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Tech Comes up Short to No. 23 Wisconsin

THE FLATS – In a game that featured seven ties and eight lead changes, Michael Devoe’s 33 points weren’t enough for Georgia Tech men’s basketball to overcome No. 23 Wisconsin in a 70-66 Big Ten-ACC Challenge loss to the Badgers on Wednesday night at raucous McCamish Pavilion.

After the game went back and forth for much of the first 25 minutes, Wisconsin (5-1) used a 7-0 run midway through the second half to take a 53-43 lead. However, minutes later, Georgia Tech (5-2) went on a 9-2 run of its own, capped by a three-point play by Devoe to knot it back up at 61-61. From there, the Badgers never led by more than four points until the waning seconds, but Tech could never pull back even.

The Jackets’ best opportunity came with less than 30 seconds left when, trailing 66-64, Jordan Usher got a good look at a go-ahead three-pointer coming out of a timeout, but the shot didn’t fall and Wisconsin went on to make four-straight free throws to seal the victory.

The final stats bore out how close the contest was, as the teams had nearly identical numbers in field-goal percentage (Wisconsin – 42.6%, Tech – 41.5%), three-point field-goal percentage (both teams – 37.5%), points in the paint (both teams – 24), second-chance points (Wisconsin – 11, Tech – 10) and turnovers (Wisconsin – 8, Tech – 10). The Yellow Jackets out-rebounded the Badgers, 36-28, but Wisconsin scored 11 points off Tech’s 10 turnovers, while GT scored just five off the Badgers’ eight turnovers.

Devoe’s game-high 33 points came on just 20 shots (11-of-20 from the field, 5-of-10 from three, 6-of-7 from the free-throw line) and were just four point shy of his career-high of 37 set on Nov. 19 at Georgia. The 30-point performance was the third of his career.

Deivon Smith and Rodney Howard chipped in with nine points apiece for Georgia Tech, while Smith, a 6-1 guard, grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.

Brad Davison scored 27 points to lead Wisconsin.

A crowd of 6,302, which included more than 2,100 Georgia Tech students, was the largest at McCamish Pavilion since 6,681 attended the Yellow Jackets’ 63-57 win over Miami (Fla.) on Feb. 29, 2020, Tech’s next-to-last home game before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Georgia Tech continues a grueling stretch on Sunday when it opens Atlantic Coast Conference play at home against North Carolina (5-2). Tipoff is set for 3 p.m. at McCamish Pavilion. The ACC opener for both teams will be televised nationally on ESPN2.

Michael Devoe scored 30 or more points for the second time this season and third time in his career. (photo by Clyde Click)



Post-Game Notes


  • Georgia Tech fell to 9-12 all-time in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, and is 6-4 in Challenge games played at home.
  • Wisconsin was the first AP or Coaches top 25 opponent of the season for Georgia Tech, and the Yellow Jackets are 5-5 vs. such teams since the beginning of the 2020-21 season.
  • Tech won the rebounding battle 36-28 and has outrebounded its opponent in six of seven games this season.
  • Tech matched its season low for turnovers with 10 (also 10 vs. Lamar), but lost the turnover battle for the fifth time in seven games this season.
  • After scoring more than 80 points each against Georgia and Charleston Southern, the Yellow Jackets have fallen short of 70 in each of their last two games. Tech has shot 41.3 percent combined in its last two games (Georgia Southern and Wisconsin).
  • After hitting just four 3s in 17 attempts (all by Michael Devoe) against Miami of Ohio, Georgia Tech has gone 46-of-106 (43.4 percent) in the last six games, including 6-of-16 against Wisconsin (Devoe accounted for five of the six 3-pointers made).
  • Tech’s seven assists were a season low and the fewest for the Jackets in a game since getting seven at Clemson in the final game of the 2019-20 season.


  • Michael Devoe posted his second game of 30 or more points this season (had a career-high 37 at Georgia on Nov. 19), scoring a game-high 33 against Wisconsin on 11-of-20 shots from the floor. He went 5-of-10 from three-point range and 6-of-7 from the foul line. In his last three games Devoe has scored 96 points on 54 field goal attempts in 107 minutes.
  • The ACC’s leading scorer, Devoe is now averaging an even 25 points a game, hitting 56.5 percent of his field goal tries and 59 percent of his three-point attempts. He was leading the nation in three-point percentage prior to Wednesday night’s game and among the top five in scoring average.
  • Devoe has hit a 3 in his last 16 straight games dating back to last Feb. 10 vs. Virginia, and went 5-of-10 from distance against Wisconsin. The 2021 ACC Tournament MVP made at least one in 23 of 26 games last season, including the final 10 in a row.
  • Devoe has reached double figures in 16 straight games as well, with that Virginia game being the last time he didn’t, and has done so 65 times in his career. He has scored 20 or more points 24 times.
  • Devoe has played the full 40 minutes six times in his career (includes a 45-minute overtime game vs. Boston College on March 3, 2019).
  • Khalid Moore scored a season high eight points against Wisconsin, all in the first half, but was thwarted by foul trouble in his bid to reach double digits for the eighth time in his career.
  • Rodney Howard played a career-high 36:22 against Wisconsin and also hit career high marks for free throws made and attempted (5-of-8).
  • Deivon Smith grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds against Wisconsin and fell one point shy of his first double-double.

Deivon Smith gathered a career-high 11 rebounds. (photo by Clyde Click)




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