Brooklyn, NY–Jarrod West poured in a game-high 20 points Tuesday night as 11th-seeded Louisville built a 27-point lead and then held off a Georgia Tech rally for an 84-74 win in the first round of the 2022 New York Life ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament in New York at the Barclays Center.
The Yellow Jackets cut the 27-point second-half deficit all the way down to five, but the comeback fell just short in the loss.
Louisville (13-18) advances into a second-round matchup Wednesday night against sixth-seeded Virginia. The 14th-seeded Yellow Jackets, who won the tournament last year, end their season at 12-20.
For the game, Georgia Tech and Louisville were nearly identical in field goal percentage (UL – 48%; GT – 47%) but the Cardinals held a 38-28 advantage on the boards, including a 12-5 edge on the offensive, which led to UL outscoring the Jackets by a 12-4 margin on second-chance points.
Playing in his final game for Tech, Jordan Usher scored a team-high-tying 19 points. Freshman Miles Kelly matched Usher with a career-high 19 points, which came on 7-of-9 shooting from the field and 3-of-4 efficiency from downtown. Michael Devoe chipped in 15 points to round out three Yellow Jackets in double-figures.
Noah Locke hit a transition 3-pointer at the 8:23 mark for Louisville’s first double-figure lead at 25-15. The margin continued to grow for the half’s remainder, finally reaching 45-28 entering the break after Ellis drove for a layup with 40 seconds left.
The Cardinals hit 53.3 percent from the floor and kept Georgia Tech off the foul line in the half.
Louisville controlled the game for much of the first 30 minutes of the contest and led 67-40 with 12:07 to go. But the Yellow Jackets would not go down without a fight, as it outscored the Cardinals 28-6 over the next 9:10 to trim the deficit all the way to five points at 73-68 with 2:57 remaining in the game. The 28-6 run was jump-started by a 19-0 run.
Unfortunately for the Yellow Jackets, they ran out of steam, as West made 3-pointers for Louisville on each of its next two possessions after Tech had gotten within five and the Cardinals pulled away down the stretch.
Noah Locke added 16 points for Louisville, while Malik Williams contributed 14 points and 10 rebounds. Sydney Curry produced 12 points and El Ellis came off the bench to kick in 10 points and six assists. The Cardinals shot 48.4 percent from the field and logged 18 assists on 30 made buckets.
Overall, the Yellow Jackets made 47.4 percent of their field-goal attempts and shot 12 of 15 on free throws.
Jordan Usher scored 19 points, dished out nine assists and grabbed six rebounds for Georgia Tech. Miles Kelly also had 19 points and Michael Devoe chipped in 15, though he made only 5 of 13 shots from the field.
- Tech fell 2-5 all-time in the Barclays Center.
- Tech went 8-of-18 (44.4 pct.) from three-point range against Louisville and finished the season at 35.3 percent, the highest success rate for a season under Josh Pastner and highest since the 2015-16 season