Charlottesville, Va. – Jose Alvarado led Georgia Tech in scoring for the fourth straight game with 12 points, while James Banks III and Michael Devoe each scored in double figures, but the Yellow Jackets succumbed to No. 2 Virginia, 81-51, Wednesday night at John Paul Jones Arena.
The Jackets (12-17, 4-12 Atlantic Coast Conference) lost for the ninth time in 10 games despite a season-low seven turnovers, while the Cavaliers (25-2, 13-2) held onto first-place in the ACC with their fifth consecutive victory.
Tech hung around early and led 11-10 with 14:39 left in the first half, but Virginia ran off eight straight points and 22 of the next 26 to build a 32-15 lead in the latter stages of the first half and 41-22 at intermission on the strength of 53.3-percent shooting. In the second half, the Jackets never got closer than 21 points as the Cavaliers shot 58.3 percent and finished the game at 55.6 percent.
Alvarado hit 5-of-11 shots from the floor and added four assists with no turnovers in 36 minutes, while Banks scored 11 points with seven rebounds, and Devoe added 10 for the Jackets.
Ty Jerome led Virginia with 19 points and four assists, while De’Andre Hunter scored 18, and Kyle Guy added 11.
Georgia Tech returns home for its final home game of the regular season Sunday against Boston College. Tip time is 6 p.m., and the game will be televised nationally on ESPNU.
James Banks scored 11 points with seven rebounds against Virginia.
- Georgia Tech starting lineup: Alvarado, Devoe, Sjolund, Wright, Banks III
- First subs for Georgia Tech: Gueye for Wright – 14:17-1st half
- On the floor for Georgia Tech at the end: Alvarado, Haywood II, Moore, Cole, Banks III
- Opening tap won by Virginia: Georgia Tech has won the opening tap 17 times in 29 games this season
- Series record vs. Virginia: Georgia Tech is 40-42 overall, 11-24 on the road, 0-4 under Josh Pastner, 2-12 vs. Tony Bennett
- Current series trend: Virginia has won the last five meetings
- Georgia Tech is 10-7 at McCamish Pavilion this season, 82-44 in its sixth season in the building, 39-18 under Josh Pastner
- Georgia Tech is 2-9 on the road this season, 2-10 away from McCamish Pavilion
- Georgia Tech’s next game: Sunday, March 3, vs. Boston College (6 p.m., McCamish Pavilion)
- For the last four games, Georgia Tech has started out in a 4-out, 1-in alignment, starting Moses Wright and freshman Kristian Sjolund at the forward spots along with guards Jose Alvarado and Michael Devoe and post man James Banks III.
- Sjolund made his fourth straight start, while Wright started for the 18th time this season. Devoe, a freshman, has started Tech’s last 20 games, Banks has started the last 23 games in the post, and Alvarado has started 27 games.
- Tech has used 11 different starting lineups this season. No Yellow Jacket has started every game this season, and 10 different players have started three or more games.
- Tech used 11 players in the game, nine of them for double-digit minutes, the other two for 6-plus. and seven players scored.
- Tech committed a season-low seven turnovers, the team’s fewest since giving up a season-low six in last season’s game at Virginia.
- Tech has averaged 7.5 threes and shot 34.6 percent from beyond the arc in their last five games. In the five games before that, the Jackets shot 14-for-96 (14.6 pct.) from bonus range. Tech’s five threes at Virginia, however, was the team’s fewest in that span.
- Tech has made 73.2 percent of its free throws over its last nine games; however, the Yellow Jackets have averaged scoring just 10 points from the charity stripe. Tech went 4-for-7 at Virginia, its fewest trips to the line since Jan. 26 vs. Duke (2-for-6).
- Tech has surrendered a season-high for points in each of its last two games: 80 points at Miami and 81 at Virginia; the Jackets had given up 79 in three previous games, most recently to Louisville on Jan. 19. Miami and Virginia shot 50.9 percent from the floor combined, the highest figure over two games surrendered by the Jackets this season.
- Only Wake Forest (74.4 ppg, scored 79), Clemson (71.4 ppg, scored 72 in the first meeting), Virginia Tech (75.6, 76 in second meeting), Miami (72.2, scored 80) and Virginia (71.5, scored 81) have met or exceeded their season scoring averages against Georgia Tech this season.
