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Tech Turns Tables on Wake, 70-69

Winston-Salem, N.C. – Freshman Baye Ndongo dropped in a baseline hook shot off an inbounds play with 0.4 seconds left in the game, lifting Georgia Tech to a 70-69 victory over Wake Forest Tuesday night at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Tech (14-16, 7-12 ACC), which had taken an 80-51 homecourt defeat at the hands of the Demon Deacons on Feb. 6, won its third straight game and fourth in the last five with its second ACC road victory of the season. In the process, the Yellow Jackets handed Wake Forest (18-12, 10-9 ACC) its third straight defeat and its first home loss this season after 15 wins.

Ndongo’s winning basket came after the Jackets had watched a 14-point halftime lead slip away and Wake Forest take its only lead of the game on Hunter Sallis’ jumper in the lane with 18 seconds to go. Miles Kelly drove the lane but lost his balance and the ball, but the Jackets recovered enough to get a held ball call and retain possession with 3.8 seconds left.

Naithan George inbounded the ball to Ndongo, and instead of handing it back to George, drove at the Deacons’ 6-11 center Efton Reid III and lofted a soft baby hook with his right hand over Reid’s outstretched arms and into the basket. Wake inbounded but time ran out.

The Yellow Jackets scored the first 12 points of the game, hitting 4-of-5 from three-point range, and led 12-0 at the first media timeout, and led by as many as 19 in the first half before taking a 40-26 advantage into intermission. Kelly went 4-for-4 from three-point range as Tech shot 57 percent in the opening 20 minutes, 8-of-14 from three-point range.

Wake Forest slowly chipped way at the halftime deficit behind Cameron Hildreth, who scored 13 of his 17 points after intermission, and Sallis, who scored 13 of his game-high 22 in the second half.

Kelly finished the game with 19 points, while George scored 16 and Tafara Gapare added 11 for the Yellow Jackets. Ndongo scored nine and grabbed 11 rebounds.

Tech concludes its regular season with another road game Saturday at Virginia. Tip is at 8 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, and the game will be televised live on the ACC Network.

 

Miles Kelly made his first four three-point shots and scored 19 points. (photo courtesy of Wake Forest athletics)

 

Post-Game Notes

TEAM NOTES

  • Tech is 8-12 against Quad 1 and Quad 2 teams this season, including Quad 1 wins against Duke, Clemson, North Carolina and Wake Forest (two of those on the road). The Jackets’ last regular-season game at Virginia is another Quad 1 opportunity. Tech was 3-14 last season against Quad 1/2 foes.
  • Six of Tech’s seven ACC wins (exception: Miami) have come against teams in the top half of the ACC standings, all had winning records overall and in conference play.
  • Fourteen of Tech’s 19 ACC games have been decided by single digits. Twenty-one of Tech’s 30 games this season have been decided by fewer than 10 points, and the Yellow Jackets are 12-9 in these games. Fourteen games have been decided by five points or fewer.
  • Tech has won three straight games for the first time since mid-December, and has won three straight ACC games for the first time since last February/March.
  • Tech reversed a 29-point home loss to the Demon Deacons on Feb. 6. It was the 10th time in the Yellow Jackets’ ACC history that they have executed a margin swing of 30 or more points from the first meeting to the second in the same season.
  • It was the first time, however, that the Jackets defeated a team that had defeated them by as many as 29 points in the first meeting. The previous largest margin of defeat was 23, also to Wake Forest in 1993 (lost the first meeting 81-58, won the second 69-58).
  • Tech shot 53.7 percent from the floor against Wake Forest, hitting the 50 percent mark in each half, its highest percentage from the floor since connecting on 54.5 percent in a loss at Duke on Jan. 13. The Jackets have hit 50 percent or better in five games this season, all against ACC foes.
  • Tech has out-rebounded each of its last five opponents, and by an average of more than 12.4 per game (34-25 over Wake Forest), and posted its largest margin of the stretch against Florida State at 55-33. The Jackets had a 41-34 advantage on the boards over Miami, edged Clemson, 34-31, and dominated Syracuse, 49-28.
  • After a five-game stretch of scoring less than one point per possession, Tech has scored more than a point per possession in three straight games (1.17 against Miami, 1.10 against Florida State, 1.07 vs. Wake Forest).
  • Tech used just eight players in its wins over Miami, FSU and Wake Forest. Hawai’i on Dec. 22 was the only other game this season in which only eight Jackets saw the court.

PLAYER NOTES

  • Miles Kelly made his first four three-point attempts in the game and passed Drew Barry for ninth place all-time in three-point field goals (182).
  • Tafara Gapare has averaged 9.2 points and 7.0 rebounds in his last five games, reaching double digits in points three times and 10 rebounds in one (Florida State). He also has nine assists and seven blocked shots across those five games.
  • Baye Ndongo has grabbed 25 rebounds in Tech’s last two games and has eight double-digit rebound games this season.
  • Naithan George broke into double figures for the second straight game and has scored 31 points in Tech’s last two games (15 vs. FSU, 16 at Wake Forest). George had totaled 19 points in his previous five games. He has nine double-digit games against ACC teams this season, 11 in all games.

Freshman Baye Ndongo (11) scored nine points and grabbed 11 rebounds. (photo courtesy of Wake Forest athletics)

 

Game Highlights

Post-Game Press Conference

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