR’S MEETING
Following a 27-27 halftime tie, the Yellow Jackets outscored the Rams 50-37 in the second half.
VCU (5-4) led 34-31 early in the second half before a powerful follow jam by James White launched Georgia Tech’s run. White had another basket in the run, which left the Yellow Jackets with a 45-36 lead they would not lose.
A 3-pointer by Doug Brooks helped VCU close the deficit to 49-48 before Georgia Tech scored eight unanswered points to again stretch the lead to nine points.
Justin Tillman led VCU with a career-high 18 points. Melvin Johnson had 17. The Rams made only 6 of 27 3-pointers.
Mitchell’s offensive rebound and basket stretched Georgia Tech’s lead to double figures for the first time at 61-50.
• Due to an illness that sidelined freshman Justin Moore, Tech used its third different starting lineup of the season at Tennessee. Josh Heath replaced Justin Moore in the starting five against Tennessee.
• Tech played all 11 of its available scholarship players. Freshman Christian Matthews (13 minutes) and graduate transfers Kellen McCormick (9) and Jodan Price (7) each played career high minutes in a Tech uniform.
• Tech trailed at the half for the second straight game, this time by its largest margin (42-25). The Jackets had not trailed by more than eight points in their first six games.
• Tech’s 58 points were a season low, and its 81 points surrendered was a season-high.
• Tech shot a season-low 32.7 percent from the floor. The Yellow Jackets have hit less than 40 percent in each of its losses (34.2 percent combined).
• Tech assisted on 12 of its 18 made field goals (66.7 percent.), meeting its stated goal (60 percent), and stands at 59.4 percent for the season.
• Tech connected on 6-of-13 from three-point range (46.2 percent), but just 12-for-42 (28.6 percent) from inside the arc. The Jackets are 23-for-51 from long distance in their last four games, 38.4 percent for the season.
• Tech was out-rebounded by Tennessee, 37-31, and has been out-rebounded three times in seven games.
• Tech went 16-for-20 from the free throw line, and is 21-of-27 in its last two games, 65 percent for the season.
• Tech has shot 40 percent from three-point range and 76.1 percent from the foul line in its three losses combined, but just 32.7 percent from inside the three-point line.
• Tech’s 19 turnovers were a season high, and Tennessee scored 20 points from those. Tech has surrendered 66 points off 51 turnovers in its last three games.
• Tech blocked only two shots (Ben Lammers 1), season lows for both. Lammers remains the national leader in blocks per game, Tech is No. 2 as a team.
• Josh Heath started for the first time this season, making his 22nd start in a Tech uniform and the 30th of his career. He went 0-for-7 with four assists in 36 minutes.
• Quinton Stephens scored in double figures (15 points) for the sixth time in seven games, hitting 6-of-13 shots from the floor and three triples.
• Ben Lammers reached double figures in scoring for the seventh time in seven games with 10 points (3-of-7 FG, 4-for-4 FT), and also recorded his fifth double-double this season with 14 rebounds. Lammers is 24-for-39 from the floor in his last three games and has hit 60 percent for the season.
• Lammers blocked only one Tennessee shot, giving him 33 in seven games (4.7 per game). He remains the NCAA leader in that category.
• Josh Okogie had a poor shooting night (3-for-9), but still scored 11 points to notch his sixth double-figure effort in seven games. He remains Tech’s scoring average leader (17.0 ppg).
• Freshman Christian Matthews received his first extensive playing time of the season and scored 14 points in just 13 minutes on the floor. He went 4-for-7 from the floor (2-for-3 on threes) and 4-for-5 from the foul line.
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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