Miami Topples Jackets, 80-65

Coral Gables, Fla. – Jose Alvarado scored 20 points, and Moses Wright matched his career high with 19 Saturday, but Miami had a hot shooting hand early in the game and cruised to an 80-65 victory in Atlantic Coast Conference basketball at the Watsco Center.

Moses Wright hit 9-of-13 shots from the floor in matching his career high of 19 points. (Photo: GA Tech)

The Hurricanes (12-14, 4-10 ACC) made 12 of their first 19 shots from the floor in opening a 30-13 lead by the 8:09 mark of the first half. The Yellow Jackets (12-16, 4-11 ACC) limited the Hurricanes to one field goal the rest of the half, and opened the second stanza by making 10 of their first 12 shots from the floor, but 11 points (51-40 with 14:01 left in the game) was as close as they could get.

Tech shot 51.6 percent in the second half to Miami’s 43.6, and hit 5-of-10 shots from three-point range in outscoring the Hurricanes, 42-41, after intermission. Miami finished the game with nine threes and shot 46.6 percent overall.

Miami center Ebuka Izundu was Tech’s primary offensive force in the first half and finished the game with 18 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the floor. D.J. Vasiljevic hit four of his five threes and scored 16 of his game-high 21 points in the second half for the Hurricanes to keep the Jackets at bay. Anthony Lawrence scored 16 points, and Chris Lykes added 11 for Miami.

Alvarado played all 40 minutes and hit 6-of-14 shots from the floor, including 6-of-9 from the foul line and a pair of threes. He also had seven rebounds and four assists. Wright, whose previous career high in an ACC game was nine points, hit 9-of-13 shots and grabbed nine rebounds. Michael Devoe added 13 points for the Jackets.

Georgia Tech returns to action Wednesday night when it travels to Charlottesville, Va., to face No. 3 Virginia. Tip time is 7 p.m., and the game will be televised nationally on ESPN2.

Post-Game Notes:


  • Georgia Tech starting lineup: Alvarado, Devoe, Sjolund, Wright, Banks III
  • First subs for Georgia Tech: Alston, Haywood, Gueye for Sjolund, Wright, Banks III  – 14:43-1st half
  • On the floor for Georgia Tech at the end: Alvarado, Devoe, Cole, Wright, Gueye
  • Opening tap won by Georgia Tech: Georgia Tech has won the opening tap 17 times in 28 games this season
  • Series record vs. Miami: Georgia Tech is 9-14 overall, 4-7 on the road, 1-2 under Josh Pastner, 3-7 vs. Jim Larranaga
  • Current series trend: Miami has won three of the last four meetings
  • Georgia Tech is 10-7 at McCamish Pavilion this season, 82-44 in its sixth season in the building, 39-18 under Josh Pastner
  • Georgia Tech is 2-8 on the road this season, 2-9 away from McCamish Pavilion
  • Georgia Tech’s next game: Wednesday, Feb. 27, at #3 Virginia (7 p.m., John Paul Jones Arena)


  • For the last three games, Georgia Tech has started out in a 4-out, 1-in alignment, starting Moses Wright and freshman Kristian Sjolund at the forward spots along with guards Jose Alvarado and Michael Devoe and post man James Banks III.
  • Sjolund made his third start, while Wright started for the 17th time this season. Devoe, a freshman, has started Tech’s last 19 games, having made his first collegiate start at Arkansas. Banks has started the last 22 games in the post, and Alvarado has started 26 games.
  • Tech has used 11 different starting lineups this season. No Yellow Jacket has started every game this season, and 10 different players have started three or more games.
  • Tech used 10 players in the game, eight of them for double-digit minutes, and six players scored.
  • Tech shot 51.6 percent in the second half, 5-of-10 on threes, to offset a 33.3-percent first half, scoring 42 points after intermission.
  • Tech continued an upward turn in its three-point shooting, connecting on 7-of-21. The Jackets have averaged 8.0 threes and shot 35.4 percent from beyond the arc in their last five games. In the five games before that, the Jackets shot 14-for-96 (14.6 pct.) from bonus range. (Alvarado is 7-for-18 in his last three games, and Devoe 17-for-34 in his last seven games. Sjolund is 10-for-28 in Tech’s last five games.)
  • Tech has made 74.1 percent of its free throws over its last seven games; however, the Yellow Jackets have averaged scoring just 10.8 points from the charity stripe. Tech went 18-for-24 against Pittsburgh, its most free throws in that stretch.
  • Tech surrendered a season-high 80 points to Miami; the Jackets had given up 79 in three previous games, most recently to Louisville on Jan. 19.
  • Only Wake Forest (74.4 ppg, scored 79), Clemson (71.4 ppg, scored 72 in the first meeting), Virginia Tech (75.6, 76 in second meeting) and Miami (72.2, scored 80) have met or exceeded their season scoring averages against Georgia Tech this season.
  • Miami took 13 offensive and converted those into 22 second-chance points, most against the Jackets this season. The Yellow Jackets came into the game giving up an average of 9.1 second-chance points.


