Atlanta, GA—-Keve Aluma scored 12 points along with 10 boards, Darius Maddox poured in 10 straight points to give Virginia Tech the lead for good and the Virginia Tech Hokies hung on to beat Georgia Tech 62-58 on Wednesday night at McCamish Pavilion.
Maddox, who averages 5.4 points a contest, finished with 12 points as did Nahiem Alleyne, who had 10 boards. The Hokies (17-11, 9-8) gave coach Mike Young his 200th Atlantic Coast Conference victory. With the win, Virginia Tech has won seventh in its last eight games.
The Hokies started the game ice-cold shooting 1-8 from the hardwood with an Alleyne 3-pointer opening the scoring. The Yellow Jackets answered with a 9-0 run, its largest of the half. Until Justyn Mutts’ dunk with 12:19 remaining to go in the first half, Alleyne was the only VT player to score. Despite struggling from downtown, shooting 3-14, Virginia Tech managed to keep the game close and only trailed 34-30 at the break.
“The last thing I’m going to do is blame anything on a tough stretch. We’ve all lived it, bottom line is we got beat by a better team tonight. I thought we lost our edge and got hit in the stomach and we stepped away from it and that is unlike our team. Win lose or draw we had to get back on the floor, we had to play, we had to compete. With limited practices (no excuse), a number of guys in that hotel for 10 days and they’re going to come in and now we are going to play an ACC league game, good luck to you.
“They fought, but I take nothing away from Georgia Tech. They have a good basketball team (Alvardo, Moses Wright, Usher, Michael Devoe is really good, Bubba Parham) I applaud the Yellow Jackets. We’ll get back to practice on Thursday and begin our preparations for Wake Forest, we’ll play better on Saturday I can guarantee that.” Hokies coach Mike Young said.
The Yellow Jackets outshot Virginia Tech in the contest, 43.4%-39.0%, but the Hokies made up for the shooting deficit by outrebounding the Yellow Jackets, 39-31, including a 15-7 advantage in offensive rebounds.
In the second half, the Hokies came back to tie the game at 41 before going on a 7-0 spurt, highlighted by Maddox’s jumper, to up the lead to 48-41 with 9:50 to go in the game. Georgia Tech trimmed the deficit a little before the contest was over, but the Hokies still held on for the win. Virginia Tech capitalized on seven Georgia Tech turnovers in the period, capitalizing 10 points off those turnovers.
Georgia Tech wouldn’t go away quietly, trailing 59-46 with less than five minutes left in the game, Devoe scored five of Georgia Tech’s 10 points during its comeback run, including an long trey with 1:20 to go that got the Yellow Jackets within three points at 59-56.
Georgia Tech’s zone defense frustrated VT’s shooters in the second half, while the Yellow Jacket offense shot 52% from the court.
Michael Devoe scored 18 points and Jordan Usher 11 for Georgia Tech (11-17, 4-13), playing its third game in five days.
The Hokies, who beat the Yellow Jackets 81-66 on Feb. 2, won after having a six-game winning streak snapped by North Carolina on Saturday.
“We have to do a better job of getting the ball through Aluma and actually move the ball. We did more with Syracuse than we did tonight. If we have the opportunity to play them again, we’ll handle things better.” Virginia Tech Young said.
Virginia Tech had its best offensive rebounding performance of the season, grabbing in 15 offensive boards that resulted in 14 second-chance points. Aluma led the way on the glass with 10 boards, while he, Sean Pedulla and Mutts brought in three offensive rebounds each.
Virginia Tech is at Miami on Saturday.
Georgia Tech is at Notre Dame on Saturday.