Jan. 9, 2016
ATLANTA (AP)– Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory has been looking for a signature conference win at home.
It took five years to get, but he isn’t complaining now.
”Our wins against Georgia, for me, are always our biggest, but outside of that, this was by far our biggest win,” he said. ”We’ve had some big wins but unfortunately a lot of them have been on the road.”
The loss was a rare second in a row for Virginia, matching its loss total of each of the last two years, when it won consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference regular season titles.
Georgia Tech (11-5, 1-2) got four 3-pointers apiece from Stephens and Smith.
Malcolm Brogdon finished with 19 points and London Perrantes had 13 points for the Cavaliers (12-3, 1-2).
Virginia has dropped two straight in the ACC for the first time since it lost at Boston College and Florida State in March 2013. The Cavaliers’ loss at Virginia Tech on Monday snapped a seven-game winning streak in the series.
”We just couldn’t get the stops on the defensive end,” Brogdon said. ”Stephens hit a couple of big 3s down the stretch.”
Gregory watched his team take a 15-point lead late in the first half before Marial Shayok’s 3 forced a 49-all tie with 6:09 remaining.
The Jackets stayed calm, though, going on an 11-0 run to put the game out of reach on two 3s by Stephens and one by Smith.
”We expected to win, but we’re not going to downplay it,” Stephens said. ”This was a huge win for us.”
Georgia Tech ended a seven-game skid in league play.
”Our guys have kept great faith and belief without seeing it,” Gregory said. ”That’s what it is. You’ve got to believe it before it happens and you’ve got to keep talking about it and stay positive. Our guys have done a job of that. Now we have to build on it.”
Georgia Tech: G Marcus Georges-Hunt, the team’s leading scorer this season, finished with five points on 1 for 6 shooting. … Stephens made his first start of the season as Josh Heath came off the bench. Gregory also started F James White for just the third start of the season with Jacobs working as a reserve. White had a game-high nine rebounds.
The Jackets have outrebounded 13 opponents. … Charles Mitchell, the ACC’s leading rebounder, had an offensive board and a putback to make it 45-36, but he finished with just six points and six boards. … Jacobs’ lane hook put the Jackets up 47-38.
Georgia Tech: visits Notre Dame on Wednesday.