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Jackets Fall at Wake Forest in Final Seconds

Winston-Salem, N.C. – Bidding for its first Atlantic Coast Conference road victory of the season, Georgia Tech watched a five-point lead evaporate in the final two minutes and dropped a last-second 71-70 decision to Wake Forest Saturday at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Tech (9-16, 2-13 ACC) held the Demon Deacons (17-9, 9-6 ACC) to their second-lowest point total in an ACC game this season, but came up on the short end of a game in which the lead changed hands nine times over the final nine minutes, and three times in the final minute. The Jackets held the lead for nearly 22 minutes of the game.

Deivon Smith and Ja’von Franklin led the Yellow Jackets with 15 and 14 points, respectively. Franklin posted his fourth double-double of the season, adding a season-high 15 rebounds as Tech earned 20 of its points on second chances.

Wake’s Tyree Appleby, the ACC’s leading scorer, came up big in the final minute with six points – two field goals and the winning points from the free throw line with 2.3 seconds remaining.

The Jackets led 68-63 on Smith’s jumper with 2:07 remaining in the game. Appleby answered with a jumper of his own, and Andrew Carr followed with a pair of free throws to cut the Tech margin to 68-67 with 31 seconds to go. With Wake having fouls to give and defending aggressively, Tech had difficulty inbounding the ball and turned it over, leading to a layup by Appleby and a 69-68 Demon Deacon lead with 13 seconds left.

Smith answered with a driving jumper in the lane to return the lead back to Tech, 70-69, with six seconds left, but the Jackets fouled Appleby on a drive to the basket, and he converted the free throws to provide the winning margin for Wake. Tech was unable to get a shot off on its final possession.

Cameron Hildreth led the Demon Deacons with 19 points, with Appleby finishing with 16 and Bobi Klintman adding 11.

Tech returns to action Wednesday with a 7 p.m. contest against Virginia Tech at McCamish Pavilion. The game will be televised live on the ACC Network.

 

Ja’von Franklin recorded his fourth double-double this season with 14 points and a season-high 15 rebounds. (photos courtesy of Wake Forest athletics)

 

Post-Game Notes

  • Tech saw its two-game winning streak in the Joel Coliseum snapped.
  • Tech’s last four games have been decided by a total of 21 points. The Jackets’ first 11 ACC games were decided by an average of 15.4 points.
  • Tech utilized nine players for the 17th time in 25 games this season. The Yellow Jackets came into the game No. 102 in the nation in bench minutes (34.1 pct.).
  • Since Lance Terry returned from his hamstring injury (last three games), Tech has averaged 68 points per game, connected on 43.2 percent of its shots from the floor and 38.1 percent (24-of-63) of its three-point attempts. In the four games he missed, Tech averaged 53.8 points, hit 34.5 percent of its field goals and 25.2 percent of its threes.
  • Tech’s bench outscored its opponent (28-19 vs. Wake Forest) for the 14th time in 25 games. Tech ranks No. 2 in the ACC in bench points per game.
  • Tech outscored Wake Forest in points from turnover (18-13), second chances (20-11), fast breaks (11-5) and the bench (28-19), and had a four-point deficit in the paint and an 11-point deficit (19-8) at the foul line.
  • Tech has outrebounded its last three opponents by an average of 4.3.
  • In three games since returning from his hamstring injury, which kept him out of four games, Lance Terry has averaged 12.3 points, hit 15-of-28 shots from the floor and 5-of-11 from three-point range.
  • Center Ja’von Franklin got his fourth double-double this season at Wake Forest, finishing with 14 points, 15 boards, two assists and two steals.
  • Franklin has averaged 15.3 points and 10.2 rebounds across Tech’s last three games. He has hit 19-of-33 shots from the floor, 8-of-10 from the foul line, and recorded 10 assists, six blocks and four steals.
  • Deivon Smith has posted four double-digit scoring games in his last nine after tallying 15 at Wake Forest, averaging 9.2 points over that stretch. He also has 13 games of five or more rebounds this season after taking five against the Demon Deacons.
  • Smith also had five assists against two turnovers at Wake Forest, and has an assist-turnover ratio of to 2.78-to-1, second-best in the ACC and No. 22 nationally (he was 1.1-to-1 last season).

Deivon Smith led the Jackets with 15 points and added five assists. (photos courtesy of Wake Forest athletics)

 

Game Highlights

 

Post-Game Press Conference

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