GAME NOTES: The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets look to complete the season series sweep of the Cavaliers as they visit John Paul Jones Arena for an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup against Virginia.
Georgia Tech downed the Cavaliers, 66-60, in Atlanta on Feb. 3 in the inaugural meeting of the 2012-13 season between these schools. The Yellow Jackets rallied from a halftime deficit of nine points, finally taking the lead on Mfon Udofia's jumper with 1:19 remaining. Georgia Tech was the first ACC team to score more than 60 points versus Virginia, however Maryland and North Carolina have both achieved that feat since. The Yellow Jackets are now 39-34 versus Virginia in the rivalry's history.
Georgia Tech has alternated losses with wins over its last nine games. The Yellow Jackets fell to UNC, 70-58, on Tuesday to fall to 14-11 on the season and 4-9 in the conference standings. A win over Virginia would give Georgia Tech its second season sweep of season after not beating an ACC opponent twice in the regular season since the 2010-11 season. Brian Gregory has instilled a tough mentality into his squad and it shows on the defensive end where they limit the opposition to 59.4 ppg. The Yellow Jackets are not as adept on the offensive end, where they rank 11th in the ACC with 61.8 ppg.
Tony Bennett's Cavaliers will be looking to bounce back after falling, 54-50, to Miami-Florida on Tuesday in Coral Gables. The loss was the team's second in a row. Tony Bennett's Cavaliers have been known for their superb defensive prowess that limits foes to an ACC low, 54.0 ppg. The Hurricanes had trouble finding their touch from long distance versus UVA's defense as they connected on only 1-of-7 attempts from beyond the arc. The Cavaliers hit on just 38.5 percent of their field-goal tries in the loss. Joe Harris paced Virginia with 16.
In the loss to UNC, Marcus Georges-Hunt and Chris Bolden led the Yellow Jackets with 12 points apiece. Georgia Tech held an early 19-16 lead but could not sustain the advantage as it went 4-of-11 at the free-throw line and allowed UNC's James Michael McAdoo to produce 22 points and 11 rebounds. Gregory's squad was unable to rally back as its lack of leadership after the break showed. While there is no clear go-to-guy for Georgia Tech, Georges- Hunt, Robert Carter, Kammeon Holsey and Udofia all produce over nine points per tilt. Daniel Miller does a good job of anchoring the defense, while towering in the paint.
The Cavaliers' loss to Miami came in heartbreaking fashion as they tied up the score with 14.3 seconds remaining as Evan Nolte drained a clutch 3-pointer, but the Hurricanes' Reggie Johnson made a layup on the other end nine seconds later before a turnover on the ensuing inbounds pass buried Virginia's hopes of winning. Harris has been stellar all season long and is scoring a team- high 16.7 ppg and is shooting at a 48.1-percent clip from beyond the arc. Akil Mitchell is next in line with 12.3 points to go along with a team-best 8.7 rebounds per tilt. The duo's production has not been enough to raise Virginia any higher than 10th in the ACC in scoring (64.4).
The Cavaliers have lost just one of their 16 games at home this season which gives them the edge despite a previous setback to the Yellow Jackets. Virginia's recent losses came to very tough opponents and it should be able to get back on track to end Georgia Tech's alternating pattern of results.
Game Date and Time