Coming into play as one of the hottest teams in the nation with two consecutive top-15 wins, Georgia Tech failed to maintain its momentum with a 74-62 loss at Clemson on Wednesday night.
Perhaps the biggest run of the game came at the end of a second half that was mostly back-and-forth until the final minutes.
Ben Lammers layup with 1:38 remaining cut the Tigers lead to 25-24. In the final 1:11, Clemson took a 7-0 run into halftime to build an eight-point lead. Josh Okogie hit two free throws to start the second half that cut the lead to six, but the Jackets never got closer than that for the remainder of the game.
Clemson used a 23-8 run after Okogie’s free throws to open up a 21-point lead at 55-34 with 9:13 left in the game.
Trailing 64-45 with 6:49 remaining, Tech put together a little run of its own to get back in the game. Okogie’s and-one layup with 2:33 left cut the lead to single digits at 65-56, but he was unable to make the free throw. The Tigers immediately turned it over on their next possession, and Quenton Stephens made the transition and-one layup to cap off a 13-1 run that brought the Jackets within seven.
Tech had a few solid looks from the perimeter to make it a two-possession game late, but nothing fell, and Clemson was able to pull away for the 12-point victory.
Lammers carried the load offensively for most of the night. He finished with a career-high 25 points on 12-18 shooting. Tadric Jackson and Okogie added 12 points each, and Stephens had 11 to complete the Jackets in double figures. All five Clemson starters finished in double figures in a balanced night for the Tigers offense.
The Jackets shot a solid 44 percent from the field but only managed one three-pointer all night. Clemson was plus-12 from behind the arc. The Tigers also got to the line 12 more times than Tech, outrebounded the Jackets by two, and forced six more turnovers.
With the loss, Georgia Tech falls to 5-5 in conference play. The struggles on the road continued, as the Jackets are 1-4 in conference play on the road. Saturday’s matchup at Wake Forest will be a big opportunity to get a conference road win, something the committee will value as the Jackets attempt to boost their resume in the final weeks of the season.