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Virginia missed 15 of its last 16 shots Sunday as Georgia Tech rallied from a nine-point, second-half deficit to defeat the Cavs.
Georgia Tech’s Kammeon Holsey (center) battles UVa’s Akil Mitchell for a rebound.
Georgia Tech forward Robert Carter, Jr., (right) blocks a shot by Virginia forward Akil Mitchell (25). Georgia Tech rallied in the the second half to snap the Cavs’ four-game winning streak.
Associated Press | File February
Virginia coach Tony Bennett (right) was in search of a point guard following the departure of senior Jontel Evans, so he went out and signed a pair.
Monday, February 4, 2013
ATLANTA — In its first meeting with Georgia Tech since a 32-point victory last year in Phillips Arena, Virginia was responsible for another search of the record books Sunday.
A late surge enabled the Yellow Jackets to pull off a 38-point turnaround, beating the Cavaliers 66-60 at newly christened McCamish Pavilion.
The Yellow Jackets (11-9, 2-6) entered the game with six losses in their previous seven games and trailed by nine points, 57-48, with fewer than eight minutes remaining.
Georgia Tech proceeded to outscore UVa 16-3 the rest of the way as the Cavaliers (15-6, 5-3) missed 15 of their last 16 shots.
Virginia came into town with a four-game winning streak, but was only a two-point favorite over a Yellow Jackets team that is now 10-2 at home this season.
A crowd of 7,128 gave the Yellow Jackets ample support, but only after Virginia invited the fans back into the game.
Time after time, UVa would make defensive stops, only to have Georgia Tech grab the offensive rebound, tip the ball outside or force a quick Cavalier turnover.
“There were a lot of plays like that,” UVa freshman Justin Anderson said. “When you’re playing so hard and you finally get some relief and then they get the loose ball, you’re like, ‘Man!’
“You’ve got to play another 35 seconds of defense and that’s [the second chances] something we’ve got to clean up. I don’t think we’ve had that problem all year, but they got the best of us in that situation.”
Anderson came off the bench to score 10 points and hand out four assists, but it was an afternoon that classmate Evan Nolte won’t remember fondly. Nolte, last year’s Georgia player of the year in his classification, missed his first four shots and finished 2-for-9.
“I’d like to have it back,” said Nolte, who picked up two quick fouls and was limited to eight minutes in the first half. “I had a lot of friends here and tried to block that out and just play. All of my misses were short. I thought I was a little hesitant.
Another UVa freshman, 6-foot-11 Mike Tobey, was coming off a 13-point outing Tuesday in a 58-55 UVa victory over 19th-ranked North Carolina. He, too, picked up two early fouls and finished with one point and two rebounds in nine minutes.
“Maybe that’s [the fouls] where inexperience gets to you,” Bennett said.
Even UVa’s experienced players had their problems. Junior Joe Harris had 14 points in pacing the Cavaliers to a 37-28 halftime lead, but missed three 3-point shots in the final 3:29 and finished the game with a career-high six turnovers.
Moreover, Harris missed the second of two free throws with 1:04 remaining and the Cavaliers trailing 59-58. On Tuesday, he missed the front end of a late one-and-one against N.C. State.
“I’ve got to make those free throws,” said Harris, who needed 11 points to reach 1,000 points for his college career and led all scorers with 18. “I should be shooting at a much higher clip than I am [72.6 percent].
“This is the worst I’ve ever shot from the foul line in my basketball career.”
Senior guard M’fon Udofia had 15 points to lead four double-figure scorers from Georgia Tech and gained some redemption following the 2011 game between the teams, won by the Cavaliers 62-56 at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.
Udofia was fouled on a 3-point attempt with four seconds remaining and the Yellow Jackets trailing 60-56 but proceeded to miss all three free throws.
His 3-pointer Sunday with 7:45 remaining got the Yellow Jackets started on their 16-3 run.
Research was ongoing as to whether the 38-point turnaround was any sort of record for Georgia Tech. In 1983, Virginia beat Duke by 43 points in the ACC Tournament; then, in their next meeting, the Blue Devils prevailed 78-72 in Charlottesville in 1984.
When the Cavaliers beat Georgia Tech last winter, the 32-point margin was UVa’s highest in a road conference game since 1982.
“For me, this win really has an impact,” said Georgia coach Brian Gregory, whose team was coming off a 63-60 loss at Clemson. “They’ve [the Cavaliers] been playing extremely — probably the best out of anybody in the league outside of Miami.”
Nolte 2-9 0-0 6, Mitchell 6-14 1-1 13, Evans 2-5 0-0 4, Jesperson 1-3 0-0 3, Harris 6-14 2-4 18, Barnette 1-1 0-0 3, Jones 1-1 0-0 2, Tobey 0-0 1-2 1, Anderson 3-8 3-4 10. Totals 22-55 7-11 60.
GEORGIA TECH (12-8)
Georges-Hunt 1-6 5-6 7, Carter 6-8 2-3 14, Miller 2-4 0-0 4, Udofia 4-8 4-4 15, Bolden 4-10 5-7 14, Jordan 0-0 0-0 0, Poole Jr. 0-1 0-0 0, Reed 0-1 0-2 0, Holsey 5-7 2-3 12, Poole 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-46 18-25 66.
Halftime—Virginia 37-28. 3-Point Goals—Virginia 9-22 (Harris 4-9, Nolte 2-8, Anderson 1-1, Barnette 1-1, Jesperson 1-3), Georgia Tech 4-15 (Udofia 3-5, Bolden 1-5, Poole 0-1, Georges-Hunt 0-2, Carter 0-2). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Virginia 31 (Mitchell 12), Georgia Tech 32 (Carter, Miller 8). Assists—Virginia 15 (Anderson, Evans, Harris 4), Georgia Tech 12 (Miller 4). Total Fouls—Virginia 22, Georgia Tech 14. A—7,128.
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