The fact that Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team has trouble winning on the road is well established. It has one winning road record under coach Paul Hewitt and is 31-86 away from home on non-neutral courts.
But the fact they are losing by such large margins this seasons raises new issues. In their six road losses this season, the Yellow Jackets have been beaten by an average of 14 points. They were hammered by 25 at Clemson, a game in which coach Paul Hewitt said the team lost its focus, and were behind by as much as 18 points at Virginia on Saturday. They were eventually subdued 72-64 in Charlottesville.
But a bright spot, such as they are in an eight-point defeat, is that Hewitt said the team kept its composure and kept working to rally against the Cavaliers.
“They didn’t fall apart,” he said. “We stayed organized and kept chipping away.”
As much as the odds were against it, Tech actually had a bit of momentum in the second half. They cut the Cavs’ lead to 13 on a 3-pointer by Brian Oliver with 7:53 remaining, but then went through a two-minute scoring drought that sealed the defeat.
The Jackets haven’t beaten a team on its court since knocking off North Carolina on Jan. 16 2010, a stretch of 12 road games.
Tech will play four of its next five and five of its next seven at home. It has road games at Miami and at Virginia Tech in that stretch, before it must go to Duke on Feb. 20. Its last two road games are at N.C. State (Feb. 26) and at Wake Forest (March 3).
Its chances of making the NCAA tournament as an at-large team for the second consecutive year, which has only happened once under Hewitt, are slim at best. The Jackets must start winning their road games.
“We just have to keep things tighter defensively,” Iman Shumpert said.
– Doug Roberson, AJC