Syracuse, N.Y. – Jose Alvarado and Curtis Haywood combined for six three-point field goals and 34 points, while Georgia Tech shot 68.2 percent from the floor in the second half and pulled away for a 73-59 victory over Syracuse Saturday evening at the Carrier Dome.
The Yellow Jackets (10-6, 2-1 ACC) bounced back from a heart-breaking loss and a defensive struggle Wednesday night with Virginia Tech, outscoring the Orange (11-5, 2-1) 47-33 after intermission. Alvarado and Haywood supplied 28 of those points to stave off two Syracuse rallies and cancel out 22 Tech turnovers.
Alvarado hit 5-of-6 shots from the floor and all three of his three-point attempts, plus a 6-of-7 clip from the free throw line, while Haywood went 6-of-10 from the floor, 3-of-6 from three-point range, and had seven assists
Tech put itself in position to win with a solid defensive first half, taking a 27-26 lead into the locker room by repeatedly going inside to post players James Banks III and Abdoulaye Gueye, who scored 20 of the Jackets’ points. Banks finished with 16 points (6-of-10 FG) and seven rebounds, while Gueye scored 10 in his first start since Nov. 28.
Gueye missed much of the second half with severe cramps, but sophomore Evan Cole mitigated the loss with eight points and eight rebounds.
The Yellow Jackets defended well once again, holding Syracuse to 31.6 percent shooting from the floor and just 7-of-33 from three-point range. Oshae Brissett led the Orange with 15 points, while Elijah Hughes added 12 and Tyus Battle scored 11.
Georgia Tech remains on the road for its next game when the Yellow Jackets visit Clemson Wednesday night at Littlejohn Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 9 p.m., and the game will be televised live on the ACC Regional Sports Network (Fox Sports South in Georgia).
Jose Alvarado went 3-for-3 from three-point range and 6-of-7 from the free throw line.
- Georgia Tech starting lineup: Alvarado, Devoe, Haywood II, Gueye, Banks III
- First subs for Georgia Tech: Cole, Moore for Devoe, Banks – 13:01-1st half
- On the floor for Georgia Tech at the end: Alvarado, Haywood II, Moore, Cole, Banks III
- Opening tap won by Georgia Tech – Georgia Tech has won the opening tap nine times in 16 games this season
- Series record vs. Syracuse: Georgia Tech is 6-5 overall, 2-3 on the road, 3-1 under Josh Pastner, 6-5 vs. Jim Boeheim
- Current series trend: Georgia Tech won the last two meetings
- Georgia Tech is 8-3 at McCamish Pavilion this season, 80-40 in its sixth season in the building, 37-14 under Josh Pastner
- Georgia Tech is 2-2 on the road this season, 2-3 away from McCamish Pavilion
- Georgia Tech’s next game: Wednesday, Jan. 16, at Clemson (7 p.m., Littlejohn Coliseum)
- Georgia Tech started its sixth different lineup this season at Syracuse, inserting Curtis Haywood II for freshman Khalid Moore and Abdoulaye Gueye for Moses Wright. Devoe, a freshman, has started Tech’s last seven games, having made his first collegiate start at Arkansas. Haywood returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Dec. 17 vs. Gardner-Webb, and Gueye for the first time since Nov. 28 at Northwestern. Transfer James Banks III has started 10 straight games in the post, and. Jose Alvarado has started 15 of the 16 Tech games. No Tech player has started every game this season.
- Tech went with its shortest playing rotation of the season, with four starters playing 35 or more minutes, two other players with 20+, and two others with less than 10. At least eight players have seen significant minutes in most games this season, nine vs. Northwestern, St. John’s and Georgia despite Evan Cole missing those games with an ankle injury, and nine vs. Virginia Tech with Curtis Haywood out with an illness.
- Wake Forest is the only Georgia Tech opponent to exceed its season scoring average (74.4 ppg) this season against the Yellow Jackets this season, scoring 79 points. Tech had held every other opponent this season under its season scoring average – breakdown by game: Lamar 81.8 (69), Tennessee 85.5 (66), East Carolina 71.1 (54), UTRGV 70.2 (44), Prairie View A&M 69.2 (54), Northwestern 73.5 (67), St. John’s 83.5 (76), Florida A&M 63.2 (40), Gardner-Webb 82.9 (79), Arkansas 81.8 (69), Georgia 79.2 (70), Kennesaw State 62.5 (57), USC Upstate 70.9 (63), Virginia Tech 81.1 (52), Syracuse 70.9 (59).
- Syracuse was the 12th team to come in under 40 percent against the Jackets this season, hitting 31.6 percent from the floor. Tech has held its last four opponents under 40 percent; they have connected on a combined 33.2 percent.
- The Orange’s 31.6 percent was its lowest from the floor this season, the second straight game a Tech opponent has hit a season low.
- Tech’s last two opponents have hit a combined 12-of-60 (20 percent) from three-point range. Syracuse made 7-of-33, while Virginia Tech was 5-of-27.
- Meanwhile, Tech continues to shoot the ball well, connecting on well above 50 percent for the fourth time in five games. The Jackets converted a season-high 59.5 percent against Syracuse, its highest clip in an ACC game since making 62.8 percent at NC State on 1/2/1999, and its best in any game since hitting 60.3 percent against Cornell on 11/13/2015.
