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Georgia Tech Wins Thriller Over Georgia

THE FLATS – In a game that featured 11 ties and 18 lead changes, Georgia Tech scored the final six points – including Miles Kelly’s go-ahead runner with 23 seconds to go – to lift the Yellow Jackets to a 79-77 win over archrival Georgia in a wild men’s basketball edition of Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate on Tuesday night at McCamish Pavilion.

Trailing 77-73 with just 1:04 remaining, Kelly hit a long 3-pointer to pull Georgia Tech (6-3) within a point then after a Deivon Smith steal on Georgia’s ensuing possession, Kelly hit the go-ahead jumper while floating down the left side of the paint to give the Yellow Jackets a 78-77 lead.

Needing a stop, Tech’s Jalon Moore came up huge on the defensive end, first blocking a shot, then stealing an in-bounds pass to give the Jackets possession with a one-point lead and seven seconds left on the clock.

After Moore made 1-of-2 free throws to extend the Jackets’ lead to 79-77, Smith turned in Georgia Tech’s third-straight gargantuan defensive play, drawing a charge from Georgia’s Terry Roberts to give the Jackets the ball back with two seconds to go. UGA stole Tech’s in-bounds pass near midcourt, but its desperation shot was off the mark at the buzzer and the Jackets celebrated their second-straight win over their in-state rival.

The wild game lived up to its rivalry status, especially in the second half, when the teams traded punches throughout. UGA led 39-34 at halftime, but the teams would go on to trade the lead a whopping 15 times in the second half alone, to go along with seven ties after the break. During one four-minute stretch from 9:32 to go to the 5:32 mark, the teams combined to make 12-of-13 field-goal attempts. That four-minute stretch alone featured seven lead changes and three ties.

Tech shot 57.7 percent from the field in the second half to outduel UGA, which shot 51.7 percent after the break. The Yellow Jackets turned the ball over just seven times (compared to 11 for the Bulldogs) and recorded seven steals (versus two for UGA).

Kelly led Tech with a game-high 17 points, while Ja’Von Franklin (13 points), Moore (12) and Smith (10) rounded out the four Jackets in double-figures. Franklin also pulled down a game-high nine rebounds, falling just one board shy of his third double-double of the season.

Georgia Tech opens Atlantic Coast Conference play on Saturday when it visits 2022 national finalist and preseason No. 1 North Carolina. Tipoff is set for 3:15 p.m. and the game will be televised nationally on ESPN.

Miles Kelly scored five points in the final 1:04 to erase a four-point deficit in Georgia Tech’s 79-77 win over archrival Georgia. (photo by Danny Karnik)

 

Post-Game Notes

  • Tech has won six straight games at McCamish Pavilion, a 5-0 start this season plus a win over Boston College in the final home game of 2021-22.
  • Tech has won the last two meetings against Georgia after losing five straight in the series before that.
  • Tech started the lineup of Deebo Coleman, Deivon Smith, Miles Kelly and Jalon Moore around Ja’von Franklin for the fourth straight game and won three of them. Only Coleman and Smith have started all eight games this season.
  • Tech used just eight players in the game for the first time this season after carrying a nine-player rotation through its first eight games. All eight scored in the game. Miles Kelly was the last to scratch, scoring all 17 of his points after halftime.
  • Four or more Tech players have scored in double figures in six of nine games this season.
  • The Tech-Georgia game featured 18 lead changes and 11 ties. Before Tuesday night, the most ties (8) and lead changes (8) occurred Nov. 12 at Georgia State.
  • Georgia is 15-12 against Tech since the series moved back to the campuses in 1995.
  • Tech has won the turnover battle in seven of nine games and has reached its target of 11 or fewer six times this season. The Yellow Jackets have a season turnover margin of plus-2.8, which ranks fifth in the ACC. Its percentage of possessions that end in turnovers (15.2 pct.) ranks 17th
  • Tech played its most efficient game of the season offensively against a power conference foe (116.5 points per 100 possessions). The Jacket have topped that figure only against Clayton State (117.8) and North Alabama (125.2), and posted a 115.9 rate in its most recent game against Northeastern.
  • Tech is No. 2 in the ACC in offensive rebounds per game (13.1), and has turned those into 14.1 second-chance points per game.
  • Miles Kelly has led Tech in scoring in each of the last three games (21 vs. Iowa, 16 vs. Northeastern, 17 vs. Georgia) and has reached double figures in seven of nine games this season.
  • Kelly has started Tech’s last four games (after coming off the bench for the first five), and has averaged 16.5 points and 4.8 rebounds over that stretch. He has connected on 23-of-44 shots from the floor, 11-of-22 from three-point range and 9-of-10 from the line across those four games.
  • Deivon Smith has reached double figures in six of nine games with his 10 points against Georgia, and matched his career best in a Tech uniform for assists with six.
  • Smith has 29 assists in his last seven games (4.1 per game) and leads the Yellow Jackets with 3.6 per game. He has a 29:14 assist/turnover ratio for the season, fourth-best in the ACC.
  • Ja’von Franklin has reached double figure points in four games, and did so against Georgia for the first time since Marquette. He fell one rebound shy of his third double-double of the season (13 points, 9 rebounds).
  • Jalon Moore has scored in double figures in four straight games since entering the starting lineup, averaging 12.8 points and 6.8 rebounds over that stretch, while hitting 18-of-37 from the floor and 15-of-18 from the line.
  • Franklin has blocked at least one shot in every game this season and has averaged 2.2 for the season, No. 2 in the ACC. He has 20 total blocks, matching Rodney Howard’s team-leading total of 20 from 2021-22.

Ja’Von Franklin had 13 points and nine rebounds in his first taste of Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate. (photo by Danny Karnik)

 

Game Highlights

Post-Game Press Conferences

 

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