Georgia Tech managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory on Wednesday evening, falling by a three-point margin to the No. 9 Virginia Tech Hokies at McCamish Pavilion.
Jose Alvarado led the Jackets with 20 points and 5 assists, while strong contributions from AD Gueye (12 points and 6 rebounds) and Brandon Alston (7 points and 3 rebounds) shored up the performance for Tech. Ahmed Hill led the Hokies with 15 points, including a late burst to guide his team to victory.
A Michael Devoe layup started the scoring but was quickly cancelled out by an 11-0 Hokies run. When hope was fading at 11-2 Virginia Tech, Jose Alvarado did what Jose Alvarado does best: spontaneously explode for 17 points in the remaining 12 minutes of the first half. Competing with the likes of Justin Robinson and Nickeil Alexander-Walker really worked wonders for the sophomore guard, who guided the Jackets back to a manageable 5-point halftime deficit at 29-24 Hokies. Virginia Tech managed just two field goals in the final 6:51 of first-half play.
The second half started off just about as shaky as the first, with Hokie guard Justin “charge magnet” Robinson continuing to cause issues for the Jackets. Georgia Tech would go down by double figures before fighting all the way back, eventually tying the game at 47-47 on an AD Gueye three-pointer with a shade under four minutes to go. It was just ludicrous enough to get a chuckle out of Paul Johnson, who was sitting courtside and probably sipping a retirement margarita.
Things remained close from there, with the score sitting at 50-49 Virginia Tech with just 24 seconds left in the contest. The Hokies went 1-for-2 at the line to make it 51-49 leading into the final Tech possession, which turned into the team’s 17th turnover of the game on a Brandon Alston miscue with 3.4 seconds left. The Hokies hit 1-of-2 again, giving Tech a shot with 1.8 seconds left down by 3, but a violation on the in-bound by AD Gueye sealed the game.
The final score from Atlanta: No. 9 Virginia Tech 52, Georgia Tech 49. The Jackets will be back in action on Saturday when they take on Syracuse at the Carrier Dome.