Georgia Tech Basketball: Yellow Jackets are ‘So Near And Yet So Far’ in Loss to the Duke Blue Devils


“Same (blank), different (blank)”! (You can fill in the blanks anyway you choose.)

That is the scenario that played out for Brian Gregory and his Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (10-12, 1-9 ACC) when they suffered yet another near and yet so far loss to the No. 4 Duke Blue Devils (19-3, 6-3 ACC ) 72-66 in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets /

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Georgia Tech was able to hang in the first half because they were making shots.  They hit 53% of their shots from the field while holding Duke to 44% from the field and 27% from trey.

Tech also did a decent job in the first half of not letting Jahlil Okafor be the one to punish them. Instead Duke’s Justice Winslow and Matt Jones did.

The second half was much like the first half. Tech would get to within a point with Duke leading 57-56 with 7:18 left in the game, only to not get over the hump.

Tech played proper defense and hit enough shots. It just ended up making those couple mistakes that ended up costing the Jackets the game.

The crucial mistake happened with Duke up 67-63.

After a defensive stop with 39 seconds left in the game, Marcus Georges-Hunt tried to pass the ball up-court only to have it stolen by Matt Jones.

That steal pretty much sealed Georgia Tech’s fate after Quin Cook knocked down the two free throws that ensued after the turnover.

Feb 4, 2015; Durham, NC, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets head coach Brian Gregory reacts on the sidelines in their game against the Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

Tech was not able to get any closer than four after that.

Duke had a balanced attack that saw  four players finish in double-figures led by Quin Cook who had 17.

Duke’s phenomenal freshman showed up with Justise Winslow logging a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Jahlil Okafor dropping 14 points and eight rebounds on the ledger.

Chris Bolden played strong for the Jackets hitting 6 of 9 field goals including 4 of 6 from three-point land to collect his team high 16 points.

Marcus Georges-Hunt continued to play solidly finishing with 14 points and nine rebounds.

Demarco Cox did a decent job of keeping Jahlil Okafor honest finishing with 10 points and four rebounds.

Duke outrebounded the Jackets 36-29 in this game, and we all know getting outrebounded is a rarity this season.

The Jackets also out shot Duke from deep in this game hitting 8 of 11 from deep compared to the Blue Devils’ 5 of 18 from downtown.

More from Basketball

What is it going to take for the Jackets to be on the right side of one of these close games?

Every near victory has Tech fans having fantasies of pitchforks and torches. The Jackets’ Nation is not feeling to0 keen about these moral victories.

Maybe what is going to get the Jackets over the hump is the taste of sweet revenge.

Saturday at Noon the Yellow Jackets can grab sweet revenge by the throat against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons who beat Tech 76-69 in Winston-Salem last month.

There is really not much more that needs to be said. Fans want the same thing that the players and coaching staff want — results for their hard work.