Powered by a phenomenal defensive effort on the perimeter and clutch free throw shooting down the stretch, Georgia Tech was able to pull off one of its biggest victories in the tenure of head coach Josh Pastner. Avenging a loss from three weeks prior in Louisville, the Yellow Jackets stepped up to the challenge and took down the #5 Louisville Cardinals 64-58 in the rematch in Atlanta.
It snaps a 10-game winning streak for the Cardinals and a nine-game losing streak to Louisville for the Yellow Jackets. It is also Georgia Tech's first win against a top-five team since 2016 (Jan. 9 vs. #4 Virginia).
"This was a big win for the program and and I am very happy for our young men and for Georgia Tech," head coach Josh Pastner said.
One of the premier teams in the nation from the perimeter, Georgia Tech (12-13, 6-8 ACC) held the Cardinals to just 3-24 on three point shooting and 33.9% from the field. Heading into tonight's game, Louisville (21-4, 12-2 ACC) was fourth in the nation in three-point percentage, connecting on 40.4% of its outside shots. Deviating from his normal 1-3-1 zone, Pastner played exclusively man-to-man defense all night and it paid massive dividends.
"They played man-to-man almost all the entire game and we couldn't score," Louisville head coach Chris Mack said. "It's been a problem for our team all year."
Tonight was also one of a few instances in which the Yellow Jackets delivered in the clutch. Normally a team that has struggled to maintain leads or close out games, Tech did not allow the Cards to take the lead once in Wednesday's contest, and hit 9 of their 10 free throws in the final 30 seconds of the game.
Continuing on his late season scoring binge, junior point guard Jose Alvarado once again led the scoring efforts for the Jackets with 18 points on 5-11 shooting and 3-6 from the perimeter. He also held preseason ACC Player of the Year Jordan Nwora to just 1-6 from the field and only two points.
Tech's entire starting lineup played complete games, as they all finished with double-digit scoring figures. Conversely, nobody in Louisville's starting five could say the same, as its two leading scorers in David Johnson and Malik Williams (16 points each) came off the bench. In fact, the Cards' bench had over double the amount of points that the starters did (40-18).
Next up, Georgia Tech has the weekend off and will not see action until this time next week. It will travel to Winston-Salem and square off against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Wednesday, Feb. 19. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET.
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