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Jackets Look to Even Season Slate with NC State

Feb. 13, 2009

Complete Game Notes in PDF Format

ATLANTA – Looking to even the season series and snap a three-game losing streak, Georgia Tech hosts NC State in a regionally-televised game (Raycom) at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.

Locally, WATL-TV (Ch. 36) will carry the Raycom television broadcast. For a complete list of affiliates carrying the Tech game, click here.

Radio coverage is provided by the Georgia Tech/ISP Sports Network, airing in Atlanta on flagship station WQXI-AM (790) and WTSH-FM (107.1). The Tech broadcast can also be heard nationwide on XM Satellite Radio Ch. 191.

Tech (10-13 overall, 1-9 ACC), has lost eight of its last nine games, the lone victory a 76-74 triumph over No. 6 Wake Forest on Jan. 31. The Yellow Jackets dropped a 76-71 decision at Virginia Tech on Wednesday night, their sixth ACC loss by five points or fewer this season.

NC State (13-9, 3-6 ACC) holds 10th place in the ACC standings following its 82-76 victory over the Demon Deacons Wednesday night. The Wolfpack, who defeated the Jackets 76-71 in overtime on Jan. 17, have played three OT games in the conference this year, including a win over Miami and a loss to Virginia Tech.

Tech is 8-6 overall at home this year, but just 1-4 in ACC games.

Free throw shooting and/or turnovers, the primary culprits in Tech’s 1-9 conference start, have negated a fine defensive effort by Coach Paul Hewitt’s team. The Yellow Jackets lead the ACC in field goal percentage defense in conference games (38.9 pct.) and rank fourth in scoring defense (72.4 ppg). But Tech has struggled to score consistently, averaging 64.9 points over its last nine games while committing 5.6 more turnovers per game and getting outscored by nearly five points per game at the charity stripe. Tech has scored less than 60 points five times this year, and has shot less than 50 percent in its last 14 straight games.

Series With NC State

> NC State leads the overall series with Georgia Tech, 49-34, snapping a three-game losing streak in the series with a 76-71 overtime victory in Raleigh on Jan. 17, 2009. The Wolfpack had won seven straight games in the series until Tech broke the string with a 71-68 victory in Atlanta on Feb. 12, 2006.

> The Wolfpack have still won 17 of the last 24 meetings in the series. Prior to that, Tech had won seven in a row.

> The last 11 meetings in the series have been decided by 10 points or less, including the OT game earlier this year.

> Tech is 21-13 against the Wolfpack in Atlanta, including one home-court meeting that was played at the Omni in 1986.

> Tech is 6-10 against NC State under head coach Paul Hewitt, and is 2-1 against Wolfpack coach Sidney Lowe.

> Since it joined the ACC, Tech is 26-36 against NC State, including regular-season and tournament.

> Tech’s 77-74 win in 2008 was the Yellow Jackets’ only victory at NC State’s RBC Center in nine tries. Tech had lost 10 straight games to the Wolfpack on their home court, dating back to Jan. 24, 1996, and has lost 11 of the last 12. The Jackets are 8-28 against NC State in Raleigh, including a 7-18 mark in Reynolds Coliseum, the former homecourt of the Wolfpack.

> Tech is 2-3 against NC State in ACC Tournament games, the last meeting occurring in 2003 in a 71-65 Wolfpack victory in Greensboro. The Jackets won first-round games in 1996 in Greensboro (88-73) and 1990 in Charlotte (76-67).

Tech Players vs. NC State

Alade Aminu – just two points (1-6 FG), three rebounds in first meeting this year … 3.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg in five career games vs. Wolfpack

Lewis Clinch – 18 points (6-10 3FG) in first meeting this year … 12.0 ppg, 47.4 pct. FG, 10-20 on threes in four career games vs. Wolfpack

Gani Lawal – 11 points (5-11 FG), 10 rebounds, two blocks in first meeting this year … 13 points, five boards in only meeting a year ago

Moe Miller – scoreless in 15 minutes in teams’ first game this year … just two points in last year’s game

Zachery Peacock – six points (1-7 FG), eight rebounds in first meeting this year … 7.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 5-15 FG in three career games vs. Wolfpack

Brad Sheehan – played 14 minutes, four points, three rebounds on Jan. 17 in Raleigh, his only appearance against the Wolfpack

Iman Shumpert – 22 points, four assists, four steals in 42 minutes on Jan. 17 in Raleigh

Lance Storrs – six points (2-4 3FG) in teams’ first meeting this year

Team – Tech has averaged 74.2 points over the last five games of the series … Tech had shot better than 50 percent from the floor in four straight meetings before the Jan. 17 game this year, in which the Jackets made 35.8 percent of their field goals despite hitting 10-of-18 from three-point range.

