Jan. 14, 2012
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ATLANTA – Lifted by a strong performance in its first Atlantic Coast Conference win Wednesday at NC State, Georgia Tech completes a two-game road swing Sunday with a 4 p.m. regionally televised contest at Maryland.
The Yellow Jackets look to break above .500 overall and in conference play in a game that can be seen on the ACC Network (WXIA-TV, 11 Allive 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 Maryland broadcast can be heard nationally on Sirius/XM satellite radio channel 91.
Tech (8-8, 1-1 ACC), in its first year under head coach Brian Gregory, earned its first ACC victory for Gregory on the road Wednesday with an 82-71 win at NC State. The win snapped a four-game losing streak and improved the Yellow Jackets’ record on opponents’ home floors this season to 3-2.
Maryland (11-4, 1-1 ACC) defeated Wake Forest, 70-64, Wednesday at home and has won eight of its last nine games. The Terrapins’ only loss in that span was a 79-74 defeat at NC State Sunday, the team’s first true road game of the season.
The teams have one other common opponent, Alabama. Tech lost by 25 to the Crimson Tide, and Maryland lost by 20.
Following Sunday’s game, Tech comes home to host Virginia Thursday night at Philips Arena, then visits Clemson two days later.
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 +6.6 edge in rebounding for the season and has won that battle in 12 of 16 games, including both ACC games.
The Yellow Jackets rank third in the ACC in field goal percentage defense (38.5 pct.) and in fifth in scoring defense (61.9 ppg). Tech has held 10 of its 16 opponents under 40 percent from the field, and have held eight teams under 60 points.
Offensively, Tech is averaging 64.6 points a game, ninth in the ACC, and hitting 45.8 percent of its field goal tries (5th). The Yellow Jackets have shot 50 percent or better from the floor seven times, and are at an even 50 percent combined in their two conference games.
Maryland averages 69.7 points per game (6th in the ACC) and is hitting 43.6 of its field goal tries (10th), while the Terrapins rank 9th in scoring defense (68.5) and 11th in field goal defense (43.3 pct.).
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 14.4 points per game (10th in the ACC) and grabbing 6.8 rebounds per game (9th). Mfon Udofia, a 6-2 junior from Stone Mountain, Ga., averages 11.2 points per game.
Both players are off to great starts in conference play. Rice has averaged 25.0 ppg in two ACC games while hitting 17-of-27 shots from the floor (63 pct.), while Udofia has averaged 18.0 ppg while hitting 11-of-17 FG (64.7 pct.).
6-5 sophomore Jason Morris also has reached double figures in each conference game, averaging 10.5 ppg (8-18 FG).
6-11 sophomore center Daniel Miller ranks 8th in the ACC in rebounding (6.8 pg) and 2nd in blocked shots (2.8 pg).
6-8 sophomore forward Kammeon Holsey is hitting 64.4 percent of his shots from the floor, but has not taken enough shots to be listed in the ACC rankings.
Tech and Maryland History
Georgia Tech snapped a nine-game losing streak in the series with its 69-64 win over the Terrapins in the 2010 ACC Tournament, but Maryland has won 10 of the last 11 in the series to pull ahead of Georgia Tech all-time. The Terrapins defeated the Jackets, 74-63, in Atlanta on Jan. 30 of last season.
Still, Tech’s 34-34 record against Maryland since 1979-80 is its best mark against any ACC team since the Jackets joined the league.
Tech was 5-14 against Maryland under head coach Paul Hewitt, 1-8 at College Park. Tech was 17-26 vs. Gary Williams-coached Maryland teams.
Twelve of the 18 games between Tech and Maryland since 2001 have been decided by 10 points or fewer.
Tech was 17-11 against Maryland in Alexander Memorial Coliseum, and is 19-11 in games played in Atlanta. The Terps won their last four games at the Thrillerdome. They were 12-6 against Tech in Atlanta under Gary Williams, and 5-3 in the last eight meetings.
Percentage-wise and in terms of the number of wins, Tech’s 11-23 road record vs. Maryland is the second-best it has against any team in the ACC. The Jackets are 1-6 in the Comcast Center, but were 10-17 at Cole Field House.
The Terrapins were Tech’s first-ever ACC road win, by a 45-43 decision on Dec. 23, 1982.
Maryland won the first nine games of the series, but Tech turned the tables under head coach Bobby Cremins, winning 28 of 35 meetings (including 10 in a row at one point) through the 1995-96 season. The Terps won the next seven in a row before Cremins’ last Tech Jacket team won 69-68 at home on Jan. 15, 2000.