The Yellow Jackets overcame a slow start on Wednesday night to ultimately beat the visiting USC Upstate Spartans 79-63. The Jackets led by just one point with under two minutes to go in the opening half, but finished on a 9-2 run to take an eight point lead into the half. The Spartans went on some runs in the second half, but were never able to take the lead. The Tech lead hovered around 10 for most of the half before being stretched to a game high 18 points on a Curtis Haywood three pointer with 3:14 remaining in the game to put the Spartans away.
Michael Devoe was the story of the night for the Jackets, dropping a career high 14 points on 5-8 shooting. The game was another strong performance in a good string of games for Devoe, who continues to gain confidence as he adjusts to the college game. Evan Cole also had a career night, dropping 16 points, his highest total in a Yellow Jacket uniform. Cole was influential in putting the Spartans away, with 13 of his 16 points coming in the second half.
As a team, Tech shot 58% on the night, their highest total of the season. On the other side of the ball, it was another defensive clinic for the Yellow Jackets, who held USC Upstate to just 31% shooting.
The Jackets also had to overcome an injury to sophomore Jose Alvarado, who was hobbled most of the night. Despite the injury, Alvarado still managed to chip in 8 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists.
Georgia Tech kicks off ACC play on Saturday, welcoming Wake Forest to McCamish Pavilion for a 2pm ET tip.