Georgia Tech Basketball: Jackets end trip to Hawaii with victory over Rainbow Warriors

The Georgia Tech men’s basketball team finished off the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic tournament with a victory over the Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors.

The Georgia Tech men’s basketball team will be making the long trip back to Atlanta after picking up their second victory of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic Tournament. The Jackets on Christmas evening took on the hosting Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors and walked away with an impressive 70-53 victory.

The first half of Wednesday night’s Christmas game was a back-and-forth affair between the two teams looking to add a victory to their resume. The biggest lead in the half ended up being seven points in favor of Hawaii, 19-12. The Jackets didn’t play poor in the half by any means, shooting 13-for-27 in the first half. Hawaii in the half, just was a bit better and the Jackets found themselves trailing at halftime 32-29.

The second half was a much better half for the Jackets as they were able to put together a tremendous half offensively while stifling the Rainbow Warriors defensively. The Jackets were able to do so using a big final 10-minutes in the second half against the Rainbow Warriors to pick up a victory. While the Jackets had all the answers for stopping the Hawaii offense, the Warriors had no answers for Georgia Tech’s offense. After being down as many as nine points in the opening minutes of the half, the Yellow Jackets would go on a 41-15 run over the final 15 minutes to pick up a victory.

A major part of that second half was from center James Banks. After going scoreless in the first half, Banks picked 11 second-half points. On defense, the Jackets held Hawaii to just 21-points in the second half, keeping the Rainbow Warriors to 5-of-20 shooting including 1-for-6 from beyond the arch. Comparatively, in the second half, the Jackets shot 12-for-23 and 1-for-3 from beyond the arch.

In the end, Josh Pastner and the Yellow Jackets will return to Atlanta with two victories in the tournament including this 70-53 victory over the Rainbow Warriors.

Tech Standouts:

  • Moses Wright: Wright had himself quite the tournament. After dropping 18 and 19 points in the Jackets last two games against Boise State and Houston, Wright had a 16-point performance against the Rainbow Warriors. Wright shot 7-for-12 in the game while also coming down with three rebounds.
  • Michael Devoe: Devoe continued to do Michael Devoe things against the Rainbow Warriors, scoring 18-points on Wednesday night. Devoe was 6-for-12 from the field including 2-for-5 from beyond the arch.
  • James Banks: Banks has been quiet as of late but he made his presence known against Hawai’i scoring 11-points, all coming in the second half. Banks also had seven rebounds in the Christmas day victory.

Three Takeaways:

An ugly display from beyond the arch: Between the Yellow Jackets and the Rainbow Warriors, Wednesday night’s game was one of the worst you’ll ever see in terms of three-point shooting. The two teams combined to go 3-for-25 from beyond the arch, a shooting percentage of 12%.

Jackets were strong everywhere else: While the Jackets only did shoot 2-for-10 from beyond the arch, they did however, shoot well from everywhere else. The Jackets shot 57.5% from inside the perimeter and 78.3% (18-for-23) from the free-throw line.

A big win heading into ACC play: The Jackets are going to need every victory they can get going forward as they begin ACC play. The Jackets first three games in conference play feature Florida State, North Carolina, and Duke. They’re also set to take on Virginia and Louisville in January. Picking up a victory over Hawai’i will surely keep the Jackets record looking better than it is.

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Georgia Tech will finish off the 2019 calendar year with a game against the Florida State Seminoles set for Tuesday, December 31st. The Seminoles are currently ranked No.17 in the country and are 10-2 overall.


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