Evanston, Ill. – Jose Alvarado scored a career-high 24 points, helping Georgia Tech rally from a 28-point second-half deficit to just five late in the game, but the Yellow Jackets came up on the short end of a 67-61 decision to Northwestern in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
James Banks notched his first double-double in a Georgia Tech uniform with 12 points and 12 rebounds in just over 26 minutes before fouling out late in the game. Ryan Taylor led Northwestern with 20 points, including four three-point field goals, while Vic Law added 14 and Dererk Pardon 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Tech (4-2), which fell to 7-11 all-time in the annual series between the two conferences, shot just 25 percent in the first half, while the Wildcats (6-1) connected on 48 percent with five three-point field goals and went into intermission ahead 40-20.
Northwestern continued its surge early in the second half, getting a pair of threes from Taylor in a 10-2 run to open a 50-22 lead.
From there, Alvarado put Tech in his back and scored 19 of his points from there, hitting 6-of-10 shots from the floor, including two triples, and 5-of-6 from the foul line. Freshman Khalid Moore gave the Jackets 15 quality minutes and help squelch the Wildcats’ Taylor defensively, allowing Tech to gradually pare down Northwestern’s lead.
Tech connected on 48 percent from the floor after intermission and sliced the deficit to just seven (62-55) on a pair of Alvarado free throws at the 1:51 mark, as closes as the Jackets would get until his three with two seconds left brought them within five at 66-61.
Georgia Tech (4-2) returns to action Saturday at noon against St. John’s in the Hoophall Miami Invitational in Miami, Fla. The game will be televised on ESPNU.
Khalid Moore gave the Jackets 15 quality minutes and some excellent defense.
- Georgia Tech starting lineup: Alvarado, Haywood II, Phillips, Wright, Gueye
- First subs for Georgia Tech: Banks for Gueye – 19:09-1st half
- On the floor for Georgia Tech at the end: Alston, Alvarado, Devoe, Moore, Gueye
- Opening tap won by Northwestern: Georgia Tech has won the opening tap twice in six games last season
- Series record vs. Northwestern: Georgia Tech is 2-3 overall, 1-2 on the road, 1-1 under Josh Pastner, 2-1 vs. Chris Collins
- Current series streak: Northwestern won the last meeting
- Georgia Tech is 4-0 at McCamish Pavilion this season, 76-37 in its sixth season in the building, 33-11 under Josh Pastner
- Georgia Tech is 0-2 on the road this season, 0-2 away from McCamish Pavilion
- Georgia Tech’s next game: Saturday, Dec. 1, 2 p.m., vs. St. John’s (Hoophall Miami Invitational)
- Georgia Tech fell to 7-11 all-time in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, 2-8 in Challenge games on the road.
- Tech shot 48.3 percent and scored 40 points in the second half, cutting a 28-point deficit down to just five. But the Jackets’ 61 points and 37.7-percent shooting for the game were their second-lowest of the season (53 points, 27.6 percent at Tennessee).
- Tech was outrebounded (34-32) for the third time in six games.
- Northwestern was the first Tech opponent to shoot 40 percent or better from the floor this season (42.6 percent). Tech came into the game leading the ACC in field goal percentage defense, which is now 36 percent, and No. 2 in three-point percentage yield, which is now 25.7 percent (Northwestern went 7-for-20).
- Tech has yielded just 27 three-point field goals in its first six games (4.5 per game, 25.7 percent). The Jackets allowed an average of 7.1 per game and a success rate of 37.9 percent last season.
- Tech connected on only four three-point field goals, and has hit just eight in two road games (31 in four home games).
- Tech has attempted 116 threes (19.3 per game) and made 38 (6.3 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 five three-point field goals so far this season. Tech has hit 32.8 percent of its threes for the season; only one Jackets team since 2010 has finished the season with a higher percentage (35.7 in 2015-16).
- Tech has all six opponents under their season scoring averages – 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).
- Defensively, Tech has forced 16.5 turnovers per game (16 by Northwestern) and taken 9.0 steals per game (9 at Northwestern). The Jackets forced an average of 12.6 turnovers per game last season and took 6.9 steals per game.
- Tech has deployed at least eight players for significant minutes (10 or more per game) in each of its six games so far, nine at Northwestern, despite Even Cole missing his fourth straight game with an ankle injury.
- Tech’s bench outscored that of Northwestern, 27-12. Yellow Jacket reserves have scored 193 points in six games (32.3 per game).
PASTNER’S KEY METRICS
- Assists to made field goals: Tech assisted on 8 of 20 made field goals (40 percent) against Northwestern, missing its nightly goal of 60 percent. The Jackets are at 57.9 percent (81 of 140) for the season.
- Free throws made to opponents’ attempts: Tech connected on 17-of-24 free throw attempts to Northwestern’s 14-of-21 (nightly goal of making more than opponent tries not accomplished). Tech is 33-11 under Josh Pastner when attempting more free throws than the opponent.
- Turnovers: Tech has 16.5 turnovers per game and taken 9.0 steals per game). The Jackets forced an average of 12.6 turnovers per game last season and took 6.9 steals per game. Tech came into the game ranked No. 35 nationally in turnovers forced and 26th in steals per game.
- Guard rebounding: Tech’s guards combined for nine of Tech’s 23 defensive rebounds against Northwestern.
- Jose Alvarado scored a career-high 24 points against Northwestern (7-15 FG, 2-5 3s, 8-9 FT). His previous best was 23 on four occasions last season.
- James Banks was a big bright spot for the Jackets, posting his first career double-double with career highs in both points (12) and rebounds (12). He went 6-of-8 from the floor, blocked three shots, and four of his rebounds came on the offensive end in 26 minutes before fouling out. With nine rebounds against Prairie View A&M, Banks has 21 rebounds in Tech’s last two games.
- Khalid Moore scored just two points (both from the free throw line), but had three assists and three rebounds in 15:30. His defense on Northwestern leading scorer Ryan Taylor (20 points) in the second half helped allow Tech to slice the Wildcats’ 28-point lead with 16:12 left to just five in the final minute. Tech outscored Northwestern by 22 during his time on the floor.
- Moses Wright started his fourth straight game for Georgia Tech in place of Evan Cole, who was sidelined with a sprained left ankle suffered in the Tennessee game Nov. 13.
Coach Pastner Post-Game Press Conference Audio