Tight Finishes Again Dot Tech Schedule

Georgia Tech’s 76-71 loss at Virginia Tech was the Yellow Jackets’ 11th game this season decided by five points or less, and Tech is 4-7 in those games. Only three of Tech’s 13 losses this year have come by 10 or more points.

Tech has played four overtime games this season (three in conference games), the most in one season since 1998-99, when the Yellow Jackets played five OT games. Tech is 1-3 in overtime games this season, 6-7 under head coach Paul Hewitt.

Last season, 21 of Tech’s 32 games were decided by 10 points or fewer, and the Jackets were 9-12 in those games. Fourteen games were decided by five points or fewer or went to overtime, and Tech was 7-7 in those contests.

Tech’s five home ACC losses last year came by a total of eight points (one to Miami, two to Maryland, one to North Carolina, two to Florida State, two to Virginia). Of Tech’s five home ACC games to date, two went to overtime and four were decided by four points or less.

Last Time Out – Rally Falls Short at Virginia Tech

Georgia Tech rallied from a 13-point deficit to cut the margin to three on a couple of occasions, but the Yellow Jackets couldn’t overcome another poor shooting night and dropped a 76-71 decision to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg Wednesday night.

The Jackets were whistled for 26 fouls and sent the Hokies to the foul line for 36 tries (24 points), and lost for the sixth time this year when holding an opponent under 40 percent from the floor. The Hokies made 37.1 percent of their field goals, the Jackets 39.7 percent.

> Gani Lawal led Tech with 23 points and blocked three shots, but failed to reach double digits in rebounds (8) for the first time in 10 games.

> It was the 11th time this season a Tech game has been decided by five points or fewer (4-7 record).

> Alade Aminu scored 13 points, his third double-digit performance off the bench in five games. Zachery Peacock (12 points) and Iman Shumpert (11) also scored in double figures.

> In a statistical oddity, reserve center Brad Sheehan grabbed three rebounds and blocked a shot in one official minute of playing time.

Struggling to Score

Georgia Tech has been one of the better defensive teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference this year (see below), but has not been able to capitalize on that due to shortcomings on offense.

The Jackets rank 11th in the ACC in scoring average, ninth in field goal percentage and 12th in three-point percentage overall this year, and are even further down the charts in conference games only, averaging 66.8 points and shooting 40.2 percent in league games. Turnovers, 18.9 per game, are part of the problem.

> Tech has not shot better than 43.1 percent in 10 games, and less than 40 percent in five of those. Over that span, the Jackets have failed to score 60 points in a game four times, and have reached 70 points just five times (three of those in overtime).

> Tech has lost six games in which it has held its opponent to under 40 percent from the floor. Why – a minus-7.5 turnover margin and a minus-8.2 point differential at the foul line while the Jackets have scored an average of 60.2 points in those games.

> In Tech’s last nine games, it has committed 5.6 more turnovers per game and been outscored at the foul line by 4.9 points per game.

> Tech’s overall field goal percentage of 43.3 is its lowest since the 2001-02 season (43.1 pct.). Between 1996 and 2002, the last four years under Bobby Cremins and the first two under Paul Hewitt, Tech went through a period of poor shooting from the floor, beginning with a 39.6-percent year in 1996-97. The Jackets followed that with 41.1 percent in 1998-99, 40.8 percent in 1999-00 and 42.6 percent in 2000-01.

Nothing to Show for the Defense

Georgia Tech’s offensive struggles are well documented, but the defensive effort put forth by the Yellow Jackets this year ranks among the better ones by Paul Hewitt’s teams.

Tech’s opponents are shooting 39.3 percent from the floor, which ranks fourth in the ACC and third-best among Hewitt’s nine Yellow Jacket teams. In fact, only two Tech teams since 1960-61 have held opponents under 40 percent for a season (2003-04 and 2004-05), both coached by Hewitt.

In conference games only, Tech ranks fourth in scoring defense (72.4 ppg) and FIRST in field goal percentage defense (38.9 pct.). Tech also ranks fifth against the three (32.0 pct.) in ACC games and second in blocked shots (5.8 pg).

Tech has allowed only two opponents to shoot 50 percent in a game this year, and no ACC opponent has shot better than 44.6 percent (Wake Forest in Tech’s lone conference victory).

No Charity for Jackets

Over its last nine games, Georgia Tech has outshot its opponents from the floor, 39.8-to-38.2 percent and scored one more field goal. Tech has even shot a better percentage from the free throw line than its opponents (70.9-to-69.7 percent).

But the Jackets’ scoring deficit of 5.8 points per game over that stretch comes almost entirely at the charity stripe, where Tech has falled short by 4.9 points per game. Tech also has turned the ball over an average of 5.6 more times per game during that stretch.

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