Georgia Tech Basketball: Jackets start long road stretch at NC State

The Yellow Jackets start their longest road stretch of the 2016-17 season with their game at North Carolina State on Sunday evening as Josh Pastner’s squad gets deeper into Atlantic Coast Conference play.

Over the next seven days, Georgia Tech will play three ACC games at NC State, Virginia Tech and Virginia.

At an even 2-2 in conference play thus far, Sunday’s game could set the tempo for the important stretch ahead. The team is 10-6 overall, but only 1-3 on the road on the season.

Last Time Out:

Josh Pastner’s squad got a win in what was widely considered an upset of Clemson at McCamish Pavilion on Thursday night, beating the Tigers 75-63.

Ben Lammers carried the bulk of the load for the Jackets with 23 points and 10 rebounds, while Quinton Stephens added 16 points and eight rebounds of his own.

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Perhaps surprisingly, Georgia Tech was able to hold Clemson to a lousy 37 percent shooting from the field, and the Jackets led the Tigers for more than 35 minutes total in the game.

Of his team’s play against the Tigers, Josh Pastner said “I thought our defense was really good. The second half, I think they had maybe six offensive rebounds in the first half and we held them to [one] offensive rebounds in the second half, so we did a good job on the glass.”

Know the Opponent:

NC State has dropped two straight with an embarrassing loss to North Carolina, and a closer defeat at the hands of Boston College.

State needs a win to get back on track, especially at home.

The Wolfpack has had some success at home this season, including a 104-78 stomping of Virginia Tech back on January 4.

Since 1925, the Wolfpack is 56-38 against the Yellow Jackets overall, and 31-10 against Georgia Tech in Raleigh.

Players to Watch:

Georgia Tech: C Ben Lammers

Coming of a big game in the Tech’s win over Clemson, Lammers has scored 24, and 23 points in his last two games.

Those numbers are well over Lammers’ season average points per game of 15.4. If the Junior can keep trending upward, it’ll be huge for the Yellow Jackets as they get deep into conference play.

NC State: G Dennis Smith, Jr.

The freshman guard  leads his team in scoring on the season, and is averaging 18.8 points and 6.2 assists per game. State will need production from the youngster to have a chance against Tech, especially from the field.

Prediction: 

Georgia Tech is coming off a quality win over Clemson, and the Wolfpack have dropped two straight, including a demoralizing defeat at the hands of a North Carolina team Georgia Tech beat on New Year’s Eve.

A strong record at home this season might give North Carolina State a slight edge on Sunday evening, but look for a close game either way.

Georgia TechYellow Jackets

62

North Carolina StateWolfpack

58

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