Tech lose in historic fashion to Duke 86-43 to extend ACC skid – Georgia Tech Football


ATLANTA- Georgia Tech has struggled with Duke for many years and things did not change with first-year coach Jon Scheyer at the helm as the Jackets got blown out 86-43 for the seventh straight loss in ACC play this season dropping Tech to 1-10 in league play for the worst start since 2008-09. The Jackets scored only 18 points in the second half. It was the worst home loss in Tech’s ACC history and the fourth worse ACC loss in Tech history.

The seventh straight loss is the longest ACC losing streak since the 2018-19 season when the core of Jose Alvarado and Moses Wright struggled. It was the worst loss to Duke since Pastner’s first season when the Jackets lost by 53, 110-57 in Durham.

Tech head coach Josh Pastner was honest as usual in his assessment of the team’s performance on Saturday.

“That was not a good game and Duke kicked our rear end and their size was overwhelming for us and we got in stretches where we couldn’t score and it spiraled on us in the last four minutes of the first half and the second half’s opening. I felt like we were really small in a lot of areas. Credit to Duke and it wasn’t a good game for us,” Pastner said.

The Jackets were completely overmatched in every phase of the game.

“We looked small out there,” Pastner said. “Even the wings are we are small. Mark Mitchell was bigger than our center. Sometimes we are not real tough on the floor and not so nice on the floor. We’ve got good young guys and they are nice off the floor and take that nicest on the court. We’ve got to get tougher in some areas. We need guys to step up and be really tough on the floor.”

Scheyer was impressed with his team’s performance in the win.

“I’m really proud of our team and effort and we had a tough loss on Monday night and we had a great week of preparations and Georgia Tech is a really dangerous team and to hold them to 43 and have 24 assists is very good,” Scheyer said.

In a continuing trend, Tech got killed inside with Duke outscoring the Jackets 44-12 in the paint. Star Duke big man Kyle Flipowski only had 18 points after scoring 14 in the first half.

The Blue Devils had five players in double figures in the game Jeremy Roach (12), Mark Mitchell (11), Jacob Grandison (10) and Ryan Young (10).

Duke shot 55.7 percent from the field and 9-23 from the arc.

Georgia Tech shot 30.9 percent from the field, 5-22 from the arc and had just five offensive rebounds in the game. Duke had 13 offensive rebounds and 14 second-chance points.

“I know everyone is frustrated with the offense. We are trying to find some ways to score and things that are not perfect. Eighty to 90 percent of halfcourt offense comes from breakdowns and we’ve struggled with it,” Pastner said.

Tristan Maxwell was the lone double-figure scorer with 10 points in 21 minutes off the bench in his first action after missing several games with a hip pointer.

Tech’s five starters combined 25 points on 38 shot attempts hitting just 9 shots and 3-13 from three. Center Rodney Howard shared his thoughts on the loss and the overall disappointing performance.

“I’m sorry with the way we came out for the fans and we didn’t come out the right way and Duke wanted it more than us and we didn’t get it going,” Howard said. “We can’t let people come in here and kick our butt.”

Coleman who was visibly emotional during the post-game press conference after a 2-8 night with just 5 points, said one word encompassed the day for him.

“It is embarrassing for us and a lot of fans came out to support us and it is embarrassing for Tech,” Coleman said.

Kyle Flipowski continued his strong play in the first half posting 14 points on 4-6 shooting and 5-6 from the free line to lead all scorers at the break. Duke hit 6-13 from the arc in the first half opening up an 18-point lead while Tech shot just 34.5% overall and hit only 3-9 from three while attempting just two free throws compared to Duke’s 10.

“We wanted to get our bigs going because Georgia Tech is kind of small and we really got going in the second half,” Jeremy Roach said.

Tech travels to Louisville on Wednesday to face a winless Cardinals team in ACC play this season and then back to NC State on Saturday to start February.

“I’m a real positive guy and I’m also a realist, we have no margin for error and we have deficiencies, our first 11 games in ACC play we’ve had the toughest schedule in the league. If you look at the backend of our schedule maybe we can get some wins,” Pastner said. “Hopefully things can loosen up and there is maybe not so much size difference and you aren’t playing two first-round picks or teams that are not as old, though Duke is not as old they just have multiple first-round guys. We’ve got opportunities and all you can ask for is that.”

Duke opened the game by hitting on four of six three-point attempts to take a 16-7 lead forcing Josh Pastner to burn an early timeout. Tech continued to struggle offensively but they got in transition and cut the Duke lead to 19-11 with under 12 to go in the first half thanks to a fastbreak layup by Tristan Maxwell. Tech trimmed the lead to six, but a couple of turnovers allowed Duke to extend the lead back to nine, 25-16 at the third media timeout with 7:47 left. Deivon Smith had a couple of clutch buckets including a three to cut the Duke lead to 30-23 with 4:21 left leading to a timeout by Scheyer. Duke went on a 6-0 run after the timeout pounding the ball inside leading to another Tech timeout with 2:27 left and Pastner brought in Cyril Martynov for the first time in ACC play. Duke closed the half on a 14-2 run to lead 43-25 at the break.

Tech came out cold to start the second half and Duke extended the lead to 30 early in half thanks to a 3:30 scoreless stretch to open the half. Things got worse from there.

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