  • Assists to made field goals: The Jackets are at 57.8 percent for the season (38th in the nation) and 56.6 percent in ACC games. Tech assisted on 13 of 25 made field goals (52 percent) against Miami, missing its nightly goal of 60 percent.
  • Free throws made to opponents’ attempts: Tech is 37-17 under Josh Pastner when attempting more free throws than the opponent. Tech connected on 8-of-12 free throw attempts to Miami’s 17-of-19 (nightly goal of making more than opponent tries not accomplished).
  • Turnovers: Tech has averaged 15.4 turnovers per game in ACC play, and only forced 11.9. Target each night is 11 or fewer, which Tech has met twice this season (both wins). More telling for Tech under Josh Pastner is that when Tech has committed fewer turnovers than its opponent, it is 22-13. When it has committed more, it is 21-30.
  • Guard rebounding: The group of Alvarado, Alston, Devoe, Haywood, Moore and Phillips has combined to take 331 of Tech’s 719 defensive rebounds this season (46 percent). Tech’s guards combined for 10 of the Jackets’ 20 defensive rebounds against Miami.


  • Jose Alvarado has averaged 22 points over his last three games, hitting 21-of-38 shots from the floor (55.3 percent), 7-for-18 from three-point range (38.9 percent) and 17-for-21 from the free throw line (80.9 percent). The 6-foot sophomore scored 17 in a loss to Florida State, 29 in a win over Pittsburgh, and 20 in a loss at Miami. In those three games, he also has 18 rebounds, 12 assists and six steals. Alvarado had scored a total of 25 points, attempting just two free throws, in the six games prior.
  • Alvarado recorded his ninth career 20-plus game against the Hurricanes, and his fifth this season.
  • Alvarado has played the full 40 minutes in a game four times this season, including the last two (at Arkansas, at Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, at Miami), and 12 times in his career.
  • Moses Wright had the most productive ACC game of his career with 19 points, five rebounds and a blocked shot against Miami. His previous high game against an ACC opponent was nine points – against Duke on Feb. 11 of last season, and at Clemson on Jan. 16 this season. He matched his overall personal best of 19 points, set as a freshman against Florida A&M.
  • Wright has scored 26 points (11-22 FG) with 12 rebounds, and five blocked shots in his last two games. He has started Tech’s last three games, and 17 overall this season.
  • James Banks III suffered through his first scoreless game as a Yellow Jacket at Miami. He took just one shot, grabbed four rebounds and blocked two shots. He remains Tech’s No. 2 scorer (10.5 ppg) and top rebounder (6.8 rpg) in ACC games.
  • Banks has averaged 3.6 blocks over his last six games – 7 vs. Clemson, 4 vs. Notre Dame, 2 each vs. Virginia Tech and Florida State, 5 vs. Pittsburgh, 2 at Miami. Banks is averaging 2.67 blocks per ACC game, which leads the conference.
  • Freshman Kristian Sjolund has seen his most extensive action of the season in the Yellow Jackets’ last five games, playing a total of 109 minutes after seeing just 62 minutes in his previous 13 games. He has averaged 8.6 points with a pair of 11-point efforts against No. 22 Virginia Tech and No. 17 Florida State. He has connected on 10-of-28 three-point attempts in those five games after going just 2-for-11 in the 13 games prior.
  • With Tech opting for a 4-out, 1-in approach at Virginia Tech, Abdoulaye Gueye has not started the last four games. After playing just four minutes at Virginia Tech, however, he has averaged 16.7 off the bench in Tech’s last three games, scoring 19 points (8-of-16 FG) with 12 rebounds. In ACC games, Gueye has averaged 9.1 points and 4.3 rebounds, while hitting 51.5 percent of his field goal tries.
  • Freshman Michael Devoe averages 10.2 points (No. 3 on the team), 4.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists in ACC games, and he has hit 45.6 percent of his three-point tries (26-of-57) against conference opponents. Devoe is 17-of-34 from three-point land (50 pct.) in his last seven games.

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