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Tech Hits Big Shots Down the Stretch to Top Pitt

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THE FLATS – Junior Michael Devoe’s 3-pointer with 4:20 to go in the game not only made him the 46th 1,000-point scorer in Georgia Tech men’s basketball history, but it also gave the Yellow Jackets the lead for good in a gritty 71-65 triumph over visiting Pitt on Sunday afternoon at McCamish Pavilion.

Playing its third game in 96 hours (compared to Pitt, which was playing its first contest in eight days), Georgia Tech (10-8, 6-6 ACC) led by nine points at halftime and extended the advantage to as many as 11 in the second half. However, Pitt (9-7, 5-6 ACC) used a 9-0 run to knot the score at 55-55 on a run-out layup by Xavier Johnson with 4:36 remaining.

On Tech’s ensuing possession, Devoe hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key and the Jackets regained a 58-55 advantage. Georgia Tech would never relinquish the lead, outscoring the Panthers 16-10 down the stretch. Devoe scored nine of his 13 points in the final 4:20 of the game and added a huge steal with 1:35 to go. Devoe’s swipe of Pitt’s Abdoul Karim Coulibaly led to a 3-pointer by Bubba Parham that stretched the Jackets’ lead to six points at 65-59 with just 80 seconds remaining.

Three Yellow Jackets scored in double-figures (Moses Wright – 24, Devoe – 13 and Jose Alvarado – 12), but the story of the game for Tech was the defensive effort of junior forward Khalid Moore, who limited Pitt’s Justin Champagnie, the Atlantic Coast Conference’s leading scorer and rebounder coming into the day, to just six shot attempts and 13 points. Champagnie’s 13 points was just two-thirds of his league-leading 19.2-point average, and his six rebounds were little more than half.

Moore played a season-high 38 minutes while shadowing Champagnie and added seven points on 2-of-3 shooting from the field and 2-of-2 from the free-throw line.

Wright’s seventh 20-point game of the season came on 9-of-13 shooting from the floor and 5-of-6 from the line. Alvarado, Georgia Tech’s 6-foot point guard, led the team in rebounding with seven while adding five assists and a pair of steals.

As a team, the Yellow Jackets were outshot from the field (51%-47%) and 3-point range (39%-33%) but sank 21-of-23 free throws (91.3%), compared to Pitt , which made just eight of its 15 free throws (53.3%).

Georgia Tech gets its first two-day break in a week before it hosts Boston College for a noon tipoff on Wednesday at McCamish Pavilion. The weekday mid-day special will be televised live on the ACC Network.

Michael Devoe scored nine of his 13 points in the final 4:20 of Sunday’s win over Pitt, including a go-ahead 3-pointer that also gave him 1,000 points for his career (photo by Anthony McClellan).

 

Post-Game Notes

  • Georgia Tech improved to 6-1 at home in ACC games and has won 12 of its last 13 conference games at McCamish Pavilion.
  • The win flipped Tech and Pitt in the ACC standings, elevating the Yellow Jackets to a tie for eighth place with Duke.
  • Tech improved to 7-1 this season when Jose Alvarado and Michael Devoe both score in double figures, 5-0 in ACC games.
  • After Michael Devoe passed the 1,000-career-point plateau Sunday, Tech now has three 1,000-point scorers in its starting lineup – Bubba Parham (1,421, not all at Tech), Jose Alvarado (1,336) and Devoe (1,008). Moses Wright, with 991 career points, could become the fourth on Wednesday.
  • Tech’s 21 points from the free throw line were its most in an ACC game this season and the most in any game since the Yellow Jackets went 22-for-28 vs. Delaware State. After averaging just 8.1 points from the free throw line in ACC play, the Jackets are 36-of-42 over their last two games.
  • Tech went 21-of-23 from the line against Pitt (91.3 percent), its best percentage in an ACC game with 20 or more attempts since January 3, 1996 against Maryland (27of-28).
  • For the 15th time in its last 16 games, Tech won the turnover battle (13 to Pitt’s 18), and the Yellow Jackets have a plus-4.4 turnover margin in conference play, plus-4.3 in all games. Both rank No. 1 in the ACC. Tech also leads the ACC in turnovers forced in conference games (15.3) and is second in all games (15.6).
  • For only the fourth time this season, Tech’s bench outscored its opponent’s reserves (13-4). The Jackets are 4-0 when that happens.
  • For the second time this season, Tech was outshot by an opponent and won the game, something that has happened only twice under head coach Josh Pastner (2-52).
  • Pitt (51 pct. FG) became just the third team this season to shoot 50 percent from the floor against Tech, second in the Jackets’ last four games, both at home.
  • Tech has hit just 15-of-58 three-point tries in its last three games (25.8 pct.), 37-of-123 in its last five (30.1 pct.), but still has connected on 36.6 percent for the season in ACC games.
  • Since going to its smaller lineup in the season’s third game, Tech has had just 39 shots blocked in its last 16 games (2.43 per game), 14 of those by Virginia in two meetings. The Yellow Jackets had 13 shots blocked in their two season-opening losses.
  • Tech collected nine steals against Pitt and is averaging an ACC-high 9.0 in conference games. The Jackets are averaging 8.9 in all games, which ranks No. 2.
  • No Tech player played more than Khalid Moore’s 37:35. Tech has had a 40-minute player six times in its last seven games.

Khalid Moore scored seven points on 2-of-3 shooting, but his defense on Pitt’s Justin Champagnie was a key factor in Georgia Tech’s win over the Panthers (photo by Anthony McClellan).

 

 

Game Highlights

 

Post-Game Press Conferences

Head coach Josh Pastner

 

Junior guard Michael Devoe

 

Junior forward Khalid Moore

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