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Jackets Fall at North Carolina, 88-65

Chapel Hill, N.C.Jordan Usher led Georgia Tech with 22 points, and Deivon Smith added a season-high 16, but the Yellow Jackets could not counter North Carolina’s size and balance and fell 88-65 to the Tar Heels in Atlantic Coast Conference basketball Saturday night at the Dean Smith Center.

Tech (7-9, 1-5 ACC) dropped its fourth game in the last five despite shooting 45.8 percent from the floor and turning the ball over just 11 times. North Carolina (12-4, 4-1 ACC) won for the fourth time in five games and remained undefeated at home this season.

The Jackets fell behind from the start but remained close at 32-24 with 5:34 remaining in the first half before the Tar Heels reeled off 10 straight points and went into halftime ahead 42-26. They outscored Tech 46-39 in the second half.

Tech was able to hit only three three-point field goals in the game and were outrebounded 42-26. Carolina held Michael Devoe, the ACC’s No. 2 scorer, to just two points and five field goal attempts.

Usher was 9-of-16 from the floor with seven rebounds and three assists, while Smith hit 7-of-11 shots from the floor with three assists and no turnovers.

Post player Armando Bacot scored a game-high 29 points with 12 rebounds, while R.J. Davis scored 21 and Caleb Love tallied 14 from the perimeter and combined for seven of the Tar Heels’ nine three-point field goals in the game. Brady Manek added 11 points and the other two UNC threes.

Georgia Tech returns home for it next four games, beginning with a 7 p.m. contest Wednesday night against Wake Forest at McCamish Pavilion. The game will be televised on ESPNU.

Jordan Usher led the Jackets with 22 points and seven rebounds, his fourth 20-point game this season. (photo by Jaylynn Nash)

 

Post-Game Notes

  • Georgia Tech started a small lineup without one of its “5” men for the second straight game at North Carolina, with freshman Deebo Coleman making his third start of the season. Tech has utilized seven different starting lineups this season, with only Jordan Usher and Khalid Moore starting every game.
  • Tech surrendered a season-high 88 points, nine more than the previous high of 79 in the Yellow Jackets’ loss to the Tar Heels on Dec. 5.
  • For the second straight game, the Yellow Jackets had a double-figure scorer from their bench as Deivon Smith scored a season-high 16 points. Tristan Maxwell scored 22 off the bench at Boston College.
  • Tech received 28 points from its bench against North Carolina, whose reserves contributed 11. It was the eighth time in 16 games this season that Tech’s bench has outscored that of its opponent. That happened just six times in 26 games in 2020-21. The Jackets’ reserves have scored 63 points in their last two games.
  • Tech matched its fewest three-point field goals of the season (3 vs. North Carolina and LSU), one game after it went 11-of-25 at Boston College. The Jackets have attempted fewer than the 14 it tried against the Tar Heels once (11 vs. Charleston Southern).
  • Tech connected on 53.3 percent of its shots from inside the three-point arc (24-of-45) at North Carolina and has made 54.5 percent of its two-point attempts in the last two games.
  • Tech’s last five opponents have shot 30.9 percent from three-point range combined (39-of-126).
  • Tech has shot 73.6 percent from the foul line over its last six games (67-of-91).
  • Jordan Usher has scored 20 or more points in four games this season after tallying 22 at North Carolina.
  • Usher has scored in double digits 13 times in 16 games this season, and has done so in Tech’s last eight games. During that stretch, the senior has averaged 17.0 points (50-102 FG, 49 pct., 14-32 3pt FG).
  • Usher surpassed 1,000 points for his career against the Tar Heels, and now has 1,008, joining teammates Michael Devoe (1,438) and Bubba Parham (1,453) in the club. The 6-7 guard/forward has scored 734 of his points in a Tech uniform.
  • Deivon Smith established a season high with 16 points, hitting 7-of-11 shots from the floor, also season highs. It was the second double-digit scoring game of the season for the sophomore, who scored 11 against Charleston Southern. He was one point shy of his career best of 17 points against Memphis in the finals of the NIT last March while at Mississippi State.
  • Kyle Sturdivant has not committed a turnover in his last three games, covering nearly 79 minutes of court time.
  • Sturdivant and Smith combined for no turnovers in a combined 46 minutes against North Carolina.
  • Michael Devoe has gone two straight games without making a three-point field goal after hitting one in 23 straight games. The senior was held to a season-low two points and just five field goal attempts.

Deivon Smith scored a season-high 16 points for Tech, hitting 7 of 11 from the floor. (photo by Jaylynn Nash)

 

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