Jan. 18, 2012
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ATLANTA – Continuing a rugged early Atlantic Coast Conference schedule, Georgia Tech returns home to Philips Arena to host 15th-ranked (AP) Virginia in an 8 p.m. regionally televised game Thursday night.
It is the first of three games in a six-day stretch for the Yellow Jackets, who visit Clemson Saturday afternoon, then return home for a Tuesday night game against Miami. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the main box office or by calling 888-TECH-TIX.
Tech (8-9, 1-2 ACC) looks to even its overall record and its conference mark in a game that can be seen on the ACC Network (WATL-TV in Atlanta). The Tech radio broadcast can be heard in Atlanta on flagship station 790 the Zone (790 AM) and True Oldies 106.7 FM. The Tech broadcast can be heard nationally on XM satellite radio channel 190.
In its first year under head coach Brian Gregory, Tech has been competitive in each of its conference games thus far, capturing its first road game at NC State (82-71) last week while dropping tight affairs against No. 5 Duke (81-74) at home and Maryland (61-50) on the road. The Yellow Jackets have lost five of their last six games overall.
Virginia (14-2, 1-1 ACC) joined Duke and North Carolina in the national rankings by winning 12 straight games before dropping a 61-58 decision at Duke in its last outing last Thursday. The Cavaliers are 3-1 on the road, including a 13-point win at Oregon and a 5-point win at LSU, a team that defeated Tech by nine in November.
Tech, which is playing all of its 2011-12 conference games at Philips Arena, is looking for its first win in the building this season following losses to Northwestern, Alabama and Duke.
Tech’s primary goals this season have been to play solid team defense, win the rebounding battle, and be efficient on offense. The Yellow Jackets have allowed only five teams to score as many as 70 points and two to shoot 50 percent from the floor. Tech has a +6.1 edge in rebounding for the season (+5.0 in ACC games) and has won that battle in 12 of 17 games.
The Yellow Jackets rank No. 2 in the ACC in field goal percentage defense (38.2 pct.) and in fifth in scoring defense (61.8 ppg). Tech has held 11 of its 17 opponents under 40 percent from the field, and have held eight teams under 60 points.
Offensively, Tech is averaging 64.6 points a game, 10th in the ACC, and hitting 45.1 percent of its field goal tries (5th). The Yellow Jackets have shot 50 percent or better from the floor seven times, and are at 44.4 percent combined in their conference games.
Virginia brings one of the best defensive teams in the ACC and in the nation to Atlanta, giving up just 51.1 points per game to lead the conference and ranked No. 2 nationally, and 38.9 percent shooting from the floor (4th ACC, 29th nationally).
Whom to Watch
Two Yellow Jackets are averaging double figures in scoring, led by 6-5 junior Glen Rice, Jr., of Marietta, Ga., who is scoring 13.8 points and grabbing 6.6 rebounds per game (both 10th in the ACC). Mfon Udofia, a 6-2 junior from Stone Mountain, Ga., averages 10.3 points per game.
Both players are off to great starts in conference play. Rice has averaged 18.7 ppg while hitting 54.3 percent of his shots from the floor, while Udofia has averaged 13.3 ppg while hitting 52 percent.
6-5 sophomore Jason Morris also has reached double figures twice in three games, averaging 9.7 ppg.
6-11 sophomore center Daniel Miller ranks 9th in the ACC in rebounding (6.6 pg) and 2nd in blocked shots (2.8 pg).
6-8 sophomore forward Kammeon Holsey is hitting 63.9 percent of his shots from the floor, but has not taken enough shots to be listed in the ACC rankings.
Tech and Virginia History
Georgia Tech has won eight of the last 15, 12 of the last 20, and 19 of the last 29 meetings with Virginia. But Virginia has won the last four, including a sweep of the 2010-11 regular season series.
Virginia won the last three meetings between the two teams in Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Overall, Tech was 21-8 against the Cavaliers in Alexander Memorial Coliseum, is 22-10 on all home courts and 24-11 in games played in the city of Atlanta.
Since Tech joined the ACC, the Yellow Jackets are 36-32 against Virginia.
Tech has four wins in its last eight trips to Charlottesville, but is just 1-3 at John Paul Jones Arena. The Yellow Jackets were 10-16 against Virginia at University Hall, the Cavaliers’ former homecourt, Tech’s best winning percentage on an ACC foe’s home court.
Tech was 11-8 against Virginia under Paul Hewitt, including wins in all three meetings in Hewitt’s first season of 2000-01. Tony Bennett is 3-0 vs. Tech.
Tech and Virginia have played to overtime seven times since the 1983-84 season, including a 72-71 triple-overtime win for Tech in Atlanta on Jan. 23, 1984, and an 88-85 double-overtime triumph for Virginia in Charlottesville on Jan. 22, 1995.
In the ACC Tournament, Tech has won five of nine games, including a 70-61 Jacket victory in the 1990 final in Charlotte.