Georgia Tech looks to end skid, avenge loss to Georgia State

Georgia Tech will look to end a four-game losing streak that has tarnished an impressive start to the season when it hosts cross-town rival Georgia State in a nonconference game on Tuesday in Atlanta.

The Yellow Jackets (5-5) opened the season with five wins in their first six games, but they’ve struggled against the toughest part of their schedule leading into the heart of Atlantic Coast Conference play.

The Yellow Jackets followed a 70-66 loss to then-No. 23 Wisconsin on Dec. 1 with a 79-62 loss to North Carolina in their ACC opener on Dec. 5. Georgia Tech suffered a 69-53 loss at home to then-No. 25 LSU on Dec. 11 and was beaten by No. 10 Southern Cal 67-53 in the Colangelo Classic on Saturday in Phoenix.

The Yellow Jackets’ biggest issue is their lack of scoring. Their 68.9 points per game entered the week ranked 248th out of 350 Division I teams.

Georgia Tech, which missed 11 of its first 15 shots to open the second half against Southern Cal, finished the game shooting 32.8 percent (21-for-64) from the field, including 26.3 percent (5-for-19) from 3-point range.

“At some point, we’ve got to put the ball in the basket. That’s kind of been a thing with us,” Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner said on Saturday. “We were better on turnovers, but we’ve got to score. We had some really good looks today. Unfortunately, they didn’t fall.”

Michael Devoe, who scored 25 against Southern Cal, has been the lone bright spot for Georgia Tech. He’s averaging a team-high 22.4 points and 3.4 assists per game, while shooting 52.6 percent from the field and a whopping 50.9 percent (27-for-53) from beyond the arc.

“It’s frustrating to go on this losing streak we have going on,” Devoe said. “But it’s basketball. There’s highs and lows in it, but we’ve got to stay together as a team and get better.”

Devoe had 24 points on 9-for-26 shooting in the Yellow Jackets’ 123-120 loss to Georgia State in four overtimes last season. It was the Panthers’ first win over Georgia Tech in eight all-time meetings.

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Georgia State (6-4) is coming off a 92-44 win on Saturday over visiting Toccoa Falls, which plays in the National Christian College Athletic Association.

Corey Allen went 8-for-9 from the field, including 7-for-8 from beyond the arc, to finish with 23 points, and Nelson Phillips hit four 3-pointers en route to finishing with 20 points for the Panthers.

Jalen Thomas had a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds for Georgia State, which jumped out to a 16-2 lead in the first 3:24 and never looked back.

“(Georgia Tech) is in need of a win, but they are in no more of a need than we are,” Georgia State coach Rob Lanier said. “Our best basketball is ahead of us.”

–Field Level Media


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