Feb. 4, 2011
ATLANTA – Looking to begin the second half of its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule on a strong note, Georgia Tech returns home for the first of two conference games in the next week, hosting Clemson at 1 p.m. Saturday at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.
The Yellow Jackets (10-11, 3-5 ACC) are tied for eighth place with Virginia in the ACC standings, one game behind a pack of three teams, including Clemson, Maryland and Boston College, who are tied for fifth at 4-4. Tech has played well at home in the ACC, winning its three conference games there by an average of 23.3 points.
Tech won those games on the strength of its defense, which has limited North Carolina, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech to 51.3 points on average, 31-percent shooting from the floor and 5-of-38 from three-point range. Tech also has averaged 11.3 steals and forced an average 18 turnovers in those three games.
Head coach Paul Hewitt’s team, which returns two starters and eight letterwinners from a team that reached the championship game in last year’s ACC Tournament and won their first-round game in the NCAA Tournament, is one of the youngest in the ACC, with freshmen and sophomores making 71 of 105 possible starts and playing more than 70 percent of the minutes.
Clemson (15-7, 4-4 ACC) is tied for fifth place in the ACC with Maryland and Boston College following a 49-47 loss at Virginia Wednesday night. The Tiger have lost three of their last five games, all on the road, where they are 0-4 in conference play and 1-5 overall.
Saturday’s game is the second of two regular-season meetings between the two teams. The Tigers, one of two permanent home-and-home opponents for Tech in the ACC, won the first game this year, 87-62 on Jan. 12 in Clemson, S.C.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (10-11, 3-5 ACC) vs. Clemson Tigers (15-7, 4-4 ACC)
Date: Saturday, February 5, 2011
Tipoff: 1 p.m. Eastern time
Site: Alexander Memorial Coliseum (capacity 9,191), Atlanta, Ga.
Television: ACC Network – Mike Hogewood, play-by-play; Mike Gminski, color
Radio: Georgia Tech Sports Network from IMG College, live on flagship station WQXI-AM (790 the Zone) and WYAY-FM (106.7) – Wes Durham, play-by-play; Randy Waters, color.
Satellite Radio: Sirius Ch. 212; XM Ch. 190 (Tech broadcast)
Tech Tickets: 888-TECH-TIX or click here
Tech Record Breakdown: 8-3 at home, 0-7 on the road, 2-1 neutral
Series History: Tech leads, 59-58 (27-14 at Alexander Memorial Coliseum)
At Alexander Memorial Coliseum: Georgia Tech is 554-191 in its 54th and final season in the building.
Series History – Tech vs. Clemson
> This is the oldest and longest-running series the Yellow Jackets have with an ACC member. The 117 all-time meetings are 31 more than Tech has played with any other ACC member. The series dates back to the 1912-13 season, when John Heisman coached the Tech basketball team.
> Clemson is one of two permanent home-and-away opponents on Tech’s schedule each year (Wake Forest is the other) since the ACC expanded to 12 schools.
> Clemson has won eight of the last 11 meetings in the series, and the Yellow Jackets trail 35-31 to the Tigers since joining the ACC. Clemson won the first meeting this season, 87-62, on Jan. 12 in Clemson.
> Tech and Clemson have split their season series 20 times since the 1982-83 season, and there has been a home-team victory split 16 times. The home team has won 38 of the last 50 meetings.
> The Jackets have swept the season series from the Tigers three times under Paul Hewitt. Clemson has swept Tech twice in that time, and has done so only three times since the 1982-83 season.
> The Yellow Jackets have won 12 of the 22 games between the two teams since Paul Hewitt became Tech’s head coach, with a 7-3 record at home and a 4-7 mark at Clemson. Clemson head coach Brad Brownell is 1-0 vs. Tech.
> Tech has an all-time record of 40-20 against the Tigers at home, including 27-13 record at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. The Jackets have won 21 of 27 against the Tigers at home since 1983.
First Meeting – Tech at Clemson, Jan. 12
Jerai Grant had a career-high 20 points and Clemson won its eighth straight game, taking its snow-delayed contest with Georgia Tech 87-62 on Wednesday night.
Grant, the son of former Oklahoma standout Harvey, made nearly everything he shot and so did the Tigers (13-4, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who finished with their highest shooting percentage (69.2) against an ACC opponent in 57 years of league play.
Grant was 5 of 6 from the field and 10 of 12 from the line, surpassing his previous best of 19 set last month in a win over UNC Greensboro.
Clemson finished 27 of 39 from the field, including 9 of 9 on 3-pointers in the second half. It was that shooting touch that sunk Georgia Tech (7-8, 0-2). Mfon Udofia led the Yellow Jackets with 14 points.
Last Time Out – Furious Rally Falls Short in Loss at Miami
A frantic rally from a 20-point deficit early in the second half failed to pay dividends as Tech fell agonizingly short 59-57 to slip below .500 (10-11, 3-5 ACC).
The Hurricanes, reduced to panic by a frenzied full-court press after intermission, staved off the Jackets only after a charging foul was whistled against guard Iman Shumpert on a drive to the basket for what would have been a tying goal with 9.8 seconds remaining.
Miami built a 21-point lead with 13 1/2 minutes left, then held on despite making only two baskets the rest of the way. Sophomore Glen Rice Jr. scored a career-high 28 points for the Yellow Jackets.
The last of 28 Miami turnovers that fueled Tech’s comeback then allowed Shumpert a three-quarters-court heave for improbable victory at the buzzer. But the shot bounded off the top of the backboard.