Yellow Jackets Fall To #8 Kentucky

Matthew McGavic

It was closer than the final score indicated, but it was a Georgia Tech loss nonetheless. The Yellow Jackets ventured up to Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky with the hopes of knocking off the #8 team in the country on their own floor, but ultimately fell to the tune of 67-53 to the residing Kentucky Wildcats. The loss moves them to 4-4 on the season.

Although the Cats wound up winning by 14, it never truly felt like Kentucky was in control until the waning moments of the second half. Throughout the majority of the game, both teams traded runs all night long whether it was due to one team's offensive prowess or another's defensive ineptitude. It wasn't until a stretch late in the second half where Tech went 1-12 from the floor where it felt like the game was truly over.

Like in the previous game against Syracuse, a large emphasis for the opposing team was to deny sophomore shooting guard Michael Devoe any chance he got the ball. He was doubled on nearly every drive, resulting in him finishing with just 5 points on 2-11 from the field and 0-5 from beyond the arc. Senior center James Banks III also struggled, amassing just 6 points, 2 rebounds, and fouling out with about 5 minutes left in the game.

Georgia Tech was also beat on the glass by a wide margin, getting out rebounded by the Cats 34-25. They also only assisted on 11 of their 23 shots. Meanwhile on the other end, sophomore point guard Ashton Hagans was a true floor general, ending his night with 21 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists (lead UK in all 3 categories).

While the UK defense was as advertised, as they forced 17 Tech turnovers. But the Jackets still had some bright spots, especially with a lot of the defensive focus being on Devoe. Junior forward Moses Wright finished with yet another double-double on the season, and both Bubba Parham and Khalid Moore came away with double digit points as well with 10 a piece.

It also would have been a much closer game had it been for a few key plays. Devoe missed a pair of wide open three pointers, one for Moore circled in and out of the cylinder, and Asanti Price missed a wide open layup. The absence of starting point guard Jose Alvarado and forward Jordan Usher was also a detractor, although both should return to the court within a week or two.

Next up, Tech will be back in action this Wednesday against the Ball State Cardinals. Tip is set for 7pm from McCamish Pavilion.

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