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Men's Hoops Suffers First Home Loss of Season

THE FLATS Miles Kelly led three Georgia Tech scorers in double-figures with 17 points, but the Yellow Jackets could not find an answer for Clemson in the paint in a 79-66 loss to the visiting Tigers on Wednesday night at McCamish Pavilion.

Clemson (10-3, 2-0 ACC) held a commanding 48-34 advantage in points in the paint and outrebounded Georgia Tech (7-5, 0-2 ACC) by a 40-28 margin to hand the Jackets their first home defeat of the season.

After Georgia Tech made four of its first seven shots to race out to a 14-10 lead, the Yellow Jackets went nearly 10 minutes without a made field goal. Clemson outscored the Jackets 20-2 during that nine-minute, 52-second span, en route to a taking a 40-26 halftime lead. Tech would not cut the deficit to single digits the rest of the way, despite shooting 50 percent from the field (16-of-32) in the second half.

Kelly, Kyle Sturdivant (14 points) and Jalon Moore (12) led the Jackets offensively. Moore fell just one rebound short of a double-double with nine boards and also paced Tech with four assists.

P.J. Hall (25 points, 10 rebounds) and Hunter Tyson (14 points, 13 rebounds) led the way for Clemson.

Georgia Tech has a 10-day holiday break before returning to action at McCamish Pavilion on Saturday, Dec. 31 versus No. 6 Virginia. Tipoff for the New Year’s Eve matchup is set for noon.

Miles Kelly led Tech with 17 points against Clemson. (photo by Danny Karnik)

 

Post-Game Notes

  • Tech lost its first home game of the season after six wins and saw its home winning streak end seven games with the loss to Clemson. Tech has two more games in its four-game homestand – Virginia on Dec. 31 and Miami on Jan. 4. The Yellow Jackets do not travel again until Jan. 7 at Florida State.
  • Tech has used nine or more players in all but one game this season (eight vs. Georgia).
  • Tech’s bench has outscored that of its opponent in eight of 12 games. Tech entered Wednesday’s game No. 1 in the ACC in bench scoring (23.8 ppg).
  • Tech’s 21.7-percent rate from three-point range (5-for-23) matched its poorest accuracy of the season (5-for-23 vs. Utah). The Yellow Jackets had made 22-of-50 from three-point range in its last two games, setting season highs for three-point field goals in each – 13-for-24 against Alabama State, 9-of-26 at North Carolina.
  • One game after Tech set a season high of 25 assists against Alabama State, the Yellow Jackets had just 10 on 25 made field goals against Clemson. The Jackets have assisted on only 48 percent for the season.
  • Tech’s five turnovers matched its low under Josh Pastner (Notre Dame in 2020 and Utah earlier this season) and was one off the Yellow Jacket record of four (LSU on 3/17/1990 and Wake Forest on 2/13/1988). Tech entered Saturday’s game fourth in the ACC in fewest turnovers per game and 19th in the nation, one of the Jackets’ biggest areas of improvement over 2021-22.
  • Tech has reached its target of 11 turnovers or fewer for nine times in 12 games. The Yellow Jackets have a season turnover margin of plus-2.3, which ranked fourth in the ACC and ninth in the nation entering Wednesday’s game. Its percentage of possessions that end in turnovers (15.2 pct.) ranked 17th nationally, according to KenPom.com.
  • Tech has permitted its opponents to make just 26.3 percent of their three-point field goal tries this season (Alabama State was 4-for-20, North Carolina 3-for-13, Clemson 5-of-18 in the last three games). Tech led the ACC and ranked ninth in the nation in three-point defense entering Wednesday’s game.

INDIVIDUAL HIGHLIGHTS

  • Jalon Moore has started Tech’s last seven games and also scored in double figures in each one, averaging 13.2 points and 6.9 rebounds over that stretch. He has hit 34-of-65 from the floor (52.3 percent) in those seven games.
  • Three times this season, Moore has missed a double-double by one rebound (11 points, 9 rebounds vs. Clayton State, 16 and 9 vs. Northeastern, 12 and 9 vs. Clemson.
  • Moore’s four assists against Clemson was a team-high and his personal best.
  • Miles Kelly has started Tech’s last seven games, reaching double-digit points in each one, and has averaged 15.4 points and 4.2 rebounds over that stretch. He has connected on 38-of-77 shots from the floor (49.4 pct.), 19-of-43 from three-point range (44.2 pct.) and 13-of-14 from the line across those six games.
  • Deivon Smith leads the ACC with a 2.9-1 assist/turnover ratio. He has 40 assists (3.3 per game) against just 14 turnovers, and has recorded zero turnovers in four of his last five games. Smith’s ratio last season was 1.1-1.
  • Rodney Howard has connected on 20-of-25 shots from the floor dating back to Nov. 23 vs. Marquette, covering seven games. That includes a streak of 13 consecutive makes from his last two attempts of the Northeastern game through his first four of the Alabama State game (4-for-4 vs. Georgia, 3-for-3 at North Carolina). For the season he has connected on 65.1 percent (28-of-43).
  • Kyle Sturdivant has achieved season highs in points in each of Tech’s last two games – 13 vs. Alabama State, 14 vs. Clemson. He has hit 11-of-20 shots from the floor and 4-of-8 from three-point range.

Jalon Moore scored 12 points and led Georgia Tech with nine rebounds and four assists versus Clemson. (photo by Danny Karnik)

 

Game Highlights

Post-Game Press Conference

 

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