ATLANTA -- If anyone ever deserved to sit back and take a deep breath, it’s the Georgia Tech basketball team and head coach Brian Gregory. The Yellow Jackets earned it after finally earning their first ACC win of the season.
Unfortunately, there’s little time to bask in the accomplishment. That’s because the Yellow Jackets (10-10, 1-7 ACC) jump back into the fight Saturday at home against N.C. State.
“We need to win at home,” Gregory said. “We need to build on this momentum. Our fans have been so good and so supportive. I appreciate it, and so do the guys.”
Georgia Tech’s 70-50 win at No. 23 Miami was impressive for a number of reasons. It matched the program’s largest margin of victory in an ACC game under Gregory and marked the first 20-point win over a ranked team since 2003.
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Especially impressive was Georgia Tech’s success from the field. The Yellow Jackets shot 56.8 percent, only the second time they’ve been above 50 percent this season, both wins. Georgia Tech is 21-2 under Gregory when shooting 50 percent.
The standout was Marcus Georges-Hunt, who made 10-of-12 shots and scored 24 points. It was his second straight game with more than 20 points and his fourth of the year. After going 5-for-24 during a three-game stretch, Georges-Hunt is 17-for-25 in his past two games.
“Marcus was exceptional,” Gregory said. “He just took what the defense gave him.”
Equally encouraging was the effort put forth by wing Chris Bolden, who made 6-of-11 from the floor and scored 13 points. He continues to show flashes of his former shooting prowess and gives indications he might be ready to break through.
Georgia Tech committed only 10 turnovers, one shy of its season-low.
“There were only two or three possessions where the ball kind of stuck,” Gregory said. “We’ve got to grow from the wins as much as the losses. We’ve had some bitter, bitter losses, and I’m proud of the guys who kept fighting and getting better.”
N.C. State (13-9, 4-5) has lost three straight games, most recently to Clemson on Wednesday. The Wolfpack have a signature win over Duke but have been beaten by North Carolina and Virginia.
Head Mark Gottfried’s team is filled with good shooters, particularly 6-foot-3 junior Trevor Lacey, who averages 16.5 points, and 6-5 senior Ralston Turner, who averages 13.2 points.