THE FLATS — Gardner-Webb got off to a fast start and shot 60 percent in the opening half, and finished at 52.5 percent for the game as the Runnin’ Bulldogs outlasted Georgia Tech 79-69 on Monday night at McCamish Pavilion.
The Yellow Jackets (5-4) struggled early with Gardner-Webb’s presence in the paint as GWU won the post battle at a 48-36 advantage, getting a game-high 25 points from center DJ Laster, who hit 12 of 20 shots from the floor. The Runnin’ Bulldogs (8-5) also outscored Tech 20-8 off the the bench to help neutralize Tech’s fast-break advantage (19-9).
Gardner-Webb’s three-point shooters were relatively quiet compared to their season performance, but the Bulldogs still hit 6 of 15 tries. Jose Perez (12 points), David Efianayi (12) and Jaheam Cornwell (10) also finished in double digits for the Bulldogs and combined to hit 4 of 7 three-point attempts.
It was a career-high night for James Banks III, who led Georgia Tech as he finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds for his third double-double of the season. Right behind him was Jose Alvarado, who finished with 19 points, and Curtis Haywood II, who hit four first-half threes and finished with 12 points.
Georgia Tech turns around quickly, traveling to Fayetteville, Ark. to face the Arkansas Razorbacks on Wednesday night at 9 p.m. Eastern time. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.
Sophomore Jose Alvarado went 8-for-16 from the floor to finish with 19 points for the game.
- Georgia Tech starting lineup: Alvarado, Alston, Haywood II, Wright, Banks III
- First subs for Georgia Tech: Devoe, Moore, Gueye for Haywood, Wright, Banks – 14:40-1st half
- On the floor for Georgia Tech at the end: Alvarado, Alston, Devoe, Moore, Banks III
- Opening tap won by Georgia Tech – Georgia Tech has won the opening tap four times in nine games last season
- Series record vs. Gardner-Webb: Georgia Tech is 1-1 overall, 1-1 at home, 0-1 under Josh Pastner, 0-1 vs. Tim Craft
- Current series streak: Gardner-Webb won the last meeting
- Georgia Tech is 5-1 at McCamish Pavilion this season, 77-38 in its sixth season in the building, 34-12 under Josh Pastner
- Georgia Tech is 0-2 on the road this season, 0-3 away from McCamish Pavilion
- Georgia Tech’s next game: Wednesday, Dec. 19, 9 p.m. ET, vs. Arkansas, Fayetteville, Ark.
- For the third straight game, Georgia Tech started Jose Alvarado, Brandon Alston and Curtis Haywood II across the perimeter, Moses Wright and James Banks III in the frontcourt. Banks made his third straight start, Alston his fourth of the season, and Wright his seventh of the season. Haywood is the only Tech player to have started every game.
- Gardner-Webb’s 79 points were the most allowed by Tech this season and the most given up at home since Duke’s 80-69 win last Feb. 11. The 45 points by Gardner-Webb in the first half were the most Georgia Tech has given up in the first half of a game this season, and the second most in any half (Lamar – 47 in the second half).
- It was the second time in six home games this season Tech has trailed by double figures in the second half. The Jackets trailed Prairie View A&M by 12 on Nov. 23, but rallied to win.
- Gardner-Webb was the 10th team to shoot 50 percent against Tech under Josh Pastner, first since Virginia Tech (52.7) last Feb. 17.
- Tech played 10 scholarship players against Gardner-Webb, with Evan Cole seeing action in his second game since returning from an ankle injury. Tech has deployed at least eight players for significant minutes in each of its nine games so far, nine vs. Northwestern and St. John’s, despite Evan Cole missing those games with an ankle injury.
- Despite yielding a season-high 79 points to Gardner-Webb, Tech has held every opponent this season under its season scoring average – breakdown by game: Lamar 81.0 (69), Tennessee 82.8 (66), East Carolina 72.7 (54), UTRGV 70.2 (44), Prairie View A&M 69.2 (54), Northwestern 76.0 (67), St. John’s 83.0 (76), Florida A&M 63.2 (40), Gardner-Webb 82.2 (79).
- Tech has yielded just 40 three-point field goals in nine games (4.4 per game, 26.7 percent) and remains No. 1 in the ACC in lowest three-point percentage yield. The Jackets allowed an average of 7.1 per game and a success rate of 37.9 percent last season.
- Tech has outrebounded its opponent five times in the last six games after not doing so in its first three games of the season, and is on the plus side (+0.3) for the first time this season. Tech outrebounded Gardner-Webb, 34-33.
