GAME NOTES: An Atlantic Coast Conference showdown is on tap for Wednesday night, as the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets entertain the Maryland Terrapins at McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta.
Maryland's season as a whole appears rather impressive at 19-8, but things have been up and down since the start of ACC action, as it currently sits in sixth place at 7-7. The Terps most recently made claim to a 72-59 win over Clemson on Saturday to improve to 16-2 at home, but they are only 2-5 away from College Park this season.
Meanwhile, Georgia Tech has proven to be one of the conference's worst teams this season, as it sits at 14-12 overall and just 4-10 in ACC action. The Yellow Jackets have dropped back-to-back games, including a blowout defeat at Virginia on Sunday afternoon, 82-54.
Maryland holds a narrow 39-35 lead over Georgia Tech in the all-time series. The teams split the season series last year, with each winning on its home floor.
After the Terrapins trailed by six points early in their latest game, they managed to take a three-point lead into halftime and never again trailed on their way to a 13-point victory over Clemson. They shot a stellar 47.6 percent from the field and won the rebounding battle, 39-29, which helped make up for an awful afternoon from the free-throw line (6-of-16). Nick Faust shot 7-of-10 from the field, including 4-of-7 from 3-point range on his way to a game-high 18 points, while Jake Layman and Shaquille Cleare added 12 and 10 points, respectively. Maryland has been consistently good at both ends of the court this season, as it is the only team in the ACC to rank in the top-five in both scoring offense (71.4 ppg) and scoring defense (62.7 ppg). Alex Len has established himself as one of the best centers in the country, shooting 54.2 percent from the field for 12.3 ppg to go along with 8.0 rpg and 2.1 bpg. Dez Wells runs the point and scores 11.5 ppg, but he also has nearly as many turnovers (79) as he does assists (88). Eight others score between 3.2 and 8.4 ppg to contribute to the balanced attack.
Georgia Tech kept its contest with Virginia over the weekend close well into the second half, even getting to within five points of the lead with 14:16 remaining, but from there the Cavaliers ended the game on a 37-14 run to pull away. It was a solid shooting day for the Yellow Jackets (.440), but they made only eight trips to the foul line and allowed UVA to net greater than 54 percent of its attempts overall. Marcus Georges-Hunt tallied 12 points, while Daniel Miller logged a true double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Typically, Georgia Tech is a much more effective defensive squad, ranking fourth in the ACC in yielding just 60.3 ppg, but unfortunately it often doesn't have the scoring prowess (63.5 ppg) to keep pace. Georges-Hunt is the only player to average double figures with 10.7 ppg, although Robert Carter, Jr. (9.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg) and Kammeon Holsey (9.3 ppg) are close. Miller (7.8 ppg) is force on the inside with 6.8 rpg and 2.2 bpg.
On pure talent, Maryland has the edge over Georgia Tech, but with Maryland's road woes this season and the Yellow Jackets sporting a solid 10-5 mark in front of their home fans, figure Tech to use solid defensive pressure to outlast the Terps.
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