The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets couldn’t hold onto a one point first half lead and fell to the Virginia Tech Hokies on Wednesday night in a heartbreaking 62-61 fan.
In the end on Wednesday, Georgia Tech just didn’t have enough. Despite scoring 12 of the first 16 points on Wednesday, the Yellow Jackets troubles down the stretch allowed the Virginia Tech Hokies to pull out a thrilling 62-61 win.
Despite a stellar offensive performance from Quinton Stephens and a stellar defensive effort from Ben Lammers, the Yellow Jackets couldn’t contain the Hokies’ Zach LeDay and Seth Allen in the second half.
Stephens on Wednesday played all 40 minutes and collected his fourth double-double of the season. In total, Stephens collected 18 points and 13 rebounds to go along with three assists. Lammers had quite the day himself having a one man block party, collecting eight total including six in the first half alone. Lammers also finished Wednesday’s game with 12 points.
That being said both Zach LeDay and Seth Allen had tremendous performances themselves. Both LeDay and Seth Allen came off the bench for the Hokies on Wednesday and scored 17 points each. Out of their 34 combined points, the two seniors scored 24 of those points in the second half. Which made up 70% of the Hokies second half points, with the inability to stop LeDay and Allen, the Yellow Jackets failed to make a late second half run to try to take control of the game.
For the Yellow Jackets, the loss is a tough one to swallow after finding success early in the game. In the end, the loss could be pinned on a few key aspects of the game. The first key aspect that the Yellow Jackets struggled on was free throws. While only missing six of 15 attempts, the Yellow Jackets had four of those misses come in the second half.
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The second major aspect was the Yellow Jackets appeared to lose a little focus in the second half. In the second half, the Yellow Jackets were responsible for five turnovers as well as eight personal fouls, with five coming before the final two minutes. In the end however, the Yellow Jackets six missed free throws most likely cost them the game especially when only getting 15 attempts.
The one thing that did come out of Wednesday’s game despite the loss was that the Yellow Jackets proved once again to be a tough team to beat. Despite being a young team an have a lack of scoring talent outside their starters, the Yellow Jackets are 3-3 in conference play and could very well be 4-2. Outside their loss to Duke, the Yellow Jackets have been highly competitive in every conference game including their 15 point loss to Louisville which only got out of hand late in the second half.
There are two other positives for the Yellow Jackets going forward as well. The first major positive is they didn’t turnover the ball all that much. While they did have some costly second half turnovers, the Yellow Jackets only had ten turnovers in the game, only one being a Virginia Tech steal however.
The second major positive is they were successful from beyond the arch again. For a team that once struggled mightily from beyond the arch, the Yellow Jackets have found their stroke of late. On Wednesday, they shot 42.9% from three, with Quinton Stephens providing four of their six threes. While it isn’t as high as Josh Pastner would like, it is a continuous improvement of where it was earlier this season.
Both of these aspects of the game has been trending positives for the Yellow Jackets of late and if they can continue to play at this high of a level (for their talent), they will continue to be a tough team to beat in the ACC.
Four Yellow Jackets in total ended up with double digit points on Wednesday as Josh Okogie scored 12 points while Josh Heath collected 10 points himself to go along with Stephens’ 18 and Lammers’ 12.
The 62-61 heartbreaker drops the Yellow Jackets to 11-7 overall this season and a 3-3 conference record. The Yellow Jackets are now off until Saturday when they take on ACC powerhouse Virginia in Charlottesville. Tip-off is currently set for 2:00 pm. The Cavaliers currently sit at 14-3 overall and 4-2 in conference play.