ATLANTA– Georgia Tech’s nationally ranked defense fell flat against Gardner-Webb, starting their long week on a low note with a 79-69 loss. A combination of missed three-pointers and inability
to keep Bulldog powerhouse DJ Laster at bay marked the Yellow Jacket’s first home game loss of the season. “Due to some of our offensive deficiencies we really hang out hat on defense, and it failed us today,” Tech head coach Josh Pastner said. “We couldn’t get any stops, and that failed us, and that’s a credit to Gardner-Webb.”
The Yellow Jackets fell behind quickly in the first half as the Bulldogs consistently sank their three-point shots, racking up fouls that allowed Gardner-Webb several successful free
throws. Tech noticeably struggled to hit their three-pointers, and their third-ranked ACC defense couldn’t hold back the Bulldogs forward DJ Laster, who managed 20 points in the first
half, effectively snatching the lead from Tech. The Yellow Jackets had a few brighter moments with four three-pointers from Curtis Haywood and good offense from Jose Alvarado, and they
ended the half 45-38 Bulldogs.
“As a team, we just weren’t as focused as we should’ve been,” Alvarado said. “We’ve got to get tougher.” The second half saw a slightly more aggressive defense from the Yellow Jackets,
shutting Laster down enough only to allow him 5 more points, but Tech made only six out of twenty-three attempted three-point shots and failed to make enough stops to stay in the game.
Junior forward James Banks racked up a career-high of 22 points throughout the game, followed by Alvarado who contributed 19 points. The loss brings Georgia’s record down to a 5-4 and
take Gardner-Webb up to an 8-5.