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Jackets Pull Away Late for 88-78 Win at Georgia

Athens, Ga. – Michael Devoe scored a career-high 37 points, and Jordan Usher added 21, and Georgia Tech outscored Georgia, 17-5, over the final 4:34 to capture a hard-fought 88-78 victory Friday night at Stegeman Coliseum.

The Yellow Jackets, who improved to 3-1 for the 2021-22 season, snapped a five-game losing streak in the series, winning for the first time since Nov. 14, 2014, and won for the first time in Athens since Nov. 15, 2013. The Bulldogs fell to 2-2.

Devoe and Usher combined to score 15 straight points in the decisive run for the Jackets, who scored on their last eight offensive possessions and on 10 of the last 11. Georgia had taken a 73-71 lead at the 4:34 mark with a 9-4 spurt, but Devoe answered with layups on consecutive Tech possessions to put the Jackets up for good, 75-73, with 3:21 remaining.

Usher scored on a layup, and Devoe hit a jumper in the paint to complete an 8-0 Tech run for a 79-73 lead at the 2:25 mark. Usher scored twice more with baskets in the paint, answering a pair of Georgia baskets, for an 83-76 Tech lead with 44 seconds to go. Devoe and Khalid Moore hit five free throws from there to seal the victory.

Devoe, whose previous scoring best was 34 points in the same building the last time these two teams met, made a career-best 14 field goals in 18 attempts in the game and connected on four of five three-point attempts. He added seven rebounds and five assists. Usher went 9-of-14 from the floor with four rebounds and two assists.

Rodney Howard, in his second season at Tech after transferring from Georgia, survived severe foul trouble to score eight points with seven rebounds in the second half. He picked up his fourth foul with 18:47 left and managed to stay in the game until fouling out with 2:11 remaining. Five other Yellow Jackets got in the scoring column.

Tech shot better than 60 percent from the floor in each half and finished the game at 60.7 percent, the Yellow Jackets’ highest rate since the 2009-10 team connected on 71.2 percent in a victory over Kentucky State. The Jackets went 8-of-15 from three-point range.

Tech returns home for its next game, hosting Charleston Southern Monday night at McCamish Pavilion. Tip off is at 7 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on the ACC Network.

Michael Devoe scored nine of his 37 points during Tech’s decisive 17-5 game-ending run. (photo by Chamberlain Smith)

 

 

Post-Game Notes

TEAM NOTES

  • Georgia Tech outscored Georgia. 17-5 over the final 4:34 of the game, scoring on its last eight offensive possessions and on 10 of its last 11.
  • Tech shot better than 60 percent from the floor in each half and finished at 60.7 percent, its best shooting performance since hitting 71.2 percent from the floor in a 98-50 win over Kentucky State on January 30, 2010. It was Tech’s first 60-percent performance since connecting on 60.3 percent against Cornell on Nov. 13, 2015.
  • You have to go back to Dec. 22, 2004 to find the last time Tech shot better against a Division I team (.608 vs. Charleston Southern) and back to Jan. 2, 1999 for the last time the Jackets shot better against a “power conference” team (.628 vs. NC State).
  • After hitting just four 3s in 17 attempts (all by Michael Devoe) against Miami of Ohio, Georgia Tech has gone 29-of-59 (49.2 percent) in the last three games, including 8-of-15. Five different players made at least one, with Michael Devoe hitting four. Seven different players hit a three against Lamar, four against Stetson.
  • Georgia became the first team to hit 50 percent from the floor against Georgia Tech (50.9 percent) this season. The Yellow Jackets held Miami to 39.1 percent, Stetson to 35.0 percent and Lamar to 40.4 percent.
  • Tech used nine players in the game and eight scored, but this was the first time the Yellow Jackets’ bench has been outscored this season (23 to 16). Tech’s bench outscored that of its opponent in each of the first three games this season (31-30 vs. Lamar, 34-21 vs. Stetson, 12-10 vs. Miami). The Jackets’ reserves outscored their opponents last year only six times, but won all six. The two highest bench point totals were 32 vs. Delaware State and 21 vs. Georgia State.
  • The Jackets have had more turnovers than their opponents in all four games so far (15 to Georgia’s 14 Friday night).
  • Tech has outrebounded each opponent this season by at least nine (35-26 vs. Georgia) and have a plus-10 rebound margin collectively. The Jackets rank No. 2 in the ACC n rebound margin.

INDIVIDUAL HIGHLIGHTS

  • Michael Devoe has hit a 3 in his last 14 straight games dating back to last Feb. 10 vs. Virginia, and went 2-for-4 from distance against Lamar. The 2021 ACC Tournament MVP made at least one in 23 of 26 games last season, including the final 10 in a row.
  • Devoe’s top two career scoring games have both come against Georgia at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens. He scored 37 points against the Bulldogs Friday night on a career-high 14 field goals, four of them from three-point range. His previous best was 34 two years ago.
  • Devoe’s overall stat line against Georgia Friday was 37 points, seven rebounds and five assists and two steals. This season, the 6-5 senior is averaging 22.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.0 assists, all career high averages so far. He has 21 assists and 10 turnovers through four games.
  • Devoe has reached double figures in 14 straight games as well, with that Virginia game being the last time he didn’t, and has done so 63 times in his career.
  • Jordan Usher’s 21 points tied his career high in a Tech uniform, but was not his overall best. The fifth-year senior scored 22 twice while at Southern California.
  • Dating back to the final six games of the 2020-21 season, Jordan Usher is averaging 15.4 points per game, hitting double figures in 10 straight games. His low point over that stretch was 12 points against Miami of Ohio. The 6-7 senior has averaged 15.5 points in three games this season.
  • Usher gathered four more rebounds against Georgia and leads the Jackets with a 8.0 average this season, nearly twice his average last year (4.2 rpg).
  • Rodney Howard overcame severe foul trouble to give the Yellow Jackets eight points and seven rebounds in the second half, all while playing with four fouls. He picked up his fourth with 18:47 left in the game and didn’t foul out until 2:11 remained. The 6-10 junior is averaging 7.3 points and 8.3 rebounds through four games.
  • Freshman Dallan “Deebo” Coleman has hit 10 of 15 from three-point range over his last three games, including 1-of-2 at Georgia.
  • Deivon Smith maintained his 2:1 assist/turnover ratio with four assists and two turnovers in 22 minutes at Georgia, He has 14 assists and seven turnovers in 90 minutes this season.

Rodney Howard overcame foul trouble to contribute eight points and seven rebounds in the second half. (photo by Chamberlain Smith)

 

Multimedia

Post-game press conference (Jordan Usher, Michael Devoe, Josh Pastner)

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