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Ga. Tech aims to play right way vs. first-place Florida St.

Sportsnaut
Dec 18, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets guard Michael Devoe (0) against the Southern California Trojans during the Colangelo Classic at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 18, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets guard Michael Devoe (0) against the Southern California Trojans during the Colangelo Classic at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After a brief excursion outside Atlantic Coast Conference play, Georgia Tech will return Wednesday night when it hosts Florida State in Atlanta for the first meeting between the teams since last season’s ACC Championship Game.

Georgia Tech (8-10, 1-6 ACC) defeated Division II Clayton State 103-53 on Sunday, but will now turn its attention to getting back on track in conference play.

The Yellow Jackets got 20 points from Michael Devoe and 16 from Jordan Usher in a comprehensive beatdown of Clayton State. They shot 55.7 percent from the floor and 62.5 percent from 3-point range as a team.

“I understand today we didn’t play Florida State or Miami,” Georgia Tech head coach Josh Pastner said. “But it didn’t matter who we played, we played the right way. And when you’re playing the right way, and playing the right way defensively and focusing on the controllables, there’s rhythm flow and energy.”

All the way at the opposite end of the conference is Florida State (13-5, 6-2), which pulled into a tie for first place in the league in thrilling fashion its last time out. The Seminoles took a 26-point lead on the road against rival Miami, only to see the Hurricanes mount a furious late rally and pull within a point.

Florida State got a stop on the last possession of the game to preserve a 61-60 win, but head coach Leonard Hamilton knows his team will need to be a lot better going forward than it was in the second half.

“You probably saw the best half we’ve played all year and you probably saw the worst half we’ve played all year,” Hamilton said. “That just shows a little bit about where we are in terms of execution and being able to adjust to different types of defensive schemes.”

Wednesday’s game will be the only meeting of the season between the two teams. Georgia Tech won the conference title game 80-75 last season, and won 76-65 in its last home game against the Seminoles.

–Field Level Media