Georgia Tech Basketball: Jackets use quick start to down Pittsburgh 69-54

Georgia Tech basketball got off to a quick start on Saturday against Pittsburgh and never looked back from there.

On Saturday afternoon, the Georgia Tech men’s basketball team traveled to Pittsburgh to take on the Pittsburgh Panthers, one of the worst teams in the ACC. The Jackets needed a win to continue growing momentum as they head into a tough stretch of their ACC schedule.

The Jackets did what they needed to do on Saturday as they got the victory in a 69-54 win. That being said, the win could have been by even more as the Jackets were up 25-5 at one point in the first half. Jose Alvarado was the biggest component of that fast start, grabbing nine of his 10 points within the first ten minutes.

The Jackets would allow the Panthers to claw their way back into the game. At one point the Panthers were down just seven points in the first half. The Jackets would finish the first half with a 11-4 run to give themselves a 40-29 lead at the half.

The second half was much like the first, the Jackets getting themselves out to a 20+ point lead before letting Pittsburgh cut the deficit before finishing off the game with a strong run.

Abdoulaye Gueye had his best game of the season on Saturday, shooting 7-for-8 and collecting eight rebounds. That being said, he did experience foul trouble collecting five.

Josh Okogie and Tadric Jackson were their usual selves against the Panthers, scoring 12 and 13 points respectively. It was the ninth straight game with double-digit points for Okogie while Jackson has scored double digits in 12 of 14 games this season.

Jackson’s performance on Saturday was also a bounce-back effort for the senior guard after scoring just four and five points in the last two games.

For the Jackets, the win is a big one even if it is against a lower tier opponent. Over the course of the next two weeks, the Jackets face four ranked opponents in #3 Virginia, #20 North Carolina, #23 Florida State, and #19 Clemson.

It’s safe to say the Jackets next two weeks will decide their fate of the season. That being said, the win over Pittsburgh puts the Jackets at 3-1 in ACC play, the first time being two games over .500 since 2006, hat tip to Matt Thompson on Twitter for that.

With their three straight ACC victories and four straight overall, the Jackets have put themselves in a strong position. Even if they split their next four games, they’ll enter the last day of the month with a 5-3 ACC record.

While the road doesn’t get easy from there, the Jackets have put themselves in prime position early on to make a run at the NCAA Tournament.