ATLANTA — Georgia Tech held the lead just 22 seconds in their match against the Louisville Cardinals Saturday at McCamish Pavilion.
The result was a 79-51 loss.
Much of the defeat had to do with the Yellow Jackets being without their starting point guard and leading scorer Jose Alvarado, and two key contributors off the bench Brandon Alston and Abdoulaye Gueye.
The Cardinals established a commanding 28-6 lead with 6:53 on the clock in the first half led by Jordan Nwora who had 21 points in the first half and finished the game with 25 points and eight rebounds.
“You’ve got to give Louisville credit, they played really well,” head coach Josh Pastner said. ” Jordan Nwora was excellent; he really got them going that first half. It just kind of snowballed us that first half like it did against Clemson. We just dug ourselves such a hole, and it was hard for us to get back out of it.”
At halftime, Tech was down 43-16 shooting just 25 percent from the floor while Louisville had an effective 50 percent field goal percentage. James Banks III (24 points, 11 rebounds) was the only Georgia Tech player to score in double digits. Michael Devoe was presumed to be the primary scoring option and playmaker with Alvarado out, but the freshman guard was unable to find his rhythm, shooting just 2-of-5 from the floor with eight points.
Banks III shouldered the load for a young, inexperienced Yellow Jackets team. He asserted himself in the paint, where he scored the majority of his points and played a game-high 37 minutes.
“He’s a really good player. He’s really big, and he’s got a soft touch and draws fouls, “said Louisville head coach Chris Mack. “Our post guys didn’t do a very good job with him. Give him credit; he sealed really deep.”
Aside from Tech’s horrific shooting performance, turnovers were a major issue for the young group, turning the ball over 17 times and allowing the Cardinals to score 16 points off their mistakes.
“I like the defense, personally,” Mack said. “I think the last three games we’ve talked about if you get three-consecutive stops, we sort of label that a ‘kill.’ If you can get seven ‘kills’ in a game, you’re awful difficult to beat unless your offense is just inept. We have too good of players, and we’ll be out in transition enough that offense should never be an issue. It’s the first time, we’ve had three games in a row now, two on the road, where we’ve gotten seven or more ‘kills.”
Georgia Tech (10-8, 2-3) will look to kill their two-game losing streak as they prepare to face off against Notre Dame at home on Tuesday.
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