For at least one night, Alexander Memorial Coliseum’s recent magic disappeared.
After streaking to three consecutive home wins to start the conference season, Georgia Tech on Sunday finally met its match, as Maryland beat the Yellow Jackets 74-63.
The loss pushed them back to a .500 overall record and below the mark in ACC play.
Jordan Williams was the difference-maker for the Terrapins (14-7, 4-3 ACC), scoring 21 points and snagging 14 rebounds. The effort led to his 14th double-double in Maryland’s last 15 games.
Sophomore guard Glen Rice, Jr. was Georgia Tech’s leading scorer with 16 points.
Early foul trouble hurt Georgia Tech, as forwards Daniel Miller and Kammeon Holsey were each sacked with a pair of fouls barely five minutes into the ballgame. They were both taken out early, forcing the Yellow Jackets to go with a shorter lineup for much of the half. Georgia Tech was so small a one point that there wasn’t a player on the floor taller than 6-foot-5.
The reason why the Yellow Jackets were forced to go with essentially a pure guard-only group with the two forwards on the bench was because two players who likely would have taken their places were unavailable Sunday.
For the first time this season, the Yellow Jackets had to negotiate playing without multiple key contributors. Forward Nate Hicks and combo guard Brian Oliver were sidelined.
Hicks’ absence was expected after he underwent an appendectomy last week. He should be out another two weeks or so. As for Oliver, his time on the bench was a bit of a surprise. In the day or two before the game, he came down with the same flu bug that befell Rice earlier in the week. As of last Thursday, Rice’s status was uncertain. Despite being a little visibly sluggish, he still started.
Amazingly, the game’s start was not delayed after a power outage near Georgia Tech caused half of the Coliseum’s lights to go out about 20 minutes before the start of the game. They came back on fully just as the teams were meeting near halfcourt for the opening.