- Tech has been outrebounded in its last four gamed and in 15 of its last 17. Virginia’s 41-21 rebound margin was the highest against the Jackets this season, and Tech’s 21 boards were its fewest of the season.
PASTNER’S KEY METRICS
- Assists to made field goals: The Jackets are at 57.0 percent for the season (38th in the nation) and 55.1 percent in ACC games. Tech assisted on seven of 21 made field goals (33 percent) against Virginia, missing its nightly goal of 60 percent (lowest percentage since Feb. 2 at Florida State).
- Free throws made to opponents’ attempts: Tech is 37-17 under Josh Pastner when attempting more free throws than the opponent. Tech connected on 4-of-7 free throw attempts to Virginia’s 12 of 17 (nightly goal of making more than opponent tries not accomplished).
- Turnovers: Tech has averaged 14.9 turnovers per game in ACC play, and only forced 11.7. Target each night is 11 or fewer, which Tech has met three times this season (both wins). More telling for Tech under Josh Pastner is that when Tech has committed fewer turnovers than its opponent, it is 22-14. When it has committed more, it is 21-30.
- Guard rebounding: The group of Alvarado, Alston, Devoe, Haywood, Moore and Phillips has combined to take 332 of Tech’s 734 defensive rebounds this season (46 percent). Tech’s guards combined for just one of its 15 defensive rebounds against Virginia.
- Jose Alvarado has led Tech in scoring for four straight games, averaged 19.5 points over that stretch. He has hit 26-of-49 shots from the floor (53.1 percent), 9-for-22 from three-point range (40.9 percent) and 17-for-21 from the free throw line (80.9 percent). The 6-foot sophomore scored 17 against Florida State, 29 vs. Pittsburgh, 20 at Miami and 12 at Virginia. In those three games, he also has 18 rebounds, 16 assists and seven steals. Alvarado had scored a total of 25 points, attempting just two free throws, in the six games prior.
- Alvarado has scored (26) or assisted (16) on 42 of Tech’s 86 field goals in the last four games.
- Alvarado played more than 36 minutes and did not commit a turnover at Virginia. He has just five turnovers over his last six games.
- Moses Wright has averaged 8.2 points and 4.4 rebounds in his last five games (he had scored just six points in the five games prior to that). The 6-9 sophomore, who has started the last four Tech games, has connected on22-of-42 shots from the floor in those five games.
- James Banks III rebounded from his first scoreless game as a Yellow Jacket with 11 points and seven rebounds at Virginia. He hit 4-of-9 shots from the floor and 3-of-3 from the foul line.
- Banks, the ACC’s leading shot blocker in conference games, did not have one at Virginia, first time since Feb. 2 at Florida State. Banks had 22 over the six games in between.
- Freshman Kristian Sjolund has seen his most extensive action of the season in the Yellow Jackets’ last six games, playing a total of 127 minutes after seeing just 62 minutes in his previous 13 games. He has averaged 8.0 points with a pair of 11-point efforts against No. 22 Virginia Tech and No. 17 Florida State. He has connected on 11-of-30 three-point attempts in those six games after going just 2-for-11 in the 13 games prior.
- With Tech opting for a 4-out, 1-in approach at Virginia Tech in an effort to inject better shooting into the lineup, Abdoulaye Gueye has not started the last six games. After playing just four minutes at Virginia Tech, however, he has averaged 14.8 off the bench in Tech’s last four games, scoring 25 points (11-of-22 FG) with 13 rebounds. In ACC games, Gueye has averaged 8.9 points and 4.0 rebounds, while hitting 51.5 percent of his field goal tries.
- Freshman Michael Devoe averages 10.2 points (No. 3 on the team), 3.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists in ACC games, and he has hit a team-best 44.4 percent of his three-point tries, leading the Jackets with 28 threes in conference play. Devoe is 19-of-40 from three-point land (47.5 pct.) in his last eight games.
Moses Wright scored six points with seven rebounds.
Coach Pastner Post-Game Press Conference Audio