Coming off a weekend loss to #22 Florida State in which the Jackets kept pace with the Seminoles but let the game slip away late, Georgia Tech came home to face conference foe Clemson, who had won two straight before arriving at McCamish Pavilion. But alas, Tech couldn’t get anything going offensively and once again found themselves on the wrong side of a 20+ point margin of victory, losing 65-42 to the Tigers and slipping to under .500 on the season (and 3-7 in the ACC).
The Yellow Jackets only trailed 33-24 at halftime before the Tigers found their groove shooting-wise in the second half. Clemson defended the perimeter well and forced Tech into bad low-percentage shots the whole game, but was able to collapse in the paint when Abdoulaye Gueye or James Banks III got the ball down low. Tech’s defense was, as per usual, its strong suit in this game, but the Jackets struggled to rebound defensively, collecting only 18 defensive rebounds to Clemson’s 28. Clemson also had the advantage in the turnover margin, forcing 16 Tech turnovers to the Tigers’ 12.
Like in some previous ACC games, Tech’s offense looked anemic, barely managing to shoot 30% from the field and from three-point range (they shot 30.2% from the field and 33.3% from three). James Banks III led the Jackets with 13 points and 8 rebounds, going three-for-nine from the field. Jose Alvarado had another uncharacteristically quiet night, putting up only three points in his 28 minutes the court. Brandon Alston played well and converted some wacky shots, posting 11 points in his 22 minutes tonight.
For Clemson, Marquise Reed was the star once again, leading all players with 19 points and two assists. David Skara and Aamir Sims each added 13 points in their 30+ minute performances. As a team, Clemson shot 49.1% from the field, along with 35.3% from three-point range.
Georgia Tech (11-12, 3-7 ACC): @ Notre Dame (12-11, 2-8 ACC) - Sunday 2/10, 6pm
Clemson (14-8, 4-5 ACC): @ #11 VT (18-4, 7-3 ACC) - Saturday 2/9, 12pm