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Tech and Penn State Face Off in the Big Apple

GEORGIA TECH (5-3, 1-0 ACC) vs. PENN STATE (5-5, 1-1 Big Ten)


 

THE FLATS – Back on the winning track as it begins a long stretch of games away from home, Georgia Tech travels to New York City to take on Penn State of the Big Ten Conference at 12 p.m. Saturday in Madison Square Garden.

Tech (5-3) returns to action after a week off for fall semester final exams, having defeated Alabama A&M, 70-49, last Saturday at home. The Yellow Jackets have won three of their last four games, having also knocked off No. 21 Mississippi State, 67-59, in the ACC/SEC Challenge and No. 7 Duke, 72-68, in its Atlantic Coast Conference opener.

Penn State (5-5) also has had a week off after its 83-80 Big Ten Conference victory at home over Ohio State last Saturday, which snapped a five-game losing streak. The Nittany Lions started their season with four straight wins, then lost three times in the ESPN Events Invitational and its Big Ten opener against Maryland.

Saturday’s game will be televised live on the Big Ten Network with a live stream available on FoxSports.com. Radio coverage is on the Georgia Tech Sports Network by Legends Sports and flagship station 680 the Fan (680 AM/93.7 FM). The Tech broadcast is also available on the SiriusXM app and SiriusXM channel 106 or 193.

THE TIP-OFF

  • Tech is playing a game at Madison Square Garden for the first time since 2017 post-season National Invitation Tournament, in which the Yellow Jackets knocked Cal Bakersfield in the semifinals and lost to TCU in the championship game. The Yellow Jackets are 18-8 all-time in the arena.
  • Tech does not play at home again until Jan. 6 vs. Boston College. That’s 27 calendar days between home games, the most for the Jackets since the 1986-87 season, when they went 43 calendar days between home games (Dec. 1 vs. Penn to Jan. 14 vs. North Carolina A&T). Tech plays its next four games away from Atlanta, traveling to New York Dec. 16 to play Penn State at Madison Square Garden, and Honolulu, Hawai’i to compete in the Diamond Head Classic, Dec. 21-24. After the New Year, Tech goes to Tallahassee to resume its ACC schedule Jan. 3 at Florida State.
  • The Penn State game concludes a stretch of five games out of six against power conference foes – Cincinnati (Nov. 22), Mississippi State (Nov. 28), Duke (Dec. 2) and Georgia (Dec. 5), Penn State (Dec. 16).
  • Tech is guaranteed to face five non-conference opponents that won 20 or more games in the 2022-23 season, including four that played in the post-season. Mississippi State (21-13), Penn State (23-14) and Howard (22-13) all played in the NCAA Tournament last season, while Cincinnati (23-13), a new member of the Big 12, reached the quarterfinals of the NIT. UMass Lowell (26-8) finished second in the America East Conference. The Yellow Jackets potentially could play two more 20-win teams in the Diamond Head Classic, with a possible game against Hawai’i (21-11) in the second round and TCU (22-13) in the final round.
  • Tech has yet to play a game with its full complement of 13 scholarship players due to injury. Senior guard Lance Terry, Tech’s second-leading scorer last season, has been sidelined the entire season, while freshman forward Baye Ndongo missed the first three games.
  • Tech has started two freshmen – forward Baye Ndongo and point guard Naithan George – in its last four games. The Jackets have not had two freshmen in its regular starting lineup since the 2018-19 season (Michael Devoe, Khalid Moore), and have not had a freshman regularly start at point guard since Jose Alvarado in 2017-18.

Kowacie Reeves, Jr., has scored in double figures in six of eight games. (photo by Zach Zunt)

 

SERIES VS. PENN STATE

  • Penn State has won three of four games in the series with Georgia Tech, which began in 1998 with the Nittany Lions capturing a 75-70 victory over the Jackets in Atlanta in the third round of the National Invitation Tournament, preventing Tech from advancing to the final rounds at Madison Square Garden.
  • That game ended the career of one of Tech’s all-time great players, Matt Harpring, whose No. 15 jersey was retired after he scored 2,225 points in his career. He went on to play 11 seasons in the NBA.
  • The most recent three meetings were all part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Tech and Penn State split two meetings in Atlanta, winning 77-73 in 2006 and dropping an 85-83 game in 2008.
  • The most recent meeting came in 2016 in State College, a game won by the Nittany Lions, 67-60. The Jackets’ leading scorer in that game was Josh Okogie (13 points), now a member of the Phoenix Suns in his sixth NBA season.
  • Tech was 9-12 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and has a 60-80 record all-time vs. the current members of the Big Ten.

TECH AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN

Georgia Tech and Penn State will be the Yellow Jacket’s 27th game all-time at Madison Square Garden, and the first since Tech lost to TCU in the championship game of the National Invitation Tournament in 2016.

Tech is 18-8 all-time in the Garden, with all but four of those meetings having been a part of either the NIT, the pre-season NIT or the ECAC Holiday Festival.

Tech reached the championship game of two NITs, losing to North Carolina in 1971 and TCU in 2016. The Jackets did win a pre-season NIT at the Garden, knocking off top-ranked Connecticut in the semifinals and No. 25 Texas Tech in the championship game.

Tech captured one ECAC Holiday Festival crown, defeating Temple and St. John’s in 1993.

St. John’s has been Tech’s most frequent opponent at the Garden, with four meetings.

Miles Kelly ranked 8th in the ACC in scoring and 13th in rebound average. (photo by Zach Zunt)

 


Competitive Drive Initiative Turn 2

Looking to build on the success of last year’s Competitive Drive Initiative, Georgia Tech, the Georgia Tech Foundation and Georgia Tech athletics are partnering once again for Competitive Drive Initiative Turn 2. Initially launched on Nov. 7, CDI Turn 2 has reached its initial goal of raising $2.5 million in new gifts to the Alexander-Tharpe Fund’s Athletic Scholarship Fund and has a new goal of raising $3 million in new gifts to the A-T Fund by Dec. 31. Georgia Tech and the Georgia Tech Foundation will match eligible gifts to accelerate the impact for Tech athletics and, like last year, not only will gifts to CDI Turn 2 be matched, but so will the contributor’s benefits in the way of A-T Fund giving levels and priority points. To learn more and contribute online, visit atfund.org/turn2.

ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL

Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is in its first year under head coach Damon Stoudamire. Tech has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won four ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993, 2021), played in the NCAA Tournament 17 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004). Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball on social media by liking their Facebook Page, or following on Twitter (@GTMBB) and Instagram. For more information on Tech basketball, visit Ramblinwreck.com.

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