Georgia Tech Falls Just Short Vs. Fighting Irish

Matthew McGavic

Heading into a game where everything seemed to be clicking as of late, Georgia Tech found themselves hitting yet another speed bump on the road that is ACC conference play. One of the more exciting games this season for the Yellow Jackets, they found themselves emerging on the wrong end of a second half shootout, falling to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 78-74 in front of 5,899 at McCamish Pavilion.

As a result of the loss, Tech remains unable to string together back-to-back wins since they did so on December 1st and 4th against Bethune-Cookman & Nebraska respectively. Since then, the Jackets have played 11 games during a nearly month and a half stretch.

Sophomore shooting guard Michael Devoe shot 9-15 from the floor and 2-4 from downtown en route to scoring 22 points. It was his first time coming away with over 20 points for the first time since Alvarado and Usher rejoined the lineup. But an even better scoring effort on the other side proved to be the Jackets' Achilles' heel.

While the Irish are normally powered by senior forward John Mooney, it was guard Prentiss Hubb who helped lead the charge against the Jackets. Normally averaging 12.1 points on the season heading into the game, the sophomore exploded for 25 points with 20 of them coming in the second half. Although Mooney did finish with his 11th straight double-double (10 points, 13 rebounds).

The first 20 minutes of the game featured relatively inefficient basketball. Georgia Tech shot just 36.7% while Notre Dame also shot sub-40% at 33.3%. This was due to a combination of both good defense and just an inability to hit open shots for both teams.

However once the second half started, it was an entirely different ballgame. The Irish shot 53.1% in the latter half while the Jackets shot a blazing 67.9%. In fact, there was one stretch of play where both teams were a combined 19-23. The key difference in the game came down to offensive rebounding by Notre Dame, as that allowed them to continue possessions and find another look at the rim.

Next up, Georgia Tech is set to take on defending national champions with the Virginia Cavaliers coming to town. Tipoff is set for Saturday, January 18th at 8:00pm EST and will be televised on the ACC Network.

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