THE FLATS - Freshman Moses Wright tallied a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds, leading four Georgia Tech players in double digits as the Yellow Jackets pulled away late for a 78-60 exhibition victory over NAIA member Faulkner Thursday night at McCamish Pavilion.
Wright, a 6-9 forward from Raleigh, N.C., went 7-for-12 from the floor and grabbed 11 rebounds on the defensive end in 30 minutes of action. He nearly achieved the double-double in the first half, getting nine points and nine rebounds as the Jackets took a 38-25 lead into halftime.
Senior Tadric Jackson (Tifton, Ga.) scored 16 points, hitting 5-of-9 shots from the floor and a pair of three-point field goals while also grabbing five rebounds. Freshman point guard Jose Alvarado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) rebounded from his 0-for-10 outing on Oct. 28, leading the game with six assists – committing one turnover – while also finishing with 13 points and eight rebounds. Senior center Ben Lammers (San Antonio, Texas) rounded out the double-digit offensive efforts with 12 points and a game-high seven blocks.
The Yellow Jackets controlled the beginning of the game, exploding for a 16-0 run midway through the first half. Six points from Wright and back-to-back threes from Alvarado and Jackson fueled the effort, as they took a 13-point lead into the intermission, despite Faulkner responded with a 16-4 run of its own spanning halftime.
The Eagles continued to scratch away at the lead, getting as close at 42-37 early in the second half off three three-point baskets in the process. The three-point shot would continue to keep the game close as Faulkner hit five of its first seven threes to start the second half, getting as close as 52-48 at one point.
But Georgia Tech held tough defensively late, allowing just 12 points over the final 11 minutes while also producing 26 points of its own. Outrunning the Eagles 24-4 in fast break points and the getting 27 points off the bench helped the Yellow Jackets pull away late.
COACH Josh Pastner SAID: “We were a little better today than we were in areas on Saturday. But I’ve said, in year two of this major rebuild, this was going to be harder than year one because of our youth. To be good in this league, you have to get old and stay old and right now, we’re young. Last year we were older, we’re a little more talented this year, but we’re just not as old. We’re inexperienced. Guys are just going to have to get better. It could be a little rocky for us here and there at the start of the season but as we move forward, kind of like how we did last year, our team got better and it’ll continue to get better and we’ll see that throughout the season. I was happy with Moses Wright and Evan Cole. I thought they had good practices and you can see them getting better. Jose [Alvarado] was much better today so that was good. We have to get Curtis [Haywood II] focused strictly on being an energy rebounder/defender and let his scoring be secondary, but he’ll get there. But overall it’s nice to get a win and give us a little momentum heading over to China.”
UP NEXT: The Yellow Jackets open their 2017-18 regular season against No. 21/18 UCLA next Friday, Nov. 10, at 11:30 p.m. Eastern time, a game televised live on ESPN, at Baoshan Arena in Shanghai, China (12:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, Shanghai time).