THE FLATS – A 30-8 run that spanned both halves was the turning point in Georgia Tech’s 77-54 loss to No. 9 North Carolina on Tuesday at McCamish Pavilion.
Georgia Tech (11-10, 3-5 ACC) trailed 26-21 with less than two minutes to go in the first half but North Carolina (16-4, 6-1 ACC) scored 30 of the game’s next 38 points to stretch the lead to 56-29 with 13:25 to go in the ballgame. The deficit swelled to as large as 30 points, thanks in large part to UNC making 48.1 percent of its three-point shots (13-of-27), the highest three-point percentage allowed by Tech this season (prev.: .438 by Clemson on Jan. 16).
Abdoulaye Gueye led the Yellow Jackets with 14 points (two shy of his career high) and a career-high-tying five blocked shots. North Carolina’s Cameron Johnson led all scorers with 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting (4-of-6 from three-point range).
Georgia Tech returns to action Saturday afternoon against 25th-ranked Florida State in Tallahassee, Fla. The game tips at noon and will be televised regionally on the ACC’s Raycom Sports Network (Peachtree TV in Atlanta).
Abdoulaye Gueye’s 14 points were just two shy of a career high.
- Georgia Tech starting lineup: Alvarado, Devoe, Haywood II, Gueye, Banks III
- First subs for Georgia Tech: Moore for Haywood – 14:57-1st half
- On the floor for Georgia Tech at the end: Gueye, Haywood, Moore, Ogbonda, Sjolund
- Opening tap won by Georgia Tech – Georgia Tech has won the opening tap 12 times in 21 games this season
- Series record vs. North Carolina: Georgia Tech is 25-69 overall, 14-22 at home, 1-2 under Josh Pastner, 9-16 vs. Roy Williams
- Current series trend: North Carolina has won nine of the last 10 meetings
- Georgia Tech is 9-5 at McCamish Pavilion this season, 81-42 in its sixth season in the building, 38-16 under Josh Pastner
- Georgia Tech is 2-4 on the road this season, 2-5 away from McCamish Pavilion
- Georgia Tech’s next game: Saturday, Feb. 2, at No. 25 Florida State (12 p.m., Donald L. Tucker Center)
- The Yellow Jackets went with the starting lineup that it used to win the Syracuse game – Alvarado, Michael Devoe and Curtis Haywood II on the perimeter, Gueye and James Banks III in the frontcourt – for the third straight game and fourth time this season. Tech also used the same lineup against Notre Dame and Duke.
- Devoe, a freshman, has started Tech’s last 12 games, having made his first collegiate start at Arkansas. Haywood started his sixth straight game and 15th of the season, while Banks has started the last 14 straight games in the post. Gueye has started 10 games, and Alvarado 19.
- Georgia Tech has used eight different starting lineups this season. No Yellow Jackets has started every game this season, and 10 different players have started three or more games.
- Tech wore its Gold uniforms at home for the first time this season, supporting the Yellow Jackets’ Gold Out night.
- Tech used eight players in the game for 10 or more minutes, and 10 Jackets played altogether. At least eight players have seen significant minutes in all of Tech’s games this season, despite a variety of injuries and illnesses.
- Tech suffered its worst shooting performance (35.0 pct.) from the floor since its Dec. 22 loss to Georgia (32.3 pct.) and its worst three-point shooting effort (2-for-16) since the Jan. 19 Louisville game (1-for-10).
- North Carolina’s three-pointers made, attempted and percentage (13-of-27, 48.1 percent) were all season-high yields by the Yellow Jackets, who came into the game No. 2 in the ACC and fourth in the nation in three-point percentage defense.
- Wake Forest (74.4 ppg, scored 79) and Clemson (71.4 ppg, scored 72) remain the only Georgia Tech opponents to exceed their season scoring averages this season this season against the Yellow Jackets this season. 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), Louisville 79.9 (79), Notre Dame 74.7 (61), Duke 88.6 (66), North Carolina 88.1 (77).
- Tech’s ACC opponents have attempted 89 more shots from the floor and 86 more three-point field goals than have the Yellow Jackets through eight games. The Jackets have outshot them, percentage-wise, 45.5-40.0 percent from the floor and 28.9-28.5 percent from three-point range. The Jackets have attempted 21 more free throws but have been outshot 74.1-65.4 percent.
- After sharing the floor for less than five minutes during the non-conference season, James Banks and Abdoulaye Gueye have played together for increasingly longer periods in ACC play (3:44 vs. Wake Forest, 6:31 vs. Virginia Tech, 19:24 at Syracuse, 36:56 vs. Notre Dame). Foul trouble limited then to 16:56 together at Duke, but they were on the court together for 27:58 against North Carolina.
PASTNER’S KEY METRICS
- Assists to made field goals: The Jackets have 156 assists on 244 field goals (63.9 percent) in its last eight games. The Jackets are at 58.8 percent for the season, 43rd in the nation, and 58.3 percent in ACC games. Tech assisted on 15 of 21 made field goals (71.4 percent) against North Carolina, well above its nightly goal of 60 percent.
- Free throws made to opponents’ attempts: Tech is 37-16 under Josh Pastner when attempting more free throws than the opponent. Tech connected on 10-of-13 free throw attempts to North Carolina’s 6-of-11 (nightly goal of making more than opponent tries not accomplished).
- Turnovers: Tech has averaged 15.3 turnovers per game this season, 16.4 in ACC games to date (3.5 more per game than opponents). 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 20-26.
- Guard rebounding: The group of Alvarado, Alston, Devoe, Haywood, Moore and Phillips has combined to take 251 of Tech’s 550 defensive rebounds this season (45.6 percent). Tech’s guards combined for 11 of Tech’s 28 defensive rebounds against North Carolina.
- Abdoulaye Gueye posted his fifth straight double-digit scoring game with a team-high 14 points against North Carolina, hitting 7-of-14 shots from the floor. He scored 11 against Virginia Tech and 10 in a start at Syracuse, missed the next two games (Clemson and Louisville), then returned to score 13 with eight boards against Notre Dame and 14 with eight boards at Duke. The 6-9 senior is Tech’s third-leading scorer in ACC games (10.8 ppg over six games) and has hit 49.2 percent shots from the floor. Gueye has taken 42 shots over Tech’s last three games, 15 more than Tech’s next player.
- Freshman Michael Devoe has started 12 straight games and logged eight double-figure scoring games this season. The 6-4 guard has averaged 9.4 points while making 9-of-23 three-point attempts in conference games, has averaged 2.5 assists and taken a team-high 16 steals.
- Jose Alvarado was limited to five points with five assists and four steals before leaving the game in the second half with a sprained right ankle. The sophomore has 14 double-figure scoring games this season and nine in his last 12 games. He averages 12.9 points and 4.1 assists in ACC games, hitting 37.5 percent from three-point range.
- James Banks III, who played 34:35 despite being ill for much of the day and missing shootaround, was held to seven points (3-6 FG) and six rebounds. He averages a team-high 13.1 points and 5.8 rebounds while hitting 56.4 percent of his field goal tries in ACC games.
A sellout crowd of 8,600 was on hand for Tuesday night’s game at McCamish Pavilion.
Coach Josh Pastner Press Conference Audio