GAME NOTES: The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets look to sweep the Wake Forest Demon Deacons as they meet in ACC action at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
In the first meeting of the season between these schools, the Yellow Jackets coasted to an 82-62 victory in Atlanta. Georgia Tech's victory evened the all- time series at 37. Robert Carter Jr. paced the Yellow Jackets with 20 points and six rebounds as they shot 54.2 percent from the field. C.J. Harris led Wake Forest with 18 points.
Georgia Tech has alternated losses with wins for its last seven games. The Yellow Jackets fell to Clemson, 56-53, on Thursday to fall to 13-10 on the season and 3-8 in the conference standings. A win over Wake Forest would give Georgia Tech its first season sweep of an ACC opponent since the 2010-11 season, when it last swept the Demon Deacons. Brian Gregory has instilled a tough mentality into his squad and it shows on the defensive end where they limit the opposition to 59.1 ppg. The Yellow Jackets are not as good on the offensive end, where they rank 10th in the ACC with 64.4 ppg.
In the loss to Clemson, Marcus Georges-Hunt led the team with 11 points and Carter tallied 10 points and 11 boards. Georgia Tech fell behind after going 5- of-29 from the field in the opening half during which they went a span of nearly eight minutes without making a shot from the floor. Gregory's squad was unable to rally back as its lack of leadership after the break showed. While there is no clear go-to-guy for Georgia Tech, Georges-Hunt, Carter, Kammeon Holsey and Mfon Udofia all produce over nine points per tilt. Daniel Miller does a good job of anchoring the defense, while towering in the paint.
Wake Forest delivered a very surprising performance on Feb. 9 when it routed Florida State by 25 points. The blowout win was quickly followed by a 66-63 loss at Boston College. The close loss to the Eagles dropped coach Jeff Bzdelik's squad to an 11-13 overall record, including its 4-8 mark against ACC foes. Harris led the team against BC with 23 points and four assists, while Devin Thomas pulled down nine rebounds.
After allowing their previous five opponents to average 83 points per game, the Demon Deacons put the clamps down defensively and held FSU and BC to a combined 38.4 percent shooting from the floor. Wake Forest's loss to the Eagles was quite disheartening, as it allowed BC to go on an 8-0 run in the closing two minutes to steal the decision. Travis McKie had a quiet game by his standards with 11 points and four rebounds.
McKie has been shy as of late, attempting less than 10 field goals in three straight games after finishing with eight or less field goal tries just once over his previous 10 outings. Harris has passed him in the scoring column with his team-leading 14.8 ppg, but McKie still paces the team on the glass with 7.6 rpg.
The homecourt advantage will help Wake Forest as it does its best to avoid the sweep, but Georgia Tech was still able to completely stifle the Demon Deacons in the first encounter. Thomas has become Wake Forest's best pure post player. The rookie forward will need to step up his play to keep Carter from demolishing Wake Forest once again.
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