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Cold Spell Dooms Tech at NC State, 82-76

Raleigh, N.C.Miles Kelly, Naithan George and Kowacie Reeves, Jr., combined to score 50 points, but Georgia Tech went cold for an eight-minute stretch in the second half, and NC State came away with an 82-76 Atlantic Coast Conference victory over the Yellow Jackets Saturday night at PNC Arena.

Tech (10-12, 3-8 ACC) led 36-35 at the half and stretched the margin to 44-38 in the first three minutes of the second period behind baskets from Reeves, George and Kelly. The Wolfpack (15-7, 7-4 ACC), however, capitalized on four Yellow Jacket turnovers to fuel an 18-3 run, while the Yellow Jackets went 1-for-11 from the floor, as State built a 62-48 lead with 8:54 to go.

The Jackets continued to battle, putting together runs of 5-0 and 7-0 to whittle their deficit down to six, and Reeves’ three-pointer from the right corner got Tech within 80-76 with two seconds remaining, but that was the closest the Jackets could get as the Wolfpack scored nine of its final 11 points at the free throw line.

Kelly finished the game with 20 points and 10 rebounds, his second double-double this season. The 6-6 junior went 8-of-13 from the floor and 4-of-7 from three-point range. George scored 18 points with five assists, knocking down three triples, and Reeves added 12 for the Jackets.

Tech shot 41 percent for the game to NC State’s 38 percent, but the Wolfpack scored 18 points off Tech’s turnovers and 18 more off second chances.

D.J. Horne led the ‘Pack with 26 points, while his backcourt mates Jaeden Taylor and Casey Morsell tallied 21 and 15, respectively.

Tech returns home to face Wake Forest Tuesday at McCamish Pavilion. Tip is at 7 p.m., and the game will be televised live on ESPNU.

Miles Kelly scored his second double-double this season with 20 points and 10 rebounds. (photo by Jaylynn Nash)

 

Post-Game Notes

TEAM NOTES

  • Tech fell to 2-6 in true road games this season, having defeated Hawai’i and Clemson.
  • Tech is 5-9 against Quad 1 and Quad 2 teams this season. The Jackets’ remaining ACC schedule has three Quad 1 and three Quad 2 opponents (NC State was a Quad 2 opportunity). Tech was 3-14 last season against Quad 1/2 foes.
  • Nine of Tech’s 11 ACC games have been decided by single digits. Sixteen of Tech’s 22 games this season have been decided by fewer than 10 points, third-most in Division I, and the Yellow Jackets are 8-8 in this games. Nine games have been decided by five points or fewer.
  • Tech has exceeded a point per possession in seven consecutive games, and in nine of 11 ACC games this season (KenPom.com).
  • Only six Tech teams since 1997 have finished a season with a KenPom.com offensive efficiency rating higher than the current Yellow Jackets’ rating of 110.6. All but one of those teams played in the post-season.
  • Tech’s offensive efficiency is also the highest for a Damon Stoudamire-coached team, as is its adjusted tempo rate of 67.5 possessions.
  • Tech has made 74.7 percent of its free throws (80-of-107) in its last four games.
  • Tech hit 10 or more three-point field goals for the fifth time in its last nine games, going 11-for-27 at NC State. Across those nine games, the Jackets are 92-of-236 from three-point range (38.9 percent).

PLAYER NOTES

  • Miles Kelly has scored 20 or more points in six games this season, three of those in ACC games (20 at Florida State, 25 vs. Notre Dame, 20 at NC State).
  • Kelly posted his third double-double this season, adding 10 rebounds to his 20 points at NC State. Kelly had 22 points and 12 boards against No. 21 Mississippi State in November, and had 16 points and 11 rebounds at No. 11 Duke in January.
  • Freshman point guard Naithan George reached double digits in points six times in Tech’s last seven games with his 18-point effort against NC State. The 6-3 guard has averaged 14.7 points over that stretch, hitting 44.6 percent from the floor and 41.2 percent from three-point range. He also has 38 assists against 11 turnovers across those seven games.
  • George’s five assists at NC State gave him 96 for the season in 19 games (5.1 per game). He is on the verge of becoming the 11th Tech freshman to dish 100 assists in a season, and first since Iman Shumpert in 2008-09. The list is a star-studded one that includes Dennis Scott, Kenny Anderson, Travis Best, Drew Barry, Stephon Marbury, Tony Akins and Jarrett Jack.
  • Kyle Sturdivant is 14-for-15 from the free throw line over Tech’s last six games. He leads the Jackets at 87.2 percent from the line this season, 88.9 percent (24-of-27) in ACC play.

Naithan George (2) tallied 18 points with five assists for Tech. (photo by Jaylynn Nash)

 

Game Highlights

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