THE FLATS – Jose Alvarado had an 18-point performance, while Jordan Usher added 12, as Georgia Tech men’s basketball lost in a closely contested 57-49 ballgame against No. 9 Virginia on Wednesday evening . The Yellow Jackets’ loss ends an 11-game win streak against Atlantic Coast Conference teams at McCamish Pavilion.
Georgia Tech (9-7, 5-5 ACC) struggled to connect from beyond the arc as the Jackets were held to just a 19 percent showing from three. The ninth-ranked Cavaliers (14-3, 10-1 ACC) turned the ball over 17 times throughout the game, but outrebounded Tech 35-to-21. Tech scored 26 points in the paint posting a 36.0 percent (18-for-50) showing from the field.
Usher scored nine points in the opening half, while Alvarado and Bubba Parham added seven- and five-point performances, respectively. Down 7-2 early, Alvarado made a layup and Parham drained the Jackets’ first three to tie it up at seven a piece. The Yellow Jackets would then outscore the Cavaliers 19-13 throughout the rest of the first as a stout defensive effort saw Tech force 10 turnovers. Parham snagged three steals in the first while Moses Wright collected four rebounds.
After leading 26-20 at the intermission, Georgia Tech and Virginia traded the lead throughout the beginning of the second half. The Jackets found themselves up 37-36 at the 11:33 mark, as Tech executed a 5-2 run anchored by a successful two-point trip at the foul line and triple from Alvarado.
With Tech up 42-38, UVA answered back with a triple from guard Kihei Clark at 7:39, making it a one-point game in Tech’s favor at 42-41. Alvarado scored a jumper with 6:18 left giving Tech a 44-41 advantage. Jumpers by Sam Hauser and Clark on consecutive possessions put the Cavaliers up 45-44. A three by Clark at 4:37 followed, extending Virginias’ lead to 48-44. The Cavaliers held on the rest of the way-out outscoring Tech 9-4 over the final four and a half minutes, winning the contest at 57-49.
The Yellow Jackets face a stretch of three games in the next six days starting this Friday when Tech travels to Clemson. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. and will be broadcast live on ACC Network.
Bubba Parham snagged three steals as Tech forced 10 turnovers in the opening half. (photo by Danny Karnik)
- Tech led for 53:36 of the 80 minutes in its two losses to Virginia – 29:46 in the road loss and 23:51 at home.
- Tech’s 49 points against Virginia were its fewest since scoring 47 against Ball State on Dec. 18 of last season. Conversely, Virginia’s 57 points were the fewest allowed by the Jackets this season except for the 54 score by Wake Forest on Jan. 3.
- Tech shot below 40 percent from the floor for the second time in three games (32.4 percent at Louisville) and for the third time this season. The Jackets’ 36 percent result against Virginia was its lowest at home since hitting 35.9 percent against Duke Jan. 8 of last season.
- Tech also hit a season-low 19 percent (4-for-21) from three-point range against Virginia, and its lowest since hitting just 15.4 percent (2-for-13) last Feb. 29 vs. Miami.
- For the 13th time in its last 14 games, Tech won the turnover battle and had more assists than turnovers (11 assists, eight turnovers). Only in the first meeting against Florida State on Dec. 15 (11 assists, 12 turnovers, FSU has 12 turnovers) did the Jackets fall short.
- Tech forced 17 Virginia turnovers (the Cavaliers average an ACC-low 8.7 per game) and scored 17 points from them. The Jackets have forced 15.4 turnovers per game this season, 15.0 per game against ACC foes, and owned the best turnover margin in the conference (plus-4.5 overall, plus-4.4 in conference games).
- Since going to its smaller lineup, Tech has had just 36 shots blocked in its last 14 games (2.57 per game), 14 of those by Virginia in two meetings. The Yellow Jackets had 13 shots blocked in their two season-opening losses.
- Tech has collected 72 steals in its last nine games and is averaging an ACC-high 9.0 in conference games. The Jackets are averaging 8.9 in all games.
- Tech has had at least one player go the full 40 minutes in six straight games. Alvarado has done so four times, Moses Wright twice, Michael Devoe and Bubba Parham once each. Prior to that, no one played the full 40 this season.
- Jose Alvarado, who scored a game-high 18 points against Virginia, passed Michael Maddox, Tico Brown and Alvin Jones and moved into 23rd place on Georgia Tech’s career scoring chart. He finished the game with 1,316 career points. Next on the list is Bobby Kimmel (1,363 points from 1954-57).
- Alvarado remains the ACC’s third-leading scorer at 17.6 points per game. He ranks in the top 10 in eight statistical categories (scoring, field goal percentage, three-point field goals per game, free throw percentage, assists, steals, assist/turnover ratio and minutes). His 43.2-percent rate from three-point range would also rate high had he enough three-pointers made to meet the ACC minimum (2.5 per game) to qualify.
- Alvarado, with two three-point field goals against Virginia, extended his streak of made three-pointers to 34 straight games. He sits 12th on Tech’s all-time list for three-pointers with 161 tonight. He needs eight to catch 11th-place Jason Floyd (169 from 1996-2000).
- Alvarado hit 7-of-12 shots from the floor against Virginia and boosted his season accuracy rate to 53.1 percent overall, which ranked third in the ACC, and 56.4 percent in conference games, which is fourth-best.
- Alvarado had only one steal against Virginia, but it was the 200th of his career. He holds fifth place on Tech’s all-time list, needing seven to catch fourth-place Iman Shumpert (207 in three seasons, 2008-11).
Jose Alvarado was 7-for-12 from the field, scoring 11 points in the second yhalf. (photo by Danny Karnik)
Post-Game Press Conferences
Head coach Josh Pastner
Senior guard Jose Alvarado
Senior forward Jordan Usher