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Ugly Offensive Night Dooms Jackets in 64-48 Loss to #2 Virginia

NCAA Basketball: Virginia at Georgia Tech Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

A packed McCamish Pavilion was not enough to lift Georgia Tech over #2 Virginia Thursday night, as the Jackets fell 64-48. The Cavaliers, who boast the nations top defense, held Tech to just 41% shooting. The loss comes on the heels of four consecutive wins for the Jackets after a 6-7 start to the season.

While the Virginia defense deserves all the credit in the world, the Jackets did themselves no favors, turning the ball over 18 times on the night. The 18 turnovers were Tech’s second highest total of the season, trailing only the Bethune Cookman game in which Tech turned the ball over 19 times. Taking care of the ball has been a problem for the Jackets all season. With tonight’s game included, Tech ranks outside the top 200 in the country in turnover percentage.

NCAA Basketball: Virginia at Georgia Tech Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Tadric Jackson was the only scoring option the Jackets had for much of the night. The senior guard was in double figures for the third consecutive game, scoring 14 points on 7-15 shooting. Jackson came off the bench and nearly outscored the entire starting lineup, who had just 25 points. Ben Lammers and Jose Alvarado combined to go 2-12.

The biggest point in the game might have occurred with under 30 seconds to go in the first half. A Curtis Haywood three pointer cut the UVA lead down to five and it looked like the Jackets would have some momentum going into halftime. However, on the other end of the floor, with just half a second left, De’Andre Hunter hit a corner three while being fouled. He went on to convert the four point play to put the Cavaliers back up nine going into the half. Coming out of the break, it was clear the Jackets had lost all momentum and were never really back in the game at any point after that.

The Haywood three pointer at the end of the half was one of three on the night for the freshman. As a team, Tech had a surprisingly strong night (5-11) from behind the line, in large part thanks to Haywood. This team desperately needs his shooting and his role should only continue to grow as the rest of the season moves on.

NCAA Basketball: Virginia at Georgia Tech Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Throughout the night, the Jackets had no answer for UVA freshman De’Andre Hunter, who in conference play has seen both his minutes and scoring go up. He finished the game 7-9 shooting for 17 points , his second highest scoring output of the season. Hunter displayed a wide range of skills and played with high intensity all night, pulling in four offensive rebounds. As a team, the Cavaliers scored eight second chance points on 10 offensive rebounds.

Both teams do a great job not fouling and it showed tonight, as Tech attempted just 14 free throws and UVA attempted just nine. The Jackets only made nine of those 14 and while five missed free throws hardly cost them the game, it continued a trend of poor performances in that area. In ACC play, the Jackets are shooting just 65%, which puts them second to last in the conference.

The Jackets attention now turns towards UNC, the second game in a brutal four game gauntlet that also includes a road game against FSU and a home matchup with #20 Clemson.

NCAA Basketball: Virginia at Georgia Tech Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports