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Jackets Win Double-OT Thriller at Clemson

Clemson, S.C. – Freshman Naithan George knocked down two three-point field goals in the final 12 seconds of regulation to force overtime, then added two jumpers to help Georgia Tech get the upper hand in the second overtime, lifting the Yellow Jackets to a 93-90 victory over Clemson Tuesday night at Littlejohn Coliseum.

Tech (9-8, 2-4 ACC), which snapped a five-game losing streak, was able to send the game into overtime after erasing a nine-point deficit in the final 1:43 of regulation. With his team down 68-59, Kyle Sturdivant started the Tech rally by hitting all three free throws after he was fouled by P.J. Hall on a three-point attempt.

After a defensive stop, Kowacie Reeves, Jr. hit a three-point shot to get Tech within 68-65 with 52 seconds remaining. Clemson’s Joseph Girard III hit a pair of charity tosses to get his team a 70-65 lead, but George answered with a three from the right wing to make it 70-68 with 12 seconds left. Tech immediately fouled Chase Hunter, who made one of two free throws to make it 71-68 with 11 seconds left. George then found space on the left wing and knocked down another three to tie the game at 71-all with 2.3 seconds left. The Tigers were unable to get off a final shot.

In the first overtime, Reeves, Jr., made another three, and Tyzhaun Claude went 4-for-4 at the line to put Tech up 82-79 with just over a minute to play, but the Tigers (12-5, 2-4 ACC) were able to tie the game in a layup from Ian Schieffelin to force a second OT.

Miles Kelly scored Tech’s first five points of the second extra period, giving the Jackets an 87-86 lead with a layup at the 2:13 mark. George followed with a jumper to make it 89-86, and after Hunter hit a jumper, the freshman got another basket to make it 91-88 with 53 seconds left. Schieffelin made two free throws to make it a one-point game before Sturdivant hit a pair of charity tosses for a 93-90 lead. Hall had a three-point try to tie the game on Clemson’s last chance, but it was off the mark.

Tech hit 6-of-7 from the floor and 9-of-11 from the foul line in overtime, while Clemson hit just 5-of-18 and missed all seven three-point attempts.

George finished with a team-high 20 points, hitting 8-of-13 shots from the floor and 4-of-7 from three-point range, and added six assists. Sturdivant scored 18 points (5-of-10 FG, 3-8 3-t FG, 5-5 FT), while Reeves, Jr., tallied 15, all on three-pointers. Kelly added 14 points with six rebounds, and Baye Ndongo notched his fourth double-double this season with 11 points and 10 boards.

Hall and Schieffelin combined for 51 points and 32 rebounds to help the Tigers score 50 points in the paint and outrebound the Jackets, 45-33. Hall scored a game-high 31 points with 17 rebounds, while Schieffelin added 20 points and 15 boards. Hunter contributed 18 points, and Girard scored 11.

Tech returns home for the first of two straight home games, hosting Virginia Saturday night at McCamish Pavilion. Tip is at 6 p.m., and the game will be televised live on the ACC Network.

Freshman Naithan George (2) drilled a game-tying 3 at the end of regulation to force overtime, and led the Jackets with 20 points. (photo by Jaylynn Nash)

 

