Georgia Tech Ends Losing Streak Wednesday night against Pitt
ATLANTA — Georgia Tech’s basketball team broke its seven-game losing streak Wednesday night, defeating ACC rival Pittsburgh 73-65 at McCamish Pavilion. Yellow Jackets’ Jose Alvarado played all 40 minutes and finished with a career-high 29 points. He also had five assists and six rebounds.
“They (Pittsburgh) are a great defensive team, but we kept our heads cool, and we played our basketball,” Alvarado said. “It was a good win for us, but we have a tough one on Saturday against Miami, we’ll start getting ready for it starting tomorrow. We didn’t put our heads down after they made their run, we just kept working, and I’m glad we were able to get the win.”
On Wednesday, Georgia Tech (12-15, 4-10 ACC) shot for 50 percent from the floor and also went 18-for-24 from the free throw line. Meanwhile, the Panthers (12-15, 2-12) struggled from the free throw line by missing 18 free throws as they shot 20-for-38 and also only shot 33.3 percent from the floor.
“Good win for us, losing stinks, winning is fun…Pittsburgh has really good players. Obviously, we recruited Xavier Johnson, so I know how good he is..they compete and play hard,” Georgia Tech Head Coach Josh Pastner said. “But we found a way to get a win, Alvarado, besides his missed free throw, was pretty much perfect, really proud of him.”
In the first period, Georgia Tech got off to a quick 8-2 lead, as Alvarado, Moses Wright, and Kristian Sjolund were able to put the ball through the net fairly quick. After a quick four points by Pitt and trailing only by one point, the Yellow Jackets went on a 17-0 run, led by James Banks, Alvarado, Abdoulaye Gueye, Curtis Haywood, Wright, and Sjolund. During such run, Georgia Tech held a 25-7 lead, their biggest of the game, with 7:54 left in the first period.
But despite the large deficit, Pitt was able to put together a 10-2 point run of their own and cut the deficit to within 10 points. After a 3-pointer by Georgia Tech’s Sjolund, six points by Pitt’s Xavier Johnson and two from Terrell Brown cut Pittsburgh deficit to only five points, trailing 30-25 with 1:53 left in the first. The first period ended with Georgia Tech leading 34-27.
During the beginning of the second period, both teams traded baskets, but two quick 3-pointers by Pitt’s Jared Wilson-Frame put the Panthers within two-points of tying the game, trailing 42-40 with 12:41 left in the second. But the Yellow Jackets, led by Alvarado who had 17 points in the second half, held on to the lead and helped the team earned its fourth ACC conference victory this season.
Pittsburgh would get within a point of tying the game later in the second half after a 3-pointer by Wilson-Frame, but a quick five points by the Yellow Jackets increased the team’s lead to six points, and the team never looked back.
Georgia Tech will now travel to south Florida to take on Miami on Saturday at 2 p.m.