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For the most part, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets played with the energy and intensity that helped earn them a win against Boise State just the day before. Against stiffer competition however, that alone will not win games as was the case in game 2 of the 2019 Diamond Head Classic. Behind a blazing performance from the other end of the bench and a second half that did not feature a ton of offensive efficiency, The Institute fell to the Houston Cougars 70-59 and are now heading to the DHC 3rd Place game.

Like the game against the Kentucky Wildcats, Georgia Tech was never truly out of the game until the waning moments of the second half. Tech trailed the entire time and never once held the lead, although there were plenty of moments where they could strike. Ultimately however, whether it was through lapses in the zone defense or stretches where the Jackets could not buy a bucket, Tech could not seem to capitalize when opportunities presented themselves.

Houston guard Quentin Grimes lit up the Yellow Jackets in the first 20 minutes of the game. The transfer from Kansas went 10-11 in the first half en route to scoring 23 during that span. Georgia Tech's defense had little to no answer for high ball screens ran by Grimes in the first half, although they did make the proper corrections in the second half. He finished with a game high 26 points.

While not quite as explosive as Grimes, Tech forward Moses Wright also had a noteworthy first half. He was 6-10 from the floor, had 15 points before the half and finished with 19 for a GT game high.

Unlike the contest against Boise State where there was a second half offensive explosion, neither team could seem to get into an offensive rhythm throughout most of the latter 20 minutes. Houston shot just 7-23 (30.4%) down the stretch, but Georgia Tech was right there with them and went 8-26 (30.8%). While the Yellow Jackets had opportunities presented to them based on the stops they were getting defensively, their liabilities on the offensive end such as poor shot selection continued to hold them back.

But what really separated the squads ultimately was on the boards. Houston out rebounded Georgia Tech by 17 (42-25), and had 16 offensive boards as opposed to the 7 hauled in by Tech. The 25 total rebounds ties a season low, as they also did so against Kentucky in Lexington.

Next up, the Jackets will finish their trip in Hawai'i with the 3rd Place Game against the loser of Washington/Hawai'i on Christmas Day. Tip is set for 6:30pm EST and will be broadcast on ESPN2.

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