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Georgia Tech Falls to Houston 70-59

Georgia Tech drops the semifinal game in the Diamond Head Classic...

NCAA Basketball: Georgia Tech at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Jackets fell on Monday evening to Houston in a game that they needed to boost their resume. Georgia Tech had a lackluster start to the game, missing their first 4 shots and going 1 for 4 from the free throw line. This resulted in an early 10-1 deficit, which had the Jackets digging out of a hole the entire game. From the 16 minute mark to 3:29 left in the first half, the effort, intensity, ball movement, and defense were back at the levels that were seen in the second half against Boise St. Unfortunately, the Jackets had a lapse to close the half, which saw the Houston lead balloon from 4 to 11. In the final 3:29, Georgia Tech allowed 13 points, many of which were easy layups. Kansas transfer guard, Quentin Grimes, lit up the Jackets for 23 points on 9 for 10 shooting in the first half. Allowing a player to score at will that easily is not a recipe for winning games.

The second half was much better from a defensive standpoint. The Jackets held Houston to 7 for 23 (30%) from the the field and forced 11 turnovers. In addition, Grimes was limited to just 3 points on 1 for 5 shooting. The adjustment to a 1-3-1 zone and on some possessions putting a pesky defender (Jose Alvarado) on Grimes to give him no room to operate proved effective. The defense certainly played well enough in the second half to secure a comeback win, but the offense did not follow suit. The offense could not find its rhythm and were unable to take advantage of Houston’s scoring droughts caused by great defense. The Jackets were also done in by the 16 offensive rebounds they allowed. To Houston’s credit, it is a fantastic offensive rebounding team (#5 in the country at 14.82 per game), but Georgia Tech was unable to prevent the Cougars from getting second chance opportunities.

Game Nuggets

  • Moses Wright
    Wright turned in another stellar performance, finishing with 19 points and 10 rebounds on 7 for 15 shooting. His play carried the Jackets offensively, especially in the first half. Wright’s effort was also something to be commended as he turned in 4 offensive rebounds for the game. However, the stat that I am most proud of from Moses is his free throw shooting: 5 of 6 from the line. His development is certainly worth commending Coach Rev and something Yellow Jacket fans should monitor going forward
  • Bench Scoring
    It was not a great performance from the bench last night as they scored ZERO points on 0-8 shooting. Georgia Tech needs Bubba Parham to give them a spark off the bench now that Jose is fully healthy.
  • Free Throw Shooting and Turnovers
    Well if you told me that the Jackets were 16 for 22 (73%) from the line and committed single digit turnovers, I wouldn’t hesitate saying that we won the game. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case as rebounding and poor shooting from the field did the Jackets in.
  • Three Point Shooting
    This continues to be an issue for Georgia Tech as they are DESPERATE for someone other than Michael Devoe to really contribute from long range. Devoe was 2 for 3 on the night but the rest of the Jackets were 1 for 12 from distance. Shooting 20% from beyond the arc just isn’t going to cut it...
  • James Banks
    He’s in a funk. There’s no other way around it. I’m not sure if the issue is a nagging injury, just mentally being checked out, or just a drawn out slump, but the Jackets really need him to regain his form. The hope is that it is just a slump and Banks can be someone Georgia Tech can lean on in ACC play. However, with Moses playing so well, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him chip into Banks’s minutes and be the lone big on the floor at times.

Georgia Tech will face Hawaii in the 3rd place game of the Diamond Head Classic on Wednesday December 25th (Christmas Day) at 6:30pm.