- Defensively, Tech is forcing 15.3 turnovers and taking 8.3 steals per game, figures which rank third in the ACC. Only St. John’s (5 turnovers) and Gardner-Webb (9) have managed to keep their turnover total under 10 this season against Tech. The Jackets forced an average of 12.6 turnovers per game last season and took 6.9 steals per game.
- Tech has connected on just 36.6 percent of its field goals in three games away from home, and 11-of-52 (21.2 percent) of its three-point attempts. But it has converted 81.2 percent of its free throw tries and scored 56 of its 187 points there.
- Tech has attempted 175 threes (19.4 per game) and made 54 (6.0 per game), compared to averages of 15.3 attempts and 4.9 made per game in 2018-19. Four different Yellow Jackets have made at least seven three-point field goals so far this season. Tech has hit 30.9 percent of its threes for the season, below last season’s 31.8-percent clip.
- Tech’s bench was outscored for the first time this season, 20-8 by Gardner-Webb. Yellow Jacket reserves have scored 248 points in nine games (27.5 per game, 39.2 percent of its season average).
PASTNER’S KEY METRICS
- Assists to made field goals: Tech assisted on 13 of 28 made field goals (46.4 percent) against Gardner-Webb, missing its nightly goal of 60 percent for the seventh time in nine games. The Jackets are at 54.8 percent for the season.
- Free throws made to opponents’ attempts: Tech connected on 7-of-10 free throw attempts to Gardner-Webb’s 11-of-15 (nightly goal of making more than opponent tries accomplished). Tech is 34-11 under Josh Pastner when attempting more free throws than the opponent.
- Turnovers: Tech has 15.3 turnovers per game and taken 8.3 steals per game. The Jackets forced an average of 12.6 turnovers per game last season and took 6.9 steals per game. Tech ranks second in the ACC in steals.
- Guard rebounding: Tech’s guards combined for 13 of Tech’s 24 defensive rebounds against Gardner-Webb. The fivesome of Alvarado, Alston, Devoe, Haywood and Phillips has combined to take 100 of Tech’s 239 defensive rebounds this season (41.8 percent).
- Curtis Haywood regained his three-point stroke against Gardner-Webb, hitting 4-of-6 in the first half and posting his first double-digit scoring game since Nov. 23 vs. Prairie View A&M. Haywood had been 3-for-14 from behind the arc over his last four games, and was 0-for-2 in the second half against Gardner-Webb. It was his fourth double-figure game this season and eighth of his career.
- Jose Alvarado posted his fifth double-figure game in the last six with 19 points (8-of-16 FG). He has six this season and 22 for his career.
- Alvarado played all but 33 seconds of the Gardner-Webb game, the most minutes he has logged this season. He might have played all 40 if not for picking up his fourth foul with 2:17 remaining, forcing Tech to remove him on defensive possessions. The 6-foot sophomore played eight complete games last season.
- James Banks reached posted his third double-double in four games, scoring a season-best 22 points and matching his season best with 12 rebounds. The 6-9 junior is 22-for-31 from the floor with 49 rebounds (12.1 per game) in his last four games.
- Banks has had at least one blocked shot in each of the eight games he has played, averaging 2.38 for the season (second in the ACC).
- Moses Wright started his seventh straight game for Georgia Tech, scoring four points with five rebounds in 18:42 minutes against Gardner-Webb. Wright has two double-digit games (11 vs. UTRGV, 12 vs. St. John’s) in that stretch, and is hitting 44.4 percent of his shots from the floor this season.
- Freshman Michael Devoe continues to get his legs under him after missing most of pre-season practice with a big toe injury. Devoe scored just two points against Gardner-Webb, both from the free throw line, but had a season-high six rebounds and had four assists. Devoe is tied for the team lead in steals (16), is averaging 7.1 points for the season and has hit 19-of-23 from the free throw line.
- Brandon Alston collected a season-high five assists but was shut out from the three-point line (0-for-3) for the third time this season. The 6-5 senior has hit 12-of-24 (50 percent) from long range this season, 47.1 percent overall.
- Freshman Khalid Moore continues to play solidly off the bench. The 6-7 forward has averaged 7.0 points over his last four games (9-of-12 FG, 8-of-8 FT) with six assists and five steals.
- Sophomore Evan Cole has played 11 total minutes in two games since missing five games recovering from a left ankle sprain suffered on the Jackets’ Nov. 13 game at Tennessee. He scored four points, all from the free throw line, against Florida A&M, but did not score against Gardner-Webb.
Head Coach Josh Pastner Post-Game Press Conference Audio