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Friday August 19 2022
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Georgia Tech downs cold-shooting Pitt 63-59

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Georgia Tech guard Adam Smith scored 23 points to guide the Yellow Jackets over Pitt, 63-59, in Atlanta on Saturday.

The Panthers finished the regular season at 20-10 and 9-9 in ACC play to earn the eighth seed in the conference. Georgia Tech improved to 18-13 and 8-10 against conference foes. The Yellow Jackets Are the 10th seed. Both teams will receive a first round bye in the ACC tournament.

While both teams had difficulty shooting, Georgia Tech’s strong 3-point defense, holding opponents to 32 percent on the season (fourth in the ACC), forced Pitt to go 0-11 from 3-point range.

Pitt was also outrebounded by the Yellow Jackets 41 to 33, limiting their second chance points.

The Panthers did open up sharp with a 9-5 lead in the first four minutes by holding the home team to two baskets.

Despite the poor shooting from Georgia Tech, the Panthers were unable to build a large lead. Then, at the 11:00 mark, Smith pulled up in transition and drained a three from the left wing. The Panthers were forced to call a timeout following the next Yellow Jackets possession once Smith drove inside for a slashing layup making the score 19-14.

Pitt captured the led with just over five minutes remaining in the first half as Michael Young posted up a defender and made a running hook shot. At this point, Young was 6-8 from the floor while the rest of the Panthers only shot 4-16.

This began Georgia Tech’s four-minute scoring drought, a stretch where they missed nine attempts, allowing Pitt to go on a 10-0 run. The sequence was highlighted by James Robinson sprinting down the court, passing the ball to Damon Wilson who missed the off balance layup, but Sterling Smith found the rebound and tipped it in making the score 32-25.

Young finished his 18-point half strong with a basket in the final seconds giving the Panthers a 36-29 lead.

Early in the second half, Georgia Tech cut the deficit to three. Young continued to dominate, responding to the Yellow Jacket run by knocking down a corner midrange jumper.

With just over 14 minutes to go, Georgia Tech capitalized on Pitt’s fourth turnover of the half as Smith swished a catch and shoot three to tie the game up. Then, in transition, Sheldon Jeter pumped faked, drove to the basket, created contact with a defender and still made the layup to give the Panthers the lead back.

A fade away corner three from Smith at the 6:24 mark gave Georgia Tech their first lead since the middle of first half. On the next possession, Yellow Jackets guard Marcus Georges-Hunt fed the ball to Nick Jacobs for the slam making the score 58-55.

With two minutes remaining in the game, Smith, from the same spot of his previous three, made another to put Georgia Tech up four.

Tight defense by the Yellow Jackets in the final minute prevented Pitt from making any baskets.

Michael Young ended with 24 points on 10 of 16 shooting along with seven rebounds in the loss.

The Panthers begin play in the ACC tournament on Wednesday.

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