Florida State Hands Georgia Tech its Seventh Loss in a Row
ATLANTA — Florida State extends its winning streak to seven games after defeating Georgia Tech 69-47 Saturday afternoon at McCamish Pavilion. For the Yellow Jackets (11-15, 3-10 ACC), this is the team’s seventh defeat in a row, with their last win coming on January 22 against Notre Dame. Georgia Tech’s offense struggled from the floor by shooting 16-for-59, which marks their lowest field goal percentage of the 2018-2019 season.
The 47 points by the Yellow Jackets is also the lowest the team has scored during the entire season. “We have had a tough stretch, losing is not fun, nobody hates losing more than I do, when things aren’t going well, there can’t be no negativity,” Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball Head Coach Josh Pastner said. Georgia Tech’s Jose Alvarado, who wasn’t going to play as of last night because of sickness, was the team’s highest point scorer by notching 17 points. Kristian Sjolnd followed with 11 points of his own.
Despite the struggles on the offensive side of the ball, Georgia Tech’s defense held the Seminoles to only 39.1 field goal percentage, a percentage that has only happened five times this season. Pastner said that one of the main reasons the team has struggled offensively this season is because of the loss of Josh Okogie. Okogie entered the NBA draft after his sophomore season this past spring, where he was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
“After he told me he was staying in the draft, we scrambled and tried to get some guys, and no one was good enough that could get into school…to lose a guy that you weren’t expecting to lose after his sophomore season, and that could get you buckets, and again there’s no excuse but that’s the biggest thing,” Pastner said.
“You look back even in the fall of recruiting of that year and look back on some guys that we probably passed on by saying ‘it’s going to be hard for them to play because Josh (Okogie) was going to play every minute. He was our alpha male, in a sense, he was able to get you to the free throw line, and he was tough. It’s going to be good for us in recruiting, we’re going to be able to sign guys as we move further along because it’s going to give guys an opportunity to play (at the next level) and it’s great for Josh and for Georgia Tech, but it just sucks for this season.”
In the first half, Florida State (20-5, 8-4 ACC) took an early 5-0 lead but back-to-back 3-pointers from Georgia Tech’s Michael Devoe and Jose Alvarado gave the team a temporary 6-5 lead with 15:56 left in the first half. Later on, both teams traded baskets and with 12:42 left, Georgia Tech’s Brandon Alston’s layup tied the game at 10 points each.
But just when the game looked evenly match, Florida State’s offense took off, and the team went on a 12-0 run over the next two minutes. Yellow Jacket’s Alvarado broke the team’s scoring drought by successfully shooting a mid-range jumper, cutting the team’s deficit to 22-12.
With both team’s trading baskets in their next possession, the Seminoles once again went on another scoring run, this time a 6-0 run with four points coming from Christ Koumadje and two from Terance Mann. At the time, Florida State led 31-15, their biggest lead of the first half.
Despite the large deficit, the Yellow Jackets finished the first half on a positive note, by going on an 8-2 run of their own, which the team’s deficit to only 11 points, trailing 34-23.
The second half played out just like the first, Florida State was able to control the boards and the paint and saw its winning streak extend to seven games. Late in the second half, the Seminoles saw its lead increase as high as 27 points.
During the game, the Seminoles dominated Georgia Tech in the paint by outscoring 28-12 and also with points off the bench, with Florida State scoring 35 over Tech’s seven.
Georgia Tech will be back in action Wednesday night as the team welcomes ACC opponent Pitt. The game is set to tip-off at 9 p.m.