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Late Rally Lifts Jackets Past Clemson, 65-62

Final Box Score (.pdf) | Full gamebook/play-by-play (.pdf) | Multimedia | Photo Gallery | Postgame Quotes | Postgame Notes

Clemson, S.C. – Michael Devoe scored a game-high 20 points, including the game-winning basket with 15.7 seconds left, as Georgia Tech rallied from a nine-point second-half deficit to defeat Clemson, 65-62, Friday night at Littlejohn Coliseum.

The victory secured a winning record in the Atlantic Coast Conference for the first time since 2004 and at least a tie for fifth place in the final standings for the Yellow Jackets (17-14, 11-9 ACC), who won at Littlejohn Coliseum for the first time since the 2004-05 season, snapping a 14-game skid to the Tigers (15-15, 9-11) on the road.

Tech played exceptionally well in the first half, hitting 52.2 percent of its field goals, 5-of-10 from three-point range and 10-of-10 from the foul line to lead 39-28 at the break. Jordan Usher scored the Jackets’ first seven points of the game and had all 11 of his points in the period, while Devoe scored 10.

Clemson rallied from the jump in the second half, however, holding the Jackets without a field goal until 9:43 remained, a three-point field goal by Jose Alvarado (13 points in the game) after the Tigers had taken a four-point lead. Clemson didn’t stop there, scoring 11 of the game’s next 14 points to open a 59-50 advantage with 5:15 to go.

The tables turned there as the Tigers missed 10 of their last 11 shots and Tech finished the game on a 15-3 run. Devoe scored five of the Jackets’ points, first on a layup at 3:04 to bring Tech within 61-58. He made one of two free throws at 2:32 to cut the Tiger lead to 62-60.

James Banks III put back a Devoe miss to tie the game at 62 with 1:37 left, and after the teams traded misses, Devoe drove the lane and put up a floater that dropped in, giving the Jackets a 64-62 lead. Banks made one of two free throws for the final margin, and Tevin Mack, who led Clemson with 19 points, was off target with a long three at the final horn.

Tech continued its late-season run of strong defense as the Tigers made only 35 percent of their shots from the floor and 6-of-26 from three-point range, enabling the Jackets to overcome 19 turnovers.

The Yellow Jackets celebrate with head coach Josh Pastner in the locker room after Tech’s victory at Clemson. (photo by Erik Maday)

 

Post-Game Notes 

TEAM NOTES

  • Tech’s victory at Clemson was its first at Littlejohn Coliseum since the 2004-05 season, snapping a 14-game road losing streak, and completed a season sweep of the Tigers for the first time since that season.
  • Tech finished its ACC schedule over .500 first time since the 2003-04 season (finished 9-7 before advancing to the national championship game). The Jackets have guaranteed themselves at least a .500 conference record for the first time since the 2006-07 season.
  • Tech finished the regular season with at least a tie for fifth place in the ACC. That would be the Yellow Jackets’ highest conference finish since tying for fourth place in the 2004-05 season.
  • Tech went 8-3 over its final 11 conference games this season.
  • Tech’s 11 ACC wins are the most for the program since the Jackets went 13-3 in 1995-96, winning the conference regular season.
  • Tech won five ACC games on the road this season (5-5), tying the team record for most road wins in a season (5-3 in 1995-96).
  • Tech finished the season with four straight ACC wins, the Yellow Jackets’ longest streak under Josh Pastner and the longest since they won four straight late in the 2015-16 season.
  • Tech posted its first winning season, technically, since the 2015-16 team went 21-15. Josh Pastner’s first Tech team in 2016-17 finished 21-16, but all 21 victories have been vacated by the NCAA Committee on Infractions.
  • Tech improved to 12-2 this season when leading at the half.
  • Tech won the game at Clemson despite attempting a just 42 shots from the floor, a season low, and registering just 18 field goals, its second-fewest this season behind the 17 made in a December loss to Ball State. Tech turned the ball over 19 times and shot 28 free throws.
  • Tech held 15 opponents under 40 percent from the floor this season, including eight ACC opponents (Clemson shot 35 percent), and held 12 foes under 30 percent from three-point range (seven ACC teams).
  • Tech finished the season with a program record in 3-point field goal percentage defense (28.5 pct.), beating the 2004 Final Four team mark of 29.74 pct. ACC foes shot 29.2 percent against the Jackets, just shy of the mark of 29.0 percent yield by the 2007-08 team.
  • Tech has won the rebounding battle 11 times and held even twice in 16 games since the beginning of January. The Jackets finished the season plus-56 on the boards in ACC games for the season, averaging 2.8 per game more than their opponents.
  • Tech hit 51-of-136 (37.5 percent) of its three-point attempts over its final nine games. The Jackets went 6-of-15 at Clemson, and hit 34.1 percent from distance in ACC games this season, which ranks No. 6 in the conference.
  • Over its last 11 ACC games (8-3 record), Tech averaged 69.7 points, shot 45.7 percent from the floor, and 34.7 percent from three-point range. The Jackets also had a plus-4.4 scoring margin and a plus-5.1 rebound margin, and scored 15.1 points per game. Opponents shot 39.6 percent from the floor, 24.1 percent from three-point range.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

  • Jose Alvarado (13 points, 3-9 FG, 2-5 3pt, 5-7 FT) has made a three-point basket in 18 straight games. That is the longest streak for a Tech player since Adam Smith knocked down a three in 24 straight games during the 2015-16 season.
  • Michael Devoe (20 points, 7-of-13 FG, 2-of-5 3pt, 4-of-5 FT) has made a three-point field goal in 10 straight games. His longest streak is 13 games, last year as a freshman.
  • Over Tech’s last 11 ACC games, from Jan. 25 vs. NC State to the present, Alvarado averaged 18.1 points, hit 46.5 percent of his shots from the floor, 36.5 percent of his three-point attempts and 76.9 percent of his free throws. He also averaged 3.3 assists, 2.7 steals and 3.9 rebounds.
  • Over the same 11-game ACC stretch, Devoe averaged 15.7 points while connecting on 51.6 percent of his field goals, 47.4 percent of his three-point attempts and 84.4 percent of his foul shots. He also is averaging 4.3 assists and 4.1 rebounds.
  • Alvarado and Devoe combined to score 40.7 percent of Tech’s points and sink 39.3 percent of their three-point attempts in ACC games, 47 percent overall from the floor. Over the aforementioned 11 ACC games, they have accounted for 44.3 percent of Tech’s scoring, shot 48.7 percent from the floor, 40.6 percent from three-point range and 79.8 percent of their free throws collectively.
  • Jordan Usher had 11 points against Clemson (along with eight rebounds) for his eighth double-digit game this season. Tech won six of the eight games in which he scored in double digits.
  • James Banks III blocked three shots at Clemson and finished his Tech career with 154, good for eighth place in the Tech record book.
  • Evan Cole posted his second double-figure game this season with 10 points (4-7 FG, 2-2 FT) against Pittsburgh, adding eight rebounds and two blocks. He had 11 against NC State on Jan. 25. Tech won both games.

Jordan Usher scored Tech’s first seven points in the game and finished with 11. (photo by Mike Slade)

 

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