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Jackets Unable to Keep Pace with Hokies

Blacksburg, Va. – Freshman Baye Ndongo and Miles Kelly spurred a Georgia Tech second-half rally that reduced a 21-point deficit to seven with under eight minutes to go, but Virginia Tech recovered and finished the game on a 27-10 run as the Yellow Jackets took a 91-67 road loss Saturday night at Cassell Coliseum.

Georgia Tech (9-11, 2-7 ACC) suffered its eighth loss in nine games, while Virginia Tech (13-7, 5-4 ACC) won its third straight game.

The Hokies clicked on all cylinders offensively, shooting 51.5 percent in the first half in taking a 44-28 lead into the locker room, and 60 percent in the second. They hit 12 three-point field goals in the game and also got 36 points in the paint.

They took control of the game midway through the first half, putting together a 10-0 run as the Yellow Jackets missed eight straight field goal attempts, and stretched the lead to as many as 21 points late in the period.

Despite Virginia Tech continuing to shoot well, Georgia Tech was able to whittle the Hokie lead down, first to nine points (62-53) with 10:50 on the clock, then to seven (64-57) at the 7:57 mark. Ndongo scored eight of his team-high 16 points in that stretch, while Kelly scored six of his 11.

But the Hokies’ leading scorer Sean Pedulla, who scored just nine points in the game, hit two three-point field goals, and Hunter Cattoor (11 points) hit another to fuel an 11-0 run to give control of the game back to the home team, 75-57 with 4:34 remaining.

Big men Lynn Kidd and Mylyjael Poteat each scored 18 points to lead the Hokies, while Robbie Beran tallied 14 and Tyler Nickel added 14.

Tech returns home to face No. 3 North Carolina Tuesday at McCamish Pavilion. Tip is at 7 p.m., and the game will be televised live on the ESPN.

 

Freshman Baye Ndongo (11) led the Jackets in scoring (16 points) and rebounds (9 points). (photo by Keith Lucas)

 

Post-Game Notes

TEAM NOTES

  • Tech is 4-8 against Quad 1 and Quad 2 teams this season. The Jackets’ remaining ACC schedule has five Quad 1 and five Quad 2 opponents. Tech was 3-14 last season against Quad 1/2 foes.
  • Only five Tech teams since 1997 have finished a season with a KenPom.com offensive efficiency rating higher than the current Yellow Jackets’ rating of 110.4. The Jackets have exceeded a point per possession in five straight games and in seven of nine ACC games.
  • Tech, which had a season-low five turnovers against Virginia Tech, has averaged 10.2 turnovers over its last 10 games, after averaging more than 19 in the three games prior and 14 over the first 10 games of the season. The Jackets have had single-digit turnovers in six games this season.
  • Tech has four players averaging double digits in ACC games – Baye Ndongo (15.6), Miles Kelly (13.6 ppg), Kowacie Reeves, Jr. (12.1) and Naithan George (10.1).
  • In road games, Tech has connected on 36 percent of its three-point tries. The quintet of Miles Kelly, Kowacie Reeves Jr., Naithan George, Kyle Sturdivant and Deebo Coleman have hit 38.2 percent collectively.
  • Tech is 25-of-74 from three-point range (33.8 percent) in its last three games after hitting 10 or more in four straight games (39.7 percent).
  • Tech has made 73.8 percent of its free throws (48-of-65) in its last three games.
  • Miles Kelly and Kowacie Reeves, Jr., are the only Tech players to start every game this season.
  • Deebo Coleman and Kyle Sturdivant have not started a game this year, but have been on the floor for 14 and 12, respectively, of Tech’s games at the finish.
  • At least nine players have seen the court in 19 of Tech’s first 20 games (only eight played against Hawai’i). Eight players average more than 12 minutes per game in ACC games.

 

PLAYER NOTES

  • Freshman forward Baye Ndongo has scored in double digits in Tech’s last 12 games, averaging 15.4 points and 9.3 rebounds, and has hit on 66.1 percent of his field goals (78-of-118).
  • Ndongo made 7-of-13 shots from the floor against Virginia Tech and is converting at a 61.5-percent rate in ACC games, 60.4 percent for the season. He ranks No. 2 nationally among freshmen in field goal percentage.
  • Freshman point guard Naithan George ranks No. 2 in the ACC in assist average (6.6 per game) and assist-turnover ratio (3/93-1) in conference games.
  • Kowacie Reeves, Jr., has hit 45.9-percent of his shots from the floor and a team-best 45.2 percent from three-point range in ACC games. He shot just 19 percent from three-point range in SEC games last year at Florida.
  • Reeves has 103 three-point field goals in his college career, including 37 in 20 games this season, more threes than in either of his first two full seasons in college.
  • Kyle Sturdivant has 24 assists and six turnovers in his last six games, and has a 59/27 (2.19-to-1) ratio for the season, 28/8 vs. the ACC.
  • George and Sturdivant have recorded 74 assists and just 18 turnovers combined in Tech’s last eight games, better than a 4-to-1 ratio. For the season the point guard combo has a 2.56-to-1 ratio. In ACC games they have a 3.78-to-1 ratio.
  • Deebo Coleman has just eight turnovers this season in 430 minutes (two in 170 ACC minutes), and has had 13 turnover-free games.
  • Tyzhaun Claude has averaged 6.0 points and 5.0 rebounds, hit 6-of-6 from the floor and 12-of-16 from the foul line in Tech’s last four games. He has averaged 24 total minutes.
  • Amaree Abram made his first appearance since Jan. 13 at Duke, while Carter Murphy (six points in 11 minutes) played his first game since Dec. 5 at Georgia.

Miles Kelly (13) got back into double digits with 11 points for the Jackets. (photo by Keith Lucas)

 

Game Highlights

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