Georgia Tech loses another close game this season. Some Saturday night hoops took place in Atlanta at McCamish Pavilion on January 18, 2020, when the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets took on the defending national champs, Virginia Cavaliers. The Cavaliers survived the strong second-half push by the Yellow Jackets to win 63-58.
The Yellow Jackets came into the matchup looking to get to .500 for the season and pick up their first conference win at home. They were looking to shake off another tough loss at home on Jan. 15 against Notre Dame, 74-78.
The Cavaliers were looking to bounce back as well. They suffered three straight tough losses against conference opponents. The latest coming at the hands of Florida State on Jan. 15, 54-50.
Early on, the Yellow Jackets struggled with one of the nation’s toughest defensive teams. They committed thirteen turnovers in the first half, but still managed to shoot 61% from the field and 50% from the three-point line. Despite the turnovers, the Yellow Jackets only faced an eight-point deficit going into halftime.
The second half started slow for the Yellow Jackets as well. They faced a fourteen-point deficit before junior forward Evan Cole came off the bench and provided a spark. Also, junior guard Jose Alvarado picked up his game as well. Alvarado finished with twenty points but scored eighteen in the second half. Cole’s defense and energy, along with Alvarado’s scoring help, pick the team-up. The two lead the second-half charge to cut the deficit down to two with a little over eight minutes left in the game. The Yellow Jackets kept it close for the rest of the way and only committed five turnovers in the second half, but it still was not enough to secure the win.
On the Cavaliers side of things, they kept to their defensive principles and never trailed again after the 16:51 mark in the first half. They had three players to score in double figures, including their two starting big men. Redshirt senior forward Mamadi Diakite and redshirt junior forward Jay Huff scored seventeen points each. Huff finished the game with seventeen points, eight rebounds, and six blocks. Their length bothered the Yellow Jackets because they were able to defend the basket on drives and disrupt passing lanes.
Georgia Tech has four days to rest before they hit the road again on Jan. 22 to face a tough Louisville team who just came off a tough win of their own on the road against Duke. Virginia has a short two-day rest as they head back home to face North Carolina State on Jan. 20.