ATLANTA (AP)Jose Alvarado scored 24 points and made two dazzling steals in the closing seconds to lead Georgia Tech to a 64-58 upset victory over North Carolina State on Saturday.
The Yellow Jackets (9-11, 4-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) ended a five-game losing streak at home and won for the first time at home in league play this season.
It was an ugly loss for N.C. State (14-6, 5-4) after a dramatic victory three days ago at Virginia. Snapping a three-game winning streak, the Wolfpack got no points from senior C.J. Bryce, who went 0 for 4 from the field and didn’t take a shot in the second half. N.C. State allowed 20 points on 14 turnovers.
Alvardo won it by himself at the end. He hit two free throws after taking the ball away when Bryce was trying to pass it to Markell Johnson along the right sideline and drew a quick foul. He followed by stealing the ball from Johnson and hitting a layup at the buzzer.
Georgia Tech played without its leading scorer as Michael Devoe appeared to be sidelined by a sore foot.
After N.C. State’s Devon Daniels gave his team a 53-50 lead with a long turn-around jumper on the right baseline just before the shot clock expired, Johnson took the ball to the rim for an easy layup in an offensive set to make it a five-point game. Center James Banks, though, tipped in a putback to give the Jackets a 56-55 lead with 2:37 remaining, and Alvarado drove the lane out of an offensive set for a layup that made it 58-55 at the 1:52 mark.
In the final minute, Braxton Beverly hit a jumper from the right wing to tie it before Banks’ putback gave the Jackets a 60-58 lead.
After missing nine of its first 10 shots and later trailing by 11 at 10:55 mark of the first half, N.C. State tied it on two free throws and led 30-28 and a reverse layup by Johnson. The Wolfpack were up by one at intermission.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack won at Virginia despite not having F Manny Bates (concussion protocol) and F Pat Andree (ankle). Both were absent again, but facing a lesser front line against Georgia Tech, N.C. State still had enough size to take advantage in the paint when the Jackets switched from a zone to a man defense midway through the first half. The Wolfpack bogged down in the second half when Tech switched back to a zone and used trapping sets to confuse the ball handlers. N.C. State snapped a four-game streak in which it held opponents under 40% shooting. Georgia Tech finished at 43.4%.
Georgia Tech: The Jackets won their fourth straight in the series … Devoe, who averages 16.2 points, warmed up before game and was in uniform as he watched the entire game from the bench. … It marked the first time in 11 games that Tech didn’t go with a lineup of Alvarado, Devoe, Banks, Khalid Moore and Moses Wright. … The Jackets took their second double-digit lead on Alvarado’s runner midway through the first.
N.C. State hosts North Carolina on Monday and is off four days before hosting Louisville.
Georgia Tech hosts Morehouse on Tuesday and is off four days before visiting Notre Dame.
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