The Jackets dropped two more games over the past week, falling to 11-15 overall and 4-8 in conference play. The losses extend the Jackets’ losing streak to six in a row.
In the first game on Saturday, Georgia Tech fell to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, 92-84. Freshman point guard Maurice Miller had a break-out game for the Jackets, scoring 29 total points for his highest total on the season and nearly double his previous high, which was 15 points against UGA. He also led the team with five assists. Seniors Anthony Morrow and Jeremis Smith also contributed 18 and 15 points, respectively.
Fouls also hurt Tech in the first half. Tech was called for 18 personal fouls, sending the Hokies to the line 24 times, 18 of which they were able to make. At the half, junior Alade Aminu and Anthony Morrow both had racked up three fouls each and five other Tech players also had two personal fouls going into the half.
The Jackets were able to start out the game strong, surging to a quick 12-2 lead within the first six minutes, but Virginia Tech battled back going on a 8-0 run to cut the lead down to two. But once the Hokies captured the lead with just under eight to play in the first, there was no looking back as Georgia Tech was unable to regain the lead for the remainder of the game. Georgia Tech went into the locker room at half time down by four. Virginia Tech’s defense was a main contribution to their inability to retake the lead. On the boards, the Jackets were out-rebounded 42-27 by the Hokies. Senior guard for the Hokies Deron Washington led his team with nine rebounds.
Tech’s early foul trouble in the first half carried over into the second. Both Aminu and freshman Lance Storrs fouled out. The 34 total fouls on Tech is the highest single game foul total for the team on the season. Deron Washington fouled out for VT. Virginia Tech picked up another 18 points from the free throw line in the second half while shooting a total of 25 free throws. Tech’s free throw shooting, at times during the season a weakness for the Jackets, was strong as they made 28-of-34 free throws.
For the next game, the Jackets traveled up to Durham, N.C. to take on No. 6 Duke. Tech fell to the Blue Devils, 72-58. Senior point guard Matt Causey and freshman forward Gani Lawal were the only two Jackets to hit double-digit points with each accounting for 10.
The Jackets started out slow, going down 6-0 to the Devils, but were able to bounce back to take their first lead over Duke with 11 minutes to play in the first half, 13-12. A back-and-forth battle then ensued with eight lead changes taking place over the next 3:30 minutes.
Duke went into halftime with a 33-27 lead over the Jackets. Both teams struggled from the field, however. Tech shot 35 percent from inside the arc during the first half, just over Duke’s 34 percent.
Three’s went in favor of the Jackets in the first shooting 3-for-9. Duke, a team that normally averages 49 percent from three-point range, made only 1-of-12 for the first 20 minutes.
Free throws went in the completely opposite direction. Duke made 21 of their attempted 30 free throws. The Jackets only had 11 free throws for the entire game. Their two free throws did not come until there was less than ten minutes left in the second half. Personal fouls fell similarly, with Tech racking up 25 while Duke got by with only 15.
In the last seconds of the first half Causey suffered a mild concussion while attempting to pull a charge during the last second shot. While Causey sat out for the first part of the second half, he returned toward the end of the game.