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Jackets Get Road Win at Miami, 80-76

Coral Gables, Fla.Miles Kelly scored a game-high 25 points and drained seven three-point field goals, and Kyle Sturdivant hit four critical free throws in the final minute to lift Georgia Tech to an 80-76 win over Miami Saturday on the road at the Watsco Center.

Tech (12-16, 5-12 ACC) got its second road win in the ACC this season and won for the second time in three games, but the Yellow Jackets had to survive not scoring a field goal over the game’s final seven minutes to come out on top. The Hurricanes (15-13, 6-11 ACC) nearly erased a 13-point deficit over that stretch but couldn’t avoid their sixth straight loss.

Trailing 49-45 at the half, the Yellow Jackets opened the second half with nine straight points, and later added a 12-2 run to stretch their lead to 68-56 with 10 remaining in the game. The teams traded baskets over the next three minutes, with Kelly nailing his seventh three at the 7:03 mark to give Tech a 76-63 advantage, its largest of the game, with 7:03 left. It was to be the Jackets’ last field goal.

Miami ratcheted up its full court pressure, forcing Tech to miss its last seven shots from the floor and collect six turnovers. It fueled a 10-0 run for the Hurricanes to get within 76-73 with 2:54 to go.

Sturdivant was fouled and made two free throws to extend Tech’s lead to 78-73, but Miami got three shots at the basket on the next trip down, and Bensley Joseph drained a three to make it 78-76.

Again, Sturdivant drew a foul getting the ball up the court and made two more free throws with 11 seconds on the clock to give the Jackets their final margin.

Kelly made 9-of-16 shots from the floor, including 7-of-11 from three-point range to match his career best for threes. Kowacie Reeves, Jr., added 15 points, including three triples, and Sturdivant finished the game with 10 points and seven assists.

Joseph and Kyshawn George led the way for Miami with 16 points apiece, with Wooga Poplar scoring 14 and Matthew Cleveland adding 10.

Tech is off until next Saturday when the Yellow Jackets entertain Florida State for their final home game of the regular season. Tip is at 12 p.m. at McCamish Pavilion, and the game will be televised live on ESPNU.

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Miles Kelly (13) matched his career-best with seven three-point field goals. (photo courtesy of the University of Miami)

 

Post-Game Notes

TEAM NOTES

  • Twelve of Tech’s 17 ACC games have been decided by single digits. Nineteen of Tech’s 28 games this season have been decided by fewer than 10 points, and the Yellow Jackets are 10-9 in these games. Twelve games have been decided by five points or fewer.
  • Tech matched its season high for three-point field goals, getting 15 from six different players. Tech also hit 15 at Clemson in a double-overtime win on Jan. 16.
  • Tech hit 10 or more three-pointers for the seventh time this season, and for the first time since Feb. 3 at NC State. In between, Tech had connected on just 27.3 percent (30-of-110) from beyond the arc.
  • Tech has out-rebounded its last three opponents by an average of more than 10 per game. The Jackets had a 41-34 advantage on the boards over Miami, edged Clemson, 34-31, and dominated Syracuse, 49-28 advantage over Syracuse.
  • Tech has made 76.7 percent of its free throws (148-of-193) in its last eight games, and is 34-of-38 (89.5 percent) over its last three games.
  • Tech’s 22 assists at Miami were the most for the Jackets since they posted their season high of 25 in a Dec. 26 win over Penn State at Madison Square Garden. The Yellow Jackets have hit the 20-assist mark three times this season.
  • Tech’s 80 points at Miami were its most since its 93-90 double-OT win at Clemson on Jan. 16. The Jackets had reached 80 points in a regulation game only one other time this season, in a 95-87 loss to Boston College on Jan. 6.
  • Tech scored 1.17 points per possession against Miami, its third highest efficiency rate this season and first time over one point per possession since Feb. 3 at NC State.
  • Tech used just eight players in the win over Miami, only the second time this season only eight Yellow Jackets have seen the court in a game (Hawai’i on Dec. 22 was the other).
  • Tech ranks No. 2 in the ACC and No. 83 nationally in bench scoring (23.5 points per game). Tech’s reserves have scored 20 or more points in 10 of its last 12 games, and have out-scored its opponent’s bench in eight straight games.

PLAYER NOTES

  • Miles Kelly matched his career-high for three-point field goals with seven at Miami, equaling the seven he hit at Syracuse on feb 28 of last season and Notre Dame on Jan. 9 of this season.
  • Kelly vaulted into the top 10 on Tech’s all-time list for three-point field goals. His 177 ranks No. 10, and he needs three more to take over ninth place ahead of Drew Barry (179 from 1992-96).
  • Kelly, who scored 25 points at Miami, has scored 20 or more points in eight games this season, five times against ACC teams.
  • Kowacie Reeves Jr., broke into double figures for just the second time in his last nine games, scoring 15 against Miami with three three-point field goals.
  • Kyle Sturdivant surpassed 900 career points (he has 901) after scoring 10 at Miami.
  • Sturdivant is 25-for-27 from the free throw line (92.6 percent) over Tech’s last 12 games, 8-of-8 in Tech’s last two games. He leads the Jackets at 88.1 percent from the line this season, 89.7 percent (35-of-39) in ACC play. He went 4-for-4 in the final 40 seconds of Tech’s win at Miami.
  • Sturdivant and Naithan George combined for 13 assists against three turnovers at Miami. They have a combined assist/turnover ratio of 2.74-1 in ACC play this season.
  • Deebo Coleman saw his first action in five games (Feb. 6 vs. Wake Forest) at Miami. He scored eight points including two critical baskets on drives into the lane in the second half of the win at Miami.
  • Tafara Gapare has averaged 9.0 points and 6.3 rebounds in his last three games. He has started Tech’s last five games and more than 20 minutes in three of them.

Kyle Sturdivant hit four clutch free throws in the final 40 seconds to lift Tech to the win. (photo courtesy of the University of Miami)

 

Game Highlights

 

 

Post-Game Press Conference

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