ATLANTA -- Georgia Techs latest loss could be considered a microcosm of the 2013-14 season.
There was a little bit of everything that has gone wrong rolled up in the 63-55 loss to Clemson on Saturday afternoon at McCamish Pavilion.
Disappearing players: This time, it was Robert Carter Jr., who was 0-for-5 from the field and scored one point. It was his worst performance since returning from knee surgery that cost him 10 games.
Stretches of inefficiency: This time, there was a six-minute stretch in the second half that saw Georgia Tech give up a nine-point lead. Georgia Tech was ahead 34-25 with 18:49 left and tied at 38 with 13:26 remaining.
Inopportune turnovers: Trae Golden had five, while Chris Bolden and Stacey Poole Jr. each had three. The 15 Georgia Tech turnovers resulted in 18 Clemson points.
Missed free throws: Although Georgia Tech made 7-of-13, the misses often prevented Georgia Tech from increasing its lead.
Despite that, with five minutes to go, its a tie game, Georgia Tech head coach Brian Gregory said. At that point, youve got to figure out a way to win the game, and we couldnt do that.
The loss knocks the Yellow Jackets below .500 (13-14, 4-10 ACC) and completes a 1-3 homestand. It was Georgia Techs ninth straight loss to Clemson. Georgia Tech now faces three straight road games before returning home to meet Virginia Tech in the regular-season finale.
Saturday could have been a good opportunity to start getting better. Clemson (17-9, 8-6) is the sort of team that Georgia Tech aspires to be, one that plays hard and takes advantages of its strengths. The Yellow Jackets had Clemson reeling but could not put the Tigers away.
Just looking from the 18-minute mark to the 12-minute mark, thats six minutes were we had five or six turnovers in that stretch, Gregory said. That puts you in difficult situation, especially when its going to be a low possession game.
The difference in the second half came down to offensive rebounds, when Clemson had seven of its 12. Heres where the stat sheet is misleading: Georgia Tech had only one fewer offensive rebound than the Tigers.
They got some big offensive rebounds at crucial points, Gregory said. We did not rebound the ball well. On the stats itll say it was even, but it wasnt. They got the big ones when they needed them.
Clemson head coach Brad Brownell agreed.
It helped us get some extra possessions, he said. Georgia Tech is always a very good rebounding team. That was certainly a point of emphasis in the game. It did get us some extra possessions. Those are the energy plays that Im talking about that I didnt think we were making in the first 20 minutes. I challenged our guys at half, and they responded. We played a really good second half.
Georgia Tech was also hurt by the clutch 3-point shooting of Damarcus Harrison, who finished with three 3-pointers and scored 15 points. Combined with 16 points from the perpetually aggressive K.J. McDaniels and 13 from big man Landry Nnoko, Clemson had plenty of points.
Georgia Tech did get a bump from Golden, who claimed to be 85 to 90 percent back from a groin injury. Golden made four 3-pointers and scored 17 points, his high mark since scoring 21 against North Carolina prior to his injury. Center Daniel Miller had 14 points and eight rebounds, but he was limited to one shot in the second half.