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Late Comeback Drives Tech to Victory Over Irish, 82-80

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THE FLATS – Georgia Tech men’s basketball posted the largest comeback in Josh Pastner’s five seasons as head coach by overcoming a 17-point deficit in a heart-stopping 82-80 triumph over Notre Dame on Saturday evening at McCamish Pavilion. It gave the Yellow Jackets their 11th straight ACC victory at McCamish Pavilion.

Notre Dame used an early 14-0 run to propel itself to a 14-2 lead just six minutes into the contest. Georgia Tech’s deficit stretched to as many as 17 points at 37-20 with a little over five minutes to go in the opening half and the Jackets trailed by 15 (50-35) at halftime.

Tech (9-6, 5-4 ACC) still trailed by double-digits more than five minutes into the second half but went on a 16-4 run, capped by a 3-pointer by Michael Devoe that gave a 65-64 lead just past the midway point of the first half. The lead was the Jackets’ first since they hit two free throws to take a 2-0 advantage just 13 seconds into the contest.

Notre Dame (7-10, 4-6 ACC) managed to regain the lead and stretch it to as many as six points at 76-70, but Tech held ND to no field goals over the final 3:48 of the game and outscored the Fighting Irish by a 12-4 margin to close the game and seal the come-from-behind victory.

Both teams shot lights out for the evening with Notre Dame making 59% of its field goals (32-for-54) and Tech clocking in at 58% from the field (35-for-60). But it was a tale of two halves, as the Irish 65.5% of its shots in the first half and the Jackets made 62.5% of their shots after the break.

Four Yellow Jackets scored in double-figures, led by Devoe and Jose Alvarado and Michael Devoe with 19 points apiece. Jordan Usher and Moses Wright added 16 and 12, respectively. Alvarado also scooped up six steals and dished out five assists. Tech shot 50% from 3-point range as a team (7-for-14), including 3-for-4 performances from both Devoe and Alvarado.

Georgia Tech continues a grueling stretch of five games in 11 days on Wednesday night when it faces off against No. 14/15 Virginia at McCamish Pavilion. The game tips at 7 p.m. and will be televised regionally on the ACC’s Regional Sports Network (Fox Sports South in Georgia).

Michael Devoe scored 14 points in the second-half  to lead Tech’s comeback. (photo by Danny Karnik)

 

Post-Game Notes

TEAM NOTES

  • Georgia Tech has won 11 consecutive ACC games at McCamish Pavilion, a program record for consecutive home conference wins. Tech has won all five home games this season and the final six of the 2019-20 season. The previous mark of nine was set during the 1995-96 season (last home game of 1994-95, 8-0 at home in 1995-96).
  • Tech has won seven straight games at home since dropping its opening two games to Georgia State and Mercer, and Notre Dame was win No. 100 in McCamish Pavilion since it opened for the 2012-13 season.
  • Tech scored its biggest comeback to win under Josh Pastner, having trailed by as many as 17 points in the first half. The previous largest deficit the Yellow Jackets erased to win was 15 points against NC State in the 2019-20 season opener on the road, and a 2017 home game against Boston College.
  • Bubba Parham returned to the starting lineup for the first time since the Yellow Jackets played at Duke, replacing Khalid Moore. Tech has used that starting lineup in 11 games this season, winning eight of them.
  • Tech shot a season-high 58.3 percent despite missing its first seven field goal tries in the game, a dramatic turnaround from its 32.4-percent game at Louisville Monday. It was the Yellow Jackets’ highest field goal percentage since connecting on 59.0 last season at North Carolina. Tech’s 35 field goals were its most in a regulation game this season (36 vs. Georgia State in 4 OT).
  • Tech also surrendered 59.3 percent shooting to Notre Dame, the highest accuracy rate it has allowed since Florida State hit 59.3 percent (also 32-of-54) in 1/24/2018.
  • Each team scored 48 points in the paint, the most for Tech or its opponent since its season-opener, a 4-overtime game in which the Jackets scored 50 and Georgia State 64.
  • Tech’s 22 fast-break points against Notre Dame were its second-most in an ACC game this season (25 vs. Wake Forest).
  • For the 12th time in its last 13 games, Tech won the turnover battle and had more assists than turnovers (15 assists, nine turnovers). Only in the first meeting against Florida State on Dec. 15 (11 assists, 12 turnovers, FSU has 12 turnovers) did the Jackets fall short.
  • Tech forced 11 Notre Dame turnovers (The Irish average 10.5 per game) and scored 14 points from them. The Jackets have forced 15.3 turnovers per game this season, 14.8 per game against ACC foes, and owned the best turnover margin in the conference (plus-4.1 overall, plus-4.0 in conference games) entering Saturday’s action.
  • Tech’s 14 three-point attempts were its fewest of the season (previous: 15 at Virginia), but the Yellow Jackets made seven of them. The Jackets are averaging 8.5 made threes per game (3.2 per game more than they made in 2019-20), making at least eight in all but four games, and rank fourth in the ACC. Tech is averaging a league-high 8.1 threes in ACC games.
  • Since going to its smaller lineup, Tech has had just 29 shots blocked in its last 13 games, seven of those by Virginia, four by Notre Dame. The Yellow Jackets had 13 shots blocked in their two season-opening losses.
  • Tech has collected 66 steals in its last eight games and is averaging an ACC-high 9.3 in conference games. The Jackets are averaging 9.1 in all games.

Jose Alvarado scored 19 points, scooped up six steals and dished out five assists in Saturday’s come-from-behind win. (photo by Danny Karnik)

 

 

Game Highlights

Post-Game Press Conferences

Head coach Josh Pastner

Senior guard Jose Alvarado

Junior guard Michael Devoe

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