Coach Brian Gregory had to love the extraordinary effort Georgia Tech put forth in this game. The Yellow Jackets did everything in their power to end this road trip undefeated, but in the end Tech fell short in overtime to the NC State Wolfpack, 80-78.
Tech got an awesome performance from Daniel Miller, who had a season high in points and rebounds with 21 points and 14 boards. Trae Golden strung together back-to-back strong outings with 18 points on 8 of 16 shooting to go along with six assists. Quinton Stephens was huge off the bench, especially in the first half where he scored 11 of his 13 points for the game.
The Jackets did win the rebound battle over the Wolfpack 41-31. Georgia Tech flat out did so many things right, but the one bugaboo that continues to bewilder the Jackets reared its ugly head again; they have a hard time handling zone defenses.
Tech went on a run that took their 40-35 halftime lead up to an 11 point margin, so NC State used a 2-3 zone in their half-court defense, and also applied full-court pressure after made free throws and buckets, to get back into the game.
It was then that Georgia Tech started to commit turnovers, and the Wolfpack capitalized. The game was sent into overtime when NC State’s Desmond Lee tipped a missed T.J. Warren shot in with 19 seconds left on the clock.
Warren was as good as advertised, going 7 of 12 from the field for 20 points. He was also helped by Ralston Turner’s 12 points and reserve point guard Tyler Lewis who chipped in 10 points off the bench on 4 of 6 shooting. This game ended up being the even matchup that was expected, with both teams making significant runs at certain points in the game. In the end NC State came out on top with a T.J. Warren bucket with five seconds left on the clock.
Coach Gregory’s squad has no reason to hang their heads after the effort that they put out in this game. It is going to be a tough ride back to Atlanta but they have a lot of positive things that they can build on from this road trip. After they get over the sting of this loss, they need to refocus and get ready for Wednesday night, because coach Roy Williams and his desperate North Carolina Tar Heels will be coming to McCamish Pavilion, looking to get out of the ACC basement.