Georgia Tech Basketball Visits No. 8/8 Duke

Freshman Justin Moore had nine points, six rebounds and four assists against North Carolina.
Jan. 3, 2017

THE FLATS - Georgia Tech continues a gauntlet of top-10 teams to open its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule by visiting No. 8/8 Duke at 7 p.m. Wednesday in a nationally-televised game at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C.

Game notes Get Acrobat Reader | Watch live on WatchESPN app | GTMBB Media Center

Tech (9-4, 1-0 ACC), in its first season under head coach Josh Pastner, has won three straight games, its longest winning streak of the season, including a 75-63 upset victory over ninth-ranked North Carolina in its ACC opener Saturday in Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets are playing their first road game since a Dec. 7 victory at VCU, and are 1-2 on the road this season.

Duke (12-2, 0-1 ACC) lost its ACC opener at Virginia Tech, 89-75, on Saturday in Blacksburg. Ranked among the nation’s top 35 teams in scoring offense, scoring defense and scoring margin, the Blue Devils had won 10 straight games since a 77-75 loss to Kansas on Nov. 15 in their third game of the season.

Wednesday’s game will be televised nationally on ESPN2, and will be streamed live online on through the WatchESPN app. Radio coverage is provided by Tech’s flagship station, 680 the Fan (680 AM/93.7 FM), and is available via satellite radio (Sirius ch. 81, XM ch. 81).

STARTING FIVE

• Georgia Tech began its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule facing three teams ranked in the top 10 of both the Associated Press and the coaches polls - North Carolina (No. 9 AP/No. 10 coaches), Duke (8/8) and Louisville (9/9). Tech has never faced three teams ranked in the top 10 of both polls in succession in its history, though it came close once. The Yellow Jackets began the 1994-95 campaign by facing Maryland (7/11), Duke (11/9) and North Carolina (4/2), with only the Tar Heels ranked in the top 10 of both polls. It is the only other time, however, in which Tech faced three teams in a row ranked in the top 10 of one poll or the other.

• The head coaches of Georgia Tech’s first three ACC opponents have combined to win 2,606 games and nine NCAA titles.

• Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner went 4-4 against ACC teams while he was the head coach at Memphis, but never faced North Carolina or Duke. He was 2-0 vs. Miami, 2-2 vs. Louisville, 0-1 vs. Syracuse and 0-1 vs. Virginia.

• Tech ranks No. 50 nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency according to KenPom.com. The Jackets rank No. 50 nationally in scoring defense, No. 29 in field goal percentage defense, No. 67 in three-point defense, third in blocked shots per game and No. 47 in fewest personal fouls per game.

• Ten Yellow Jackets earned a grade-point average of 3.0 or better during the fall semester, and Tech’s cumulative fall GPA of 2.85 is the highest on record for the team. All four seniors are among the group with 3.0+ GPA’s, including Josh Heath, Corey Heyward (fifth-year because of an injury red-shirt in 2012-13), Rand Rowland and Quinton Stephens. Rowland graduated last Saturday, and the other three are scheduled to graduate in May.

SERIES NOTES

• Georgia Tech and Duke met only once last season, an 80-71 Blue Devil win at McCamish Pavilion, Duke’s ninth consecutive win in the series. Tech’s last win in the series occurred Jan. 9, 2010 in Atlanta.

• Duke has won 33 of the last 36 games in the series.

• Duke leads the overall series 70-23, and is 57-19 against Tech since the Jackets joined the ACC.

• Tech’s best stretch of the series occurred between 1982 and 1989, with 10 wins in 17 meetings. Tech has never won more than two in a row.

• Tech is 19-59 against Duke teams coached by Mike Krzyzewski, 12-20 in games played in Atlanta.

• Tech has won just five of 39 games played at Cameron Indoor Stadium, the first four coming in (1959, 1984, 1987 and 1996). Tech’s most recent win occurred on Mar. 3, 2004 in a 76-68 victory, which snapped a 41-game homecourt winning streak for the Blue Devils.

PASTNER AUDIO FROM MONDAY'S PRACTICE

PASTNER ON DEFEATING NORTH CAROLINA

“That’s just a great win, it’s a great program win, it’s a great way to play. Our guys produced and stepped up especially, I thought, in our practices couple days. We didn’t play really well on Wednesday, we found a way to win and then I was able to jump them hard Thursday after practice, called some guys out. We had, as I call it, a truth telling Thursday. An honest day Wednesday night and a truth-telling day Thursday. They were told some things that they needed to hear, and to their credit they bounced back, and we found a way to get a W.”

