Georgia Tech’s offensive struggles highlighted their 77-54 loss to North Carolina on Tuesday night.
Heading into Tuesday night’s game against North Carolina, we laid out our three keys to victory for Georgia Tech. They were as follows; win or keep the rebounding battle close, limit turnovers, and shoot well from three-point range.
While the Jackets did the first two rather well for the majority of the game, they struggled with perhaps the biggest of the three keys. Shooting well from beyond the arch. But in reality, it wasn’t just from beyond the arch they struggled, they struggled from everywhere. All that and more helped lead to Georgia Tech’s 77-54 loss at McCamish Pavillion on Tuesday night.
From the start, you could tell the Yellow Jackets were going to struggle hitting threes and pretty much anything in the game and eventually it would burn them. While they were able to keep the game rather close for most of the first half, North Carolina took off in the second half and there was no looking back at the Jackets for the Tar Heels.
A 31-24 game at halftime quickly turned into a nearly 30-point lead for the Tar Heels in the second half, one time outscoring the Yellow Jackets 25-5. The second half would ultimately be 46-30 in North Carolina’s favor.
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For the Jackets, their leading scorer for the second-straight game was Abdoulaye Gueye who finished the night with 14 points in the loss. Gueye also turned in four blocks on the night, leading both teams in that category. Freshman guard Michael Devoe contributed 9 points in the effort while James Banks had 7 points of his own. Jose Alvarado and Curtis Haywood both struggled mightily in the 77-54 loss, shooting a combined 4-for-19 on the night. The Jackets desperately needed more out of Alvarado but for the second straight game he had one of his poorer efforts on the season. While some teams could get by with an off night or two from their best player, the Jackets are not in that position right now.
Overall as a team, the Jackets shot a dismal 35% for the game, including 12.5% from beyond the arch (2-for-16). When compared to North Carolina’s 47.5% overall shooting percentage and their 48.1% (13-for-27) from beyond the arch, it’s easy to see why the Tar Heels ran away with this game in the second half.
The poor shooting effort does not do the Jackets justice for their efforts on the boards or in playing rather smart basketball. The Jackets going up against one of the best rebounding teams in the country ended up being outrebounded by just five on the night which has to be considered a win on the boards. The Jackets did turn the ball over 16 times in the game but they also had a part in forcing 15 North Carolina turnovers.
With the loss, the Yellow Jackets fall to 11-10 on the season overall and 3-5 in conference play. Their next matchup is set for Saturday at noon against No.25 Florida State in Tallahassee. The Seminoles will enter the game with a 15-5 record overall but a 3-4 record in conference play. After losing to Duke, Pittsburgh, and Boston College to start their conference schedule, they’ve won each of their last two games against Clemson and Miami.