- In its last five games, Tech has connected on 55.3 percent of its field goal tries, 36 percent of its three-point attempts and 71.8 percent of its free throws, averaging 76 points per game. The scoring average is the best for any five-game stretch for Tech under Josh Pastner, and the best of any five-game stretch since Dec. 21-Jan. 6 in the 2015-16 season (77.2).
- In the same five-game stretch, Tech’s opponents have hit 34.6 percent from the floor, 26 percent of their threes and 68.6 percent of their free throws, averaging 62 points per game.
- Reflecting an emphasis in practice on offensive tempo, particularly early in the shot clock, Tech has piled up 99 assists on 135 made field goals in its last five games (73.3 percent), including 16 on 25 made field goals against Syracuse. Tech had just nine assists on 21 field goals against Georgia on Dec. 22.
- Tech has won twice on the road this season despite committing 20 or more turnovers. The Yellow Jackets defeated Syracuse despite recording 22 miscues, and won at Arkansas despite having 20. Those are the two highest turnover totals for the Jackets this season.
- Owing to its shorted bench rotation this season, Tech’s reserves matched a season low with eight points (also 8 vs. Gardner-Webb). For the season, Tech reserves have averaged 26.2 points per game to 15.9 for the opponents.
PASTNER’S KEY METRICS
- Assists to made field goals: Tech assisted on 16 of 25 made field goals (64 percent) against Syracuse, meeting its nightly goal of 60 percent for the fifth straight game and sixth time this season. The Jackets have 99 assists on 135 field goals (73.3 percent) in its last five games. The Jackets are at 60.6 percent for the season, 23rd in the nation, well above the nation’s average of 52 percent.
- Free throws made to opponents’ attempts: Tech connected on 17-of-27 free throw attempts to Syracuse’s 16-of-21 (nightly goal of making more than opponent tries not accomplished). Tech is 37-13 under Josh Pastner when attempting more free throws than the opponent.
- Turnovers: Tech has averaged 15.1 turnovers per game this season, 17.3 in ACC games to date. Target each night is 11 or fewer, which Tech has met twice this season (both wins). More telling for Tech under Josh Pastner is that when Tech has committed fewer turnovers than its opponent, it is 22-13. When it has committed more, it is 18-22.
- Guard rebounding: Tech’s guards combined for 14 of Tech’s 29 defensive rebounds against Virginia Tech. The group of Alvarado, Alston, Devoe, Haywood, Moore and Phillips has combined to take 185 of Tech’s 391 defensive rebounds this season (47.3 percent).
- Sophomore Jose Alvarado scored 19 points at Syracuse for his 12th double-figure scoring game this season and seventh in eight games. He hitting 5-of-6 shots from the floor and 3-of-3 from three-point range in 38 minutes. Since a 3-for-20 afternoon against Georgia, the gritty 6-foot guard has hit 21-of-39 from the floor, 9-of-21 threes, in Tech’s last five games, and he has 19 assists against just 11 turnovers, as well as 16 rebounds.
- Sophomore guard Curtis Haywood II returned to action in a big way against Syracuse after missing the Virginia Tech game due strep throat. He scored 15 points, his most since getting his season high of 18 in the third game of the season against East Carolina, banged home 3-of-6 from three-point range and dished a career-high seven assists against the Orange. All three of his triples came in the second half, and he has a 36.2-percent accuracy rate this season.
- Abdoulaye Gueye made his first start since Nov. 28 against Northwestern, and continued his recent run of quality basketball, scoring 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting and doing a good job moving the ball through Syracuse’s zone defense. He played 23 minutes, his game cut short by severe cramps early in the second half. In his last five games, Gueye has averaged 9.2 points and 4.6 rebounds in 18.4 minutes per game while hitting 71.4 percent (20-of-28) of his shots from the floor. He also has eight assists and eight blocked shots over that period.
- James Banks III has seven double-figure scoring games this season after scoring 16 at Syracuse with seven rebounds. Banks went 6-of-10 from the floor and is Tech’s top marksman this season at 58.9 percent. He also blocked three shots and is averaging nearly 2.5 this season, second most in the ACC.
- Freshman Michael Devoe has started seven straight games and logged six double-figure scoring games this season. He scored just five at Syracuse, but grabbed four rebounds and had two assists and four steals in 35 minutes.
- Sophomore forward Evan Cole stepped in for the injured Gueye to play 16 second-half minutes (20 total). He scored all eight of his points and grabbed seven of his eight rebounds in the period, making both of his field goal attempts and hitting 4-of-6 from the foul line. Cole has played well since his return from a high ankle sprain (missed seven of nine games between Nov. 16 and Christmas), averaging 8.8 points and 4.4 rebounds in 14.6 minutes of court time. He has gone 17-of-23 from the floor.
- Sophomore forward Moses Wright, who started 13 straight games at the big forward position, did not play for the first time this season.
The Yellow Jackets limited Syracuse to 31.6 percent from the floor and 21.2 percent from behind the three-point arc.
Coach Josh Pastner Post-Game Audio
Jose Alvarado Post-Game Audio
Curtis Haywood Post-Game Audio