Tue, 02 Mar 2021

Coming off school-record win, Georgia Tech ready for Virginia Tech

Field Level Media
22 Feb 2021, 08:55 GMT+10

No. 18 Virginia Tech, which hasn't played since Feb. 6, hopes to get back on schedule Tuesday when it hosts Georgia Tech in an Atlantic Coast Conference game in Blacksburg, Va.

The Hokies (14-4, 8-3 ACC) have had their last three games postponed because of COVID-19 issues. Georgia Tech (11-8, 7-6) had a game postponed last week against Boston College, but came back to rout Miami 87-60 on the road.

Virginia Tech is 9-1 at home this season. The Hokies' last home game was Jan. 30 when they took care of rival and then-No. 8 Virginia 65-51. They lost to Pitt on Feb. 3, the Hokies bounced back to win at Miami in overtime on Feb. 6, which coach Mike Young saw as an important step.

"Good teams don't lose two games in a row," Young said. "Good teams find ways to hang in there and continue to keep their shoulders back and get on the practice floor and improve. It speaks to their character."

Young learned last week that he had been named to the Naismith Men's College Coach of the Year watchlist. Young, in his second season, has led the team to wins over four ranked teams this season -- the only ACC team that can make that claim.

Virginia Tech is led by Keve Aluma, who earned ACC Player of the Week honors earlier this month.

Aluma scored a career-high 30 points and 10 rebounds in the loss to Pitt and had 16 points against Miami for his 15th game in which he has scored in double figures this season.

He became the fifth Hokie in the ACC era, which began in 2004, to pick up a double-double in three straight games with his performances against Pitt, Virginia and Notre Dame.

Aluma averages a team-high 15.7 points and 7.6 rebounds. Justyn Mutts is coming off his best game: a season-high 22 points, nine rebounds and seven assists against Miami. Mutts averages 8.9 points and 6.6 rebounds.

Georgia Tech is trying to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010. The Yellow Jackets are coming off an impressive win against Miami, leading 48-18 at halftime and winding up with a 27-point victory, their largest margin of victory in an ACC road game in program history.

"We played the right way on both sides of the ball, both halves," Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner said. "That's hard to do on the road in the ACC."

It helps when the Georgia Tech guard duo of Jose Alvarado and Michael Devoe are clicking. Georgia Tech is 8-1 overall and 6-0 in ACC games when those two score in double figures. Devoe scored 29 and Alvarado had 16 against the Hurricanes.

Forward Moses Wright passed the 1,000-career point milestone by scoring 14 points against Miami. He gives Georgia Tech four players with 1,000 career points, joining Bubba Parham (1,424, not all at Georgia Tech), Alvarado (1,352), Devoe (1,037). Ole Miss is the only other Div. I team with four active 1,000-point scorers on its roster.

This will be the only meeting between Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech this season. Virginia Tech leads the all-time series 20-7, but Georgia Tech beat the Hokies last year, 76-57, marking its first win over Virginia Tech in seven tries.

--Field Level Media

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