Dec. 16, 2008
Georgia Tech continues a stretch of four games in nine days Wednesday night by hosting cross-town foe Georgia State in a non-televised game at 7:30 p.m. at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. It is the Yellow Jackets’ final home game before taking a trip to California to play Pepperdine and Southern California.
Tickets for the game are $20 and can be purchased at the gate beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday’s game is not televised, but can be heard on the Georgia Tech/ISP Radio Network, including flagship station WQXI-AM (790), as well as WREK-FM (91.1) and WTSH-FM (107.1) in the Atlanta area. Nationally, the Tech broadcast can be heard on XM Satellite Radio Ch. 193.
Tech (5-2) has lost two of its last three games, both at home, after dropping a 66-60 decision to UIC Sunday following a seven-day layoff for exams. The Jackets also lost to Penn State, 85-83, on Dec. 3 and defeated Vanderbilt, 63-51, on Dec. 6.
Georgia State (3-6) has lost four of five games heading into Wednesday’s contest, falling at home Saturday to Florida State, 62-57. The Panthers have lost two close games against members of the power conferences, losing also at Minnesota, 60-52, on Nov. 16.
Tech is 161-13 against non-conference foes at Alexander Memorial Coliseum since the beginning of the 1981-82 season, including a Dec. 3 loss to Penn State and Sunday’s loss to UIC. Penn State and UIC have each won twice at the Thrillerdome during that span of time.
Senior guard Lewis Clinch will dress and play for the Yellow Jackets Wednesday night after being academically ineligible for fall semester and missing the first seven games. Sophomore point guard Moe Miller will not play due to a mild concussion and a nasal fracture suffered in Sunday’s loss to UIC, and Clinch will likely start in his place. That Clinch makes his 2008-09 debut in this game is notable because he has averaged 21 points and was a key player in the previous two meetings against Georgia State. More details below.
Series With Georgia State
> Wednesday’s game begins three-game series with Georgia State in which the teams will meet at GSU’s Arena next year and return to Alexander Memorial Coliseum the following season. Tech won both games in a two-game contract completed last year.
> Tech has won the last 13 meetings between the cross-town foes and leads the overall series, 16-2. That includes a 15-1 mark at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. The Jackets won the last meeting on Tech’s home court, 103-74, on Nov. 16, 2006. The Panthers’ only win at AMC was a 77-73 triumph on Mar. 10, 1973.
> Tech rallied from an 8-point, second-half deficit to capture a 72-67 win last season at GSU. Lewis Clinch led the way with 22 points, while Zachery Peacock added 17. Gani Lawal made his first career start (8 points, 2 rebounds in 14 minutes) in that game.
Last Two Meetings
Dec. 5, 2007 at GSU Arena – Lewis Clinch scored 22 points and Georgia Tech rallied in the second half to beat Georgia State, 72-67 at the GSU Sports Arena. The Yellow Jackets trailed the Panthers 40-32 after going nearly five minutes without a point to start the second half.
But Georgia State couldn’t hold on. Clinch hit a jumper in the lane with 6:02 remaining to cap a 13-5 run that gave the Yellow Jackets their first lead of the second half, 58-56.
Leonard Mendez, who led the Panthers with 20 points, made two free throws to tie it up again, but Zachery Peacock scored on the inside after setting a big pick near midcourt. Georgia Tech led the rest of the way.
Clinch wrapped it up at the foul line, hitting a pair of free throws with 3.7 seconds remaining to finish off the Panthers. Peacock added 17 points for Georgia Tech.
Nov. 16, 2006 at Alexander Memorial Coliseum – Freshman Thaddeus Young scored 19 points and classmate Javaris Crittenton had 18 as No. 23 Georgia Tech overwhelmed Georgia State 103-74. Lewis Clinch, a sophomore, led Georgia Tech with 20 points, but Young and Crittenton combined to make 8 of 9 3-pointers.
Georgia Tech made 13 of 24 3-pointers to easily win the first game between the Atlanta schools in 13 years. With 10 players each logging at least 10 minutes, Hewitt took advantage of his team’s depth to put the game away in the first half with constant full-court pressure defense.
Georgia State (0-2) led 8-5 before Tech took command with a 19-0 run. Crittenton hit two 3-pointers and scored 11 points in the run.
Crittenton scored all of his 18 points in the first half, going 7-for-7 from the field. He hit three 3-pointers as the Yellow Jackets were 8-for-13 from behind the arc while building a 58-30 halftime lead.
Quick Look at Tech
Head coach Paul Hewitt’s regular starting lineup in the early going has included sophomore Moe Miller and freshman Iman Shumpert at guard, with junior Zachery Peacock, senior Alade Aminu and sophomore Gani Lawal along the front line.
Miller, however, has missed two starts due to a mild concussion suffered in the Mercer game, and will miss Wednesday night’s game due to another concussion and a nasal fracture sustained in Sunday’s game with UIC.
Unlike those two games, when sophomore Lance Storrs started in his place, Lewis Clinch will likely start Wednesday night’s game. He will make his first appearance of the season after missing the first seven games due to academic ineligibility.
Tech has been led this season by post players Lawal and Aminu, who rank 1-2 on the team in scoring (18.6 and 13.7 ppg, respectively) and rebounding (10.3 and 9.1 pg). The two players also rank in the ACC’s top five in field goal percentage, combining to make 57.8 percent of their shots from the floor.
With senior D’Andre Bell (spinal stenosis) out for the season and Clinch out for the first seven games, Peacock has being asked to utilize his outside shooting and defensive abilities at the small forward spot. He averages 11.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.
Shumpert has made his mark as one of the top freshmen in the ACC, averaging 11.9 points and 5.6 assists while also leading the Jackets in minutes (33.0 pg).
Storrs (5.9 ppg, 47.4 pct. from three-point range) and freshman walk-on Nick Foreman (2.7 ppg) have been key reserves in the backcourt, Storrs for his shooting ability and Foreman for his defense. Brad Sheehan, a 7-foot sophomore averaging 3.6 points and 2.1 rebounds, is averaging 13 minutes a game off the bench in the post.
> Four of Tech’s seven games have been decided by six points or fewer, one of them in overtime.
> After averaging 82 points in the first five games (and scoring at least 74 in each game), Tech has averaged just 61.5 in the last two.
> Similarly, Tech has shot just 38.5 percent from the floor its last two games after hitting 49.1 percent in the first five.
> Moe Miller is 0-for-21 this season from three-point range. The rest of the team has made 40 percent from that distance.
> Tech is sixth in the ACC in field goal percentage defense (38.7 pct.). The Jackets were last in 2007-08 (45.2 pct.). Tech has limited three opponents to 30.5 percent shooting or less overall, and three foes to less than 30 percent from three-point range.
> Tech players have achieved double-doubles nine times through seven games (seven in points and rebounds, two in points and assists). The Yellow Jackets produced only six double-doubles in 32 games last year.
> Tech had at least one player post a double-double in every game this year until UIC.
> Tech has attempted 11.6 three-point field goals per game. Its opponents have tried an average of 21.4 per game.
> Tech has a plus-3.0 turnover margin, fourth best in the ACC, and has forced an average of 17.6, which is fourth in the conference.
> Moe Miller (2.6-1) and Iman Shumpert have combined to post a 2.1-1 assist-turnover ratio. They rank 2-3 in the ACC in assist average.