Post-Game Notes

TEAM NOTES

  • Tech is 4-5 against Quad 1 and Quad 2 teams this season (Clemson was a Quad 1 opportunity). The Jackets’ remaining ACC schedule has eight Quad 1 and four Quad 2 opponents. Tech was 3-14 last season against Quad 1/2 foes.
  • Tech has made at least 10 three-point field goals in four straight games (Boston College, Notre Dame, Duke, Clemson) and has connected on 47-of-113 (41.6 percent) in those games. The Jackets had hit just 28.3 percent over its first 13 games, and are now at 31.9 percent for the season, 37.7 percent across five ACC games.
  • Tech’s 15 three-point field goals were its most since hitting 18 in its win at Syracuse last Feb. 28. Its 35 attempts (out of 62 total field goal attempts) were the most since it tried 40 in the same Syracuse game,
  • Tech improved to 2-1 in overtime games this season, 2-4 in true road games.
  • Twelve of Tech’s 17 games this season have been decided by 10 points or fewer, eight of those by five points or fewer.
  • Tech is shooting 47.8 percent from the floor in ACC games, 37.7 percent from three-point range, and has a team 96-to-69 assist/turnover ratio.
  • Tech’s current scoring average of 78.3 points per game in ACC play (ranks No. 2 in the ACC) would be the highest for the team since the 1995-96 season (80.7) if maintained.
  • Tech has averaged just 10.7 over its last seven games, after averaging more than 19 in the three games prior and 14 over the first 10 games of the season.
  • 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 13 and 10, respectively, of Tech’s games at the finish.
  • Tech is 7-6 since freshmen Baye Ndongo and Naithan George entered the starting lineup Nov. 28 against Mississippi State.
  • At least nine players have seen the court in 16 of Tech’s first 17 games (only eight played against Hawai’i). Nine players average more than 11 minutes per game in ACC games.

PLAYER NOTES

  • Three Tech players – Kelly, Baye Ndongo and Reeves, Jr., are averaging 13.7 points or better in ACC games this season, responsible for 58.9 percent of the Jackets’ points in conference play. They have combined to hit 51.0 percent from the floor and 44.7 percent from three-point range.
  • Freshman Naithan George has reached career highs in points in each of his last two games – 17 points at Duke, 20 at Clemson. He made 14-of-24 shots from the floor (58.3 percent) and 7-of-13 from three-point range (53.8 percent) combined in the two games, adding 11 assists against two turnovers in 69 total minutes.
  • George has started Tech’s last 13 games at the point guard position and has averaged 9.0 points and 5.1 assists in those games.
  • George ranks No. 2 in the ACC in assist average (6.33) against the conference, and he has 38 total assists to just 10 turnovers over six games (3.8-to-1), which also ranks No. 2.
  • Miles Kelly is averaging 17.2 points over five ACC games this season, and his shooting percentages are well above his full-season norms – 43.0 percent from the floor, 37.8 percent from three-point range and 70.6 percent from the foul line.
  • Kelly has averaged 17.4 points over Tech’s last five games, hitting 43.8 percent from the floor (32-of-73) and 40.5 percent (15-of-37) from three-point range.
  • Freshman Baye Ndongo has scored in double digits in Tech’s last nine games, averaging 15.2 points and 10.0 rebounds, and has hit on 67.4 percent of his field goals (58-of-86).
  • Ndongo posted his fourth double-double this season with 11 points and 10 rebounds at Clemson. Three of his double-doubles have come in games away from McCamish Pavilion.
  • Ndongo ranks No. 1 in the nation among freshmen in field goal percentage (59.8) and No. 2 in rebound average (8.9).
  • Kyle Sturdivant has 18 assists and five turnovers in his last three games, and has a 53/26 (2.04-to-1) ratio for the season, 22/7 vs. the ACC.
  • George and Sturdivant have recorded 47 assists and just 12 turnovers combined in Tech’s last five games, nearly a 4-to-1 ratio. For the season the point guard combo has 119 assists vs. 51 turnovers, a 2.33-to-1 ratio. In ACC games they have a 3.52-to-1 ratio and rank No. 3 and 4 individually.
  • Kowacie Reeves, Jr., has hit 51.7-percent of his shots from the floor and a team-best 52.9 percent from three-point range in ACC games. He is Tech’s No. 3 scorer at 12.1 points per game.
  • Deebo Coleman has just seven turnovers this season in 395 minutes (one in 135 ACC minutes), and has had 11 turnover-free games.
  • Tyzhaun Claude played his most productive game in ACC play at Clemson, scoring nine points (7-of-8 FT) with eight rebounds, two assists and two steals in a season-high 38:18.

Senior Kyle Sturdivant scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and overtime. (photo by Jaylynn Nash)

 

Game Highlights

Post-Game Press Conference

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