TRENDING...

• Georgia Tech won its first ACC opener since the 2005-06 season (an early December win over Virginia). It snapped a 10-year losing streak in ACC openers. Tech hasn’t won its first two ACC games since that season, defeating Virginia and Boston College (both at home) before taking its first loss.

• Tech has defeated a team ranked in the top 10 nationally in four of the last five years.

• Tech started Jackson, Lammers, Moore, Okogie and Stephens for the third straight game. Coach Josh Pastner has used four different starting lineups this season. Three Yellow Jackets – Ben Lammers, Josh Okogie and Quinton Stephens – have started every game this season.

• Tech played its shortest bench of the season (16 minutes by three players). Quinton Stephens and Ben Lammers each played a season-high 38 minutes (for a regulation game). Eight Tech players are averaging double-digit minutes this season.

• Tech trailed at the half against North Carolina for just the third time this season. The Jackets are now 1-3 in those games. But the Jackets led for 21:04 of the game, including the last 11:59.

• Tech held North Carolina to 63 points, 26 under its season average and four under its previous low (76-67 loss at Indiana).

• Tech also held North Carolina to 33.3-percent shooting from the floor (season average 48.6 pct.), the fifth straight game the Jackets have limited an opponent under 40 percent. Since Tech’s loss at Tennessee on Dec. 3 (the last six games), the Jackets have limited opponents to 36 percent from the floor.

• Tech had a season-high 15 steals, 11 in the first half alone, one more than its season high up to this game. The Jackets forced 20 turnovers, the third time this season they have forced 20 or more (VCU, Alcorn State), and have forced an average of 16 over its last six games.

• Tech enjoyed its finest day of the season at the free throw line, setting season highs for free throws made and percentage (28-for-33, 84.8 percent). The Jackets were 25-of-28 in the second half. In Tech’s nine wins this season, the Jackets have shot 66.3 percent to their opponents 68.3, but have outscored those nine opponents 165-99 from the line collectively.

• Tech assisted on 16 of its 22 field goals (72.7 percent), beating its nightly goal of 60 percent. Tech stands at 60.1 percent for the season, 61 percent for the last six games combined.

• Tech was out-rebounded for the sixth time this season (44-37), but is 4-2 in those games. The Jackets out-rebounded the bigger Tar Heels in the second half, 23-15.

Josh Okogie turned in his best performance of the season since his 38-point night against Tulane, scoring a game-high 26. Fifteen of those game in the second half. The 6-4 freshman went 11-for-13 from the free throw line, had three assists and two steals.

Ben Lammers kept alive his streak of scoring in double digits in every game this season, and recorded his seventh double-double of the season (11 points, 11 rebounds). He also had four assists, two blocked shots and two steals. Lammers’ two blocks gave him 47 for the season, matching his sophomore-year total.

• Senior Quinton Stephens came up one rebound short of getting his fourth double-double this year, finishing with 11 points, nine boards, three blocks and four steals. He also was a perfect 4-for-4 from the foul line.

• Senior Josh Heath enjoyed his finest game as a Yellow Jacket, scoring a career-high 15 points with a perfect 6-for-6 effort from the free throw line. He also snared three steals and had two assists.

• Freshman Justin Moore had his most complete game of the season with nine points, a career-high six rebounds and four assists.

PASTNER ON FIRST ACC WIN

“From where we were in April, thinking ‘oh my goodness,’ to where we are now and already in our first year of rebuild to have a win like at VCU, where it’s so hard to win at and a home game against a team that. So to have that in year one, there’s a lot of good stuff. I feel great, I also know there’s a lot of games left, and as a coach I want our guys to enjoy it. I don’t take winning for granted, I know how hard it is to win, just to win one game. I’m elated, ecstatic, just totally enthused about it. We want to enjoy it and then we want to get back to work on Sunday night, Monday morning, get back after it and prepare for Duke on Wednesday.”

ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL
Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is in its first year under head coach Josh Pastner. Tech has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993), played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004). Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball on social media by liking their Facebook Page, or following on Twitter (@GTMBB) and Instagram.

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