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Jackets Fall to Virginia, 75-66

THE FLATS – Georgia Tech men’s basketball raced out to an early 11-point advantage and led for most of the first half, but visiting Virginia went on a 23-3 run that spanned the end of the first period and the beginning of the second, and held off the Yellow Jackets, 75-66, on Saturday evening at McCamish Pavilion.

A loud crowd of 6,380 saw Georgia Tech jump out to a 24-13 lead just 11 minutes into the game and the Jackets led by eight at 29-21 with under four minutes to go in the first half. However, Virginia made its final five shots of the opening period and outscored Tech, 12-0, over the last three-and-a-half minutes of the half to take a 33-29 halftime lead.

Virginia remained hot after the break, making four of its first six shots and outscoring the Jackets, 11-3, to cap the 23-3 run and take a 44-32 lead just over three minutes into the second half.

However, the Yellow Jackets wouldn’t go away quietly, as they used a 9-0 run to pull within five points at 67-62 and ignite the McCamish Pavilion crowd with 1:39 to go. But Virginia got huge 3-pointers from Jacob Groves and Isaac McKneely in the final 90 seconds to hold off the Jackets, who fell by single digits for the fourth time in their five Atlantic Coast Conference defeats.

Georgia Tech (9-9, 2-5 ACC) was led once again by true freshmen point guard Naithan George and Baye Ndongo, who scored 15 points apiece. George dished out a team-high nine assists while Ndongo made 6-of-7 field goals and grabbed a team-high-tying five rebounds.

McKneely led Virginia (13-5, 4-3 ACC) with 20 points and UVA’s Reece Beekman added 19 points and 11 assists.

Georgia Tech returns to action on Tuesday against Pitt. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at McCamish Pavilion and the game will be televised nationally on ESPNU.

Freshman Naithan George (2) scored a team-high 15 points with nine assists. (photo by Danny Karnik)

 

Post-Game Notes

TEAM NOTES

  • Thirteen of Tech’s 18 games this season have been decided by 10 points or fewer, eight of those by five points or fewer. Four of Tech’s five ACC losses have come by single digits, and the fifth was 11 points.
  • Tech has lost 11 straight games to Virginia, but this was the highest scoring game for both teams in that stretch.
  • Tech snapped a streak of four straight games with at least 10 three-point field goals, but the Jackets went 9-of-27 from long range against Virginia and have made 40 percent (56-of-140) from distance in their last five games.
  • Tech’s current scoring average of 76.6 points per game in ACC play (ranks No. 2 in the ACC) would be the highest for the team since the 2007-08 season (77.4) if maintained.
  • Tech is shooting 47.4 percent from the floor in ACC games, 37.0 percent from three-point range, and has a team 108-to-82 assist/turnover ratio.
  • Tech has averaged 11 turnovers over its last seven games, after averaging more than 19 in the three games prior and 14 over the first 10 games of the season.

PLAYER NOTES

  • Freshman point guard Naithan George had his third straight game in double digits in points, fifth game this season, scoring a team-high 15. George has averaged 17.3 points over his last three games, hitting 18-of-32 from the floor, 8-of-17 from three-point range. He also has 20 assists against five turnovers in those three games.
  • George (nine assists vs. Virginia) has dished eight or more assists in five games this season. He averages 6.7 assists in ACC games, which ranks No. 2 in the conference.
  • Freshman forward Baye Ndongo made 6-of-7 shots from the floor and is converting at a 63.4-percent rate in ACC games.61.2 percent for the season. He ranks No. 2 nationally among freshmen in field goal percentage.
  • Ndongo has scored in double digits in Tech’s last 10 games, averaging 15.2 points and 9.5 rebounds, and has hit on 68.8 percent of his field goals (64-of-93).
  • Tech now has four players averaging double digits in ACC games – Miles Kelly (15.9 ppg), Baye Ndongo (15.3), Kowacie Reeves, Jr. (12.6) and Naithan George (10.6).

Freshman Baye Ndongo (11) made 6-of-7 shots from the floor and scored 15 points. (photo by Danny Karnik)

 

Game Highlights

Post-Game Press Conference

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