Knoxville, Tenn. – Senior Brandon Alston scored a team-high 16 points to lead Georgia Tech for the second straight game, but the Yellow Jackets struggled to gain traction offensively against a strong Tennessee defense, and fell to the No. 5-ranked Volunteers, 66-53, in a defensive battle at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Alston, who went 8-for-8 at the free throw line and 4-for-8 from the floor, was the only double-figure scorer for the Yellow Jackets (1-1), who shot 27.6 percent from the floor and hit just 3-of-19 from three-point range. The Volunteers (3-0) manged to hit just 39.6 percent from the floor, but took advantage of Tech’s foul trouble to go 24-for-38 from the charity stripe.
Grant Williams led the Vols with 22 points, going 10-of-16 from the foul line, while Jordan Bone scored 15 points and Kyle Alexander added 12.
Jose Alvarado (eight points) and Abdoulaye Gueye (seven points) both shot the ball well for Georgia Tech.
All 12 scholarship players for the Yellow Jackets played in the game, most notably 6-8 junior post player James Banks, who transferred from Texas after last season. The Decatur, Ga., native learned early in the afternoon that he had been granted immediately eligibility by the NCAA and was able to travel to Knoxville and suit up for action. He scored five points with seven rebounds and a blocked shot in 16 minutes before fouling out.
Tech returns to action Friday night at home, hosting East Carolina at 7:30 p.m. at McCamish Pavilion. The game will be streamed live on ACC Network Extra and can be heard on radio across the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network.