McDaniel rallies Clemson past Georgia Tech 63-55
The Tigers (17-9, 8-6 ACC) took advantage of the sloppy Yellow Jackets (13-14, 4-10) after intermission as Tech committed nine of its 15 turnovers and Clemson scored 14 points off those miscues.
DaMarcus Harrison added 15 points for Clemson, which swept the two-game season series against Georgia Tech, and Landry Nnoko scored 13.
Senior point guard Trae Golden returned to the starting lineup for Georgia Tech after being slowed for three weeks by a groin injury, and led the Yellow Jackets with 17 points. The Tennessee transfer was guilty of five turnovers, however.
Tech center Daniel Miller pitched in 14 points and eight rebounds before fouling out, and Marcus Georges-Hunt scored 13.
The Jackets took a 29-23 lead to halftime, enjoying Golden's return to form.
He was averaging a team-high 14.6 points per game when he suffered a groin injury in a Feb. 1 game at Wake Forest. In his last three games, the Tennessee transfer scored a total of five points and missed two games entirely.
The native of suburban Atlanta made two 3-pointers in the first half Saturday to surpass that total with six points, and Miller was dominant inside with 10 points and five rebounds. The Yellow Jackets led for the final 11:19 of the half after a 3-pointer by Georges-Hunt.
Georgia Tech entered the game lagging the entire 15-team ACC in turnover margin (-3.46 per game), and that bugaboo caught up to the Yellow Jackets in the second half.
After building an 8-6 lead in the first half in that category, the Yellow Jackets frequently lost track of the ball after intermission.
When reserve forward Josh Smith rebounded a free throw missed by Nnoko and stuck it back in with 10:02 remaining, the Tigers had their first lead of the second half at 42-40.
That Clemson possession began with a turnover by Tech's Miller, and was the third straight time the Yellow Jackets coughed the ball up following consecutive miscues by Golden.