Open mobile menu

Despite Huge Comeback, Tech Falls in ACC Tournament

Washington, D.C. – Freshmen Naithan George and Baye Ndongo led Georgia Tech all the way back from a 17-point second-half deficit but, despite the valiant rally, the Yellow Jackets fell to Notre Dame, 84-80, in the opening round of the 2024 Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament on Tuesday at Capital One Arena.

George scored 24 points and dished out seven assists and Ndongo added 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds for 13th-seeded Georgia Tech, who trailed by 17 points in the second half before rallying to lead with less than a minute-and-a-half to go in the contest.

Tech trailed 65-48 with less than 13 minutes to go in the game, but went on a 30-12 run over the next 8-plus minutes, taking its first lead of the game at 78-77 on a pull-up jumper by George with 4:24 left on the clock.

No. 12-seeded Notre Dame hit a pair of free throws on its ensuing possession to regain a one-point advantage, but another pull-up jumper by George gave Tech the lead right back at 80-79.

The Jackets maintained the lead until Notre Dame’s Markus Burton hit a driving layup to give the Fighting Irish an 81-80 edge with 1:16 to go in the game. Georgia Tech committed turnovers on its next two possessions and the Irish hit 3-of-4 free throws down the stretch to hand the Jackets the heartbreaking defeat.

In its first season under head coach Damon Stoudamire, Tech collected marquee victories over North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, Wake Forest and Mississippi State and finished 14-18 overall. The young Yellow Jackets graduate just one of their top seven players in terms of both minutes and scoring.

Naithan George scored 24 points and dished out seven assists in his first-ever ACC Tournament game (photo courtesy of the ACC)

 

Post-Game Notes

TEAM NOTES

  • Tech fell to 29-40 all-time in the ACC Tournament and suffered its 27th opening-round loss in 44 tournaments.
  • Tech was 8-13 against Quad 1 and Quad 2 teams in 2023-24, including Quad 1 wins against Duke, Clemson, North Carolina and Wake Forest (two of those on the road). Tech was 3-14 last season against Quad 1/2 foes.
  • Tech lost all three games to Notre Dame in 2023-24, the 15th time in the Jackets’ ACC history that they lost to a team three times in the same season.
  • Six of Tech’s seven ACC wins (exception: Miami) came against teams in the top half of the ACC standings, all had winning records overall and in conference play.
  • Fourteen of Tech’s 21 ACC games were decided by single digits. Twenty-two of Tech’s 32 games in 2023-24 were decided by fewer than 10 points, second-most in the nation, and the Yellow Jackets were 12-10 in these games. Fifteen games were decided by five points or fewer.
  • Tech was out-rebounded by Notre Dame, 31-23, the first team to do so in seven games. The Jackets had out-rebounded each of its last six opponents, and by an average of 11.8 per game.
  • Tech made 76.7 percent of its free throws (188-of-245) in its last 11 games, and was 74-of-90 (82.2 percent) over its last five games.

PLAYER NOTES

  • Freshmen Naithan George and Baye Ndongo combined for 46 of Tech’s 80 points against Notre Dame, scoring personal season highs of 24 and 22 points, respectively.
  • Naithan George averaged 15.8 points and connected on 24-of-44 field goals in Tech’s last four games. He had 10 double-digit games against ACC teams this season, 12 in all games.
  • Kyle Sturdivant (10 points) and Tyzhaun Claude (4 points, 4 rebounds) played their final collegiate games against Notre Dame. Sturdivant finished his Tech career with 899 points in 123 games, and his collegiate career with 942 points in 144 games. Claude finished his collegiate career with 944 points and 639 rebounds in 102 games.
  • Sturdivant finished his Tech career with 301 assists, which ranks No. 18 in program history.
  • Sturdivant’s 8-percent success rate at the free throw line in 2023-24 tied for seventh-highest all-time in a season at Tech.

Georgia Tech’s defense limited to Notre Dame to just 43 percent shooting in the second half after the Irish made 62 percent of their shots in the opening 20 minutes  (photo courtesy of the ACC)

 

Game Highlights

RELATED HEADLINES

Men's Basketball FRIDAY REWIND: Men's Basketball Downs Georgia Southern

Yellow Jackets begin their first season under Damon Stoudamire with a 22-point win over the Eagles

FRIDAY REWIND: Men's Basketball Downs Georgia Southern
Men's Basketball George, Murphy Earns Spots on All-ACC Academic Team

Freshman guard, graduate senior performed well on and off the court in 2023-24

George, Murphy Earns Spots on All-ACC Academic Team
Men's Basketball Georgia Tech #ProJackets Basketball Report

News and notes on the Yellow Jackets in the professional ranks

Georgia Tech #ProJackets Basketball Report
Partner of Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Legends Partner of Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Partner of Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Partner of Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets