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Jackets Down Seminoles on Senior Day, 85-76

THE FLATS Kyle Sturdivant made his final game at McCamish Pavilion a memorable one, as the senior poured in a game-high 20 points in Georgia Tech men’s basketball’s 85-76 Senior Day win over Florida State on Saturday afternoon.

Seventeen of Sturdivant’s 20 points came in the second half to help Georgia Tech pull away from the visiting Seminoles. The senior made 5-of-9 field goals in the second half, including 3-of-4 3-pointers, and finished the game 6-for-11 from the field and 4-of-6 from 3-point range. His four 3-pointers matched a career high and he scored in double-figures for the fourth game in a row.

Tech shot 52.9 percent from the field in the opening half to take a 44-41 into the break, then ramped up its defense in the second half, limiting FSU to just 34.3 percent shooting over the final 20 minutes to close out its third victory in its last four games.

However, perhaps the biggest difference in the game was the Yellow Jackets’ dominance on the glass. Tech finished with a whopping 55-33 rebounding advantage, including a 21-10 edge in offensive boards, from which they scored 21 points.

The rebounding clinic was led by freshman Baye Ndongo, who finished with 14 boards and added 15 points for his sixth double-double of the season. Ndongo led three Yellow Jackets with double-digit rebounds, as senior Tyzhaun Claude and sophomore Tafara Gapare pulled down 10 apiece.

Sturdivant and Ndongo led three double-digit scorers for Tech, with freshman Naithan George rounding out the Yellow Jackets in double-figures with 15 points.

Georgia Tech closes out the regular season with a pair of road games next week, beginning Tuesday night at Wake Forest. Tipoff is set for 9 p.m. and the game will be televised nationally on ACC Network.

Freshman Baye Ndongo (11) scored his sixth double-double this season with 15 points and a season-high 14 rebounds. (photo by Danny Karnik)

 

Post-Game Notes

TEAM NOTES

  • Tech has won nine consecutive Senior Day games against five different teams – Pittsburgh (3 times), Boston College (twice), Wake Forest, Duke, Louisville and Florida State
  • Tech has out-rebounded its last four opponents by an average of more than 13 per game, and posted its largest margin of the stretch against Florida State at 55-33, also its greatest margin of the season against an ACC team. The Jackets had a 41-34 advantage on the boards over Miami, edged Clemson, 34-31, and dominated Syracuse, 49-28 advantage over Syracuse. (The Seminoles out-rebounded Tech 38-31 in the teams’ first meeting.)
  • Tech’s 55 rebounds against Florida State was one shy of its all-time high in an ACC game, 56 vs. the Seminoles on Jan. 27, 1996.
  • Tech has made 76.0 percent of its free throws (165-of-217) in its last nine games, and is 51-of-62 (82.3 percent) over its last three games.
  • Tech earned its first back-to-back wins since defeating Massachusetts and Hawai’i in the first two rounds of the Diamond Head Classic in December.
  • Tech has scored 80 or more points in back-to-back ACC games for the first time since late last season when the Jackets score 83 vs. Louisville and 96 vs. Syracuse on Feb. 25 and 28.
  • Tech’s 85 points at Florida State were its most since its 93-90 double-OT win at Clemson on Jan. 16. The Jackets had reached 80 points in a regulation ACC game only twice previously this season, in a 95-87 loss to Boston College on Jan. 6 and an 80-76 win at Miami last Saturday.
  • After a five-game stretch of scoring less than one point per possession, Tech has scored more than 1.1 points per possession in two straight games (1.17 against Miami and 1.10 against Florida State).
  • Tech used just eight players in its wins over Miami and FSU, only the second and third times this season only eight Yellow Jackets have seen the court in a game (Hawai’i on Dec. 22 was the other).

PLAYER NOTES

  • Kyle Sturdivant scored a game-high 20 points against Florida State, his second 20-point effort this season (he set his career high of 21 vs. UMass on Dec. 21) and second of his career against an ACC team (20 points at Syracuse last season). He hit 6-of-11 shots from the floor, 4-of-6 from three-point range, 4-of-5 from the free throw line.
  • Sturdivant has hit four three-pointers (his career best) three times in his career, all this season (North Carolina, Syracuse, Florida State).
  • Sturdivant has scored in double digits in his last four games (15.5 points per game). He is 18-of-46 (39.1 pct.) from the floor, 12-of-27 (44.4 pct.) from three-point range and 13-of-15 (86.7 pct.) from the foul line in that stretch.
  • Sturdivant is 29-for-32 from the free throw line (90.6 percent) over Tech’s last 13 games, 12-of-13 in Tech’s last three games. He leads the Jackets at 87.5 percent from the line this season, 88.6 percent (35-of-39) in ACC play.
  • Baye Ndongo has six double-doubles this season after scoring 15 points with 14 rebounds against Florida State. His 14 boards are his most since taking his season-best of 19 against Penn State on Dec. 16.
  • Tafara Gapare has averaged 8.8 points and 7.3 rebounds in his last four games, grabbing a career-best 10 rebounds against Florida State.
  • Gapare has started Tech’s last six games and played more than 20 minutes in four of them, including a career-high 29:59 against Florida State.
  • Gapare has blocked at least one shot in six straight games, and had three against Florida State, giving him 31 for the season and 18 in 17 ACC games.
  • Naithan George broke into double figures for the first time in six games, scoring 15 points against Florida State with two assists and no turnovers in 30:32. George had totaled 19 points in his previous five games. He has eight double-digit games against ACC teams this season, 10 in all games.
  • Tyzhaun Claude reached double digits in rebounds (10 vs. FSU) for the first time since Tech’s season opener against Georgia Southern (also 10).

Kyle Sturdivant (1) reached 20 points for the second time this season. (photo by Danny Karnik)

 

Game Highlights

Post-Game Press Conference

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