BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Moses Wright scored 17 of his 26 points in the second half, helping Georgia Tech pull away from No. 16 Virginia Tech for a 69-53 victory Tuesday night.
Wright also grabbed 10 rebounds in the Yellow Jackets’ third straight win. They also posted back-to-back ACC road wins for the first time since 2008.
“We were trying to make a statement out here that we belong at the top,” Wright said. “So we’ve got to get these games.”
Jose Alvarado had 13 points for Georgia Tech (12-8, 8-6), and Michael Devoe finished with 12. Alvarado also had five steals.
Keve Aluma had 12 points and 14 rebounds for Virginia Tech (14-5, 8-4). The Hokies’ 53 points were a season low.
The Yellow Jackets grabbed control with a 12-0 run in the second half. Wright scored seven points during the decisive stretch on three dunks and a free throw.
Virginia Tech cut a 14-point deficit to six with 7:20 remaining, but Georgia Tech held on — bucking a season-long trend of letting second-half leads slip away.
“Yes, I’ve seen that before, and fortunately, these last few games, we’ve learned how to win,” coach Josh Pastner said. “We got stops and we executed at the other end.”
Georgia Tech shot 62% (16 of 26) from the field in the second half. The game was tied at 24 at the break.
Nahiem Alleyne had 12 points for the Hokies.
“The bottom line is we got beat by a better team tonight,” Virginia Tech coach Mike Young said. “I thought for the first time in recent memory we lost our edge a little bit. I thought we got hit in the stomach and we stepped away from it. That’s unlike our team … But I take nothing away from Georgia Tech. They’ve got a good basketball team.”
Georgia Tech: The veteran Yellow Jackets are pushing for a spot in the NCAA Tournament. It was the Yellow Jackets’ fourth win over a ranked team this season. With plenty of experience and talented guard play, they are a team to watch in the final two weeks of the regular season.
“They know the deal,” Pastner said. “We weren’t hiding anything that this was an important game. I’ve never coached in a game that hasn’t been big in my mind, but we understood the value of this coming down to crunch time here. … We needed that extra game to go on our resumé, so our guys knew that. It was a huge win for us.”
Virginia Tech: The Hokies played for the first time since Feb. 6 after their season was paused because of COVID-19 protocols. They looked a little rusty, struggling against Georgia Tech’s 1-3-1 zone, missing open shots and turning the ball over 16 times. The Hokies are still in a good spot for an NCAA Tournament berth, but will need to play better down the stretch.
Georgia Tech: Host Syracuse on Saturday.
Virginia Tech: Host Wake Forest on Saturday.