Two teams coming off dramatically different outcomes in their most recent outings will face off when Florida State hosts Georgia Tech Saturday afternoon in Tallahassee, Fla.
The Yellow Jackets (8-6, 1-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) upset No. 12 Miami 76-70 Wednesday night, overcoming a six-point deficit with a 12-0 closing run in the final five minutes.
The Seminoles (4-11, 2-2) lost 86-67 at Duke last weekend despite a fourth consecutive double-double performance from Matthew Cleveland, who tallied 18 points and 10 rebounds.
“Obviously, he has a high basketball IQ,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. “I think when we lost Cam’Ron Fletcher that it motivated him to step up his game even more.”
Fletcher is out with a season-ending knee injury.
Caleb Mills matched Cleveland’s output with 18 points and Darin Green Jr. added 16, but the rest of the team combined for only 15 for the short-handed Seminoles.
As many as six players have missed time to injuries, and that puts a heavier load on Cleveland, Mills, and Green, who all logged more than 30 minutes against the Blue Devils.
“I’m not really sure I have ever played three or four guys for 30 minutes in any game,” Hamilton said. “That’s not how we built our program. This is who we are now so I’m asking our experienced second-year players to go out and extend themselves to a level that we haven’t asked players in the past to do.”
Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner said an emphasis on defense paid off against Miami.
The Jackets held the Hurricanes to a season-low 35.3 percent from the field and their leading scorer, Isaiah Wong, scored only six points, well below his season average of 16.3.
“I thought defensively we were very good,” Pastner said, “and we’ve got to get back to hanging our hat on that end of the floor and continue to do that.”
Gardner-Webb transfer Lance Terry scored 24 points, his high with the Yellow Jackets, and Miles Kelly was just a point short of his career high with 20.
–Field Level Media