Coach Josh Pastner was frustrated on Friday night when Georgia Tech struggled to the finish line against Florida A&M. While they did win, it wasn’t the dominant effort against an overmatched opponent that they were hoping for. Today, they had the same opportunity against lowly Delaware State and and pummeled the Hornets into submission, ultimately winning by 28. Jose Alvarado matched a career high 29 points and Tech used a 31-5 run to put the game away about midway through the second half.
While the result is nothing the celebrate for the Jackets, the fact that they were able to put some distance between them and a team - even one that came into the game ranked dead last in KenPom’s rankings - for the first time this season means something and should give them some confidence. Too much of this early season we’ve seen the version of Tech that plays to the level of its opponent.
For the first 25 minutes of play it was much of that same team, as Tech held a healthy lead throughout but looked uninspired and sloppy on the defensive end to keep Delaware State within striking distance. Then the big run came which was characterized by takeaways leading to easy buckets and allowed Tech’s lead to expand quickly. Turnovers really were the story overall for the Hornets and undid any chance they had to pull the upset. They finished with 20 on the night and many of them were unforced errors. Myles Carter spurred a productive bench effort for them, finishing with 17 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists to lead the team in all departments.
Tech had their way for the most part on the offensive end getting double figure scoring from Alvarado as well as Moses Wright (16), Jordan Usher (10) and the ever improving Khalid Moore (11). Usher was the ultimate swiss army knife tonight, adding 5 rebounds, 4 steals and 6 assists. As a whole I thought the team moved the ball well tonight. More importantly they did it efficiently with 25 assists to just 9 turnovers.
The blowout allowed coach Pastner to expand his bench a bit as we got another look at both Saba Gigiberia and Rodney Howard. Both were productive in 10 minutes with Howard scoring 7 points and Saba using his 7 foot frame to grab 6 boards. Freshman Tristan Maxwell also saw his first action in a Tech uniform, scoring 3 points in 8 minutes.
Next up for Tech is a game against UAB before hitting full fledged conference play. The Blazers have been good so far this year and Tech will need to come out focused on Wednesday night.