GAME NOTES: The Virginia Tech Hokies will try to end their five-game losing streak as they conclude their regular season with an Atlantic Coast Conference bout against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at McCamish Pavilion.
The Hokies continued to struggle offensively on Tuesday as they were held under the 50-point mark for the fourth time this season in their 64-47 loss at Maryland. Virginia Tech's recent slump has dropped it to a 2-15 ACC record, leaving it 14 games back of first and in sole possession of last place in the standings. Coach James Johnson's squad has been limited to an ACC-low 55.6 ppg on 37.2 percent efficiency from the floor by its conference foes, while it has surrendered 65.8 ppg in league play. The Hokies have picked up just one win in eight road games and have lost 14 of their last 15 overall.
Georgia Tech ended a four-game slide earlier this week with a shocking 67-62 upset of Syracuse at the Carrier Dome. The Yellow Jackets' reserves came up big in the stunning decision, outscoring the Orange's reserves, 17-4, while the team shot 47.1 percent from the floor. The victory was just the fifth in conference play for coach Brian Gregory's team, which is in 13th place. The Yellow Jackets can earn the 11th, 12th or 13th seed in the upcoming ACC Tournament, which begins Wednesday in Greensboro.
The Hokies lead the all-time series between these schools, 14-5. The Yellow Jackets won the most recent meeting, 64-54, at Cassell Coliseum last season on Feb. 9, 2013. Georgia Tech is just 2-5 versus Virginia Tech at McCamish Pavilion.
In Virginia Tech's lopsided loss to the Terrapins on Tuesday, Jarell Eddie and Joey van Zegeren netted 14 points apiece and Trevon Thompson pulled down 10 boards. Freshman point guard Devin Wilson continued to build upon his new rookie record with assists, handing out four to bring his season total to 138. Thompson, Wilson and Eddie combined for 15 of the Hokies' 17 turnovers, which were converted into 18 Maryland points and helped the Terrapins record 11 more field goal attempts. Eddie is averaging a team-best 13.4 ppg, but he has shot just 29.9 percent from the floor for 11.1 ppg in ACC games. The Hokies' unimpressive performance this season is partially due to injuries. Cadarian Raines (5.3 ppg) and Ben Emelogu (10.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg) are both listed as questionable for Saturday.
Trae Golden scored a team-high 16 points and made crucial free throws down the stretch for the Yellow Jackets in the upset of the Orange. Daniel Miller made a big impact as well with 15 points, six rebounds, six blocks and four assists, and Robert Carter Jr. added 12 points. Georgia Tech was very impressive defensively, holding Syracuse to just 39.1 percent shooting from the floor and made good on 47.1 percent of its own field goal tries. The team played well in other aspects also as it assisted 18 of its 24 makes from the floor, blocked eight shots and committed only nine turnovers. Golden is the Yellow Jackets' leading scorer at 12.9 ppg, while Marcus Georges-Hunt (11.7 ppg), Miller (11.2 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 2.5 bpg) and Carter (10.7 ppg, 8.4 rpg) also own double-digit scoring averages.
Georgia Tech should be able to maintain the momentum it built in upstate New York and coast by the Hokies. Virginia Tech is very thin due to its injuries and it will have a lot of trouble competing with the physical Yellow Jackets on the boards.
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