A slow start turned into a dominating win on Saturday for Josh Pastner and the Yellow Jackets as they down Syracuse on the road 73-59 and move to 2-1 in conference play.
The first several minutes of Saturday night’s game between the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the Syracuse Orange was a snore fest for both teams with sloppy turnovers and missed opportunities galore. But as time went on, both team’s defenses took over as both teams settled in.
The Georgia Tech offense led by guard Jose Alverado (19 points and 3-3 from three-point land) and forward James Banks (16 points 60% from the field) shot 59.5% from the field and 6-12 or 50% from three-point range in the win. Georgia Tech gave up 22 turnovers in the game but held Syracuse to 31.6% from the floor and 21.2% from three-point range. They also forced Syracuse to turn the ball over 19 times.
After giving up a heartbreaking game earlier in the week to Virginia Tech the response from the team was a thundering ACC road win that showed off the potential of this team as ACC play heats up.
Coach Pastner has preached over and over that the “survivability” of this team will come through the defense. In his post game presser, he continued that theme as his team tries to climb the ranks in the ACC. The keys to the game according to him were “making three’s at key opportunities” and “defensive play” which in his mind is the true key for this team and their ability to win games. He embodies the things he preaches as he coached all night long using his entire body and body language to communicate his points to the team.
Georgia Tech has two massive road wins this season first at Arkansas and tonight at Syracuse. Road wins are hard to come by for any team but especially a team inside of the ACC and tonight shows that the ceiling for this season should maybe be a little higher than what we had predicted at the start of the season.
Next up the Jackets will play at Clemson (10-6, 0-3 ACC), Wednesday (1/16) at 9 p.m. The Tigers will enter the game with the exact record as the Yellow Jackets and will be looking for their first ACC win of the 2018-19 season. The Tigers struggled in their last game against Virginia, losing 64-43.