With a defensive effort that took Nebraska out of its game, Georgia Tech played perhaps its best game without point guard Jose Alvarado in a 73-56 win Wednesday night at McCamish Pavilion.
The Yellow Jackets rarely let Nebraska get comfortable, inducing shots that were rushed or challenged, giving them the space they needed to survive a game in which the offense was still roughshod with Alvarado sitting out his third consecutive game with a high ankle sprain.
In the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge, Tech (4-2) contributed a win to the conference total to improve its all-time record in the event to 8-11. Nebraska (4-4) lost in its first true road game of the season.
Under first-year coach Fred Hoiberg, the Cornhuskers had come into the game averaging 75.7 points while depending heavily on its 3-point shooting. The Cornhuskers had shot 34.2 percent from 3-point range. As it often does, Tech's 1-3-1 defense threw off Nebraska, which shot 6-for-26 (23.1 percent) from beyond the arc, a season low for accuracy.
Tech was also largely effective in its transition defense, a top priority for coach Josh Pastner against the up-tempo Cornhuskers, limiting them to 15 fast-break points.
Again, Tech guard Michael Devoe guided the Jackets on offense. The ACC's leading scorer filled it up with a game-high 26 points on 10-for-16 shooting, including 4-for-8 from 3-point range. He was particularly helpful early in the second half. The Jackets had stretched the lead to 11 at 43-32 before the Corhnuskers cut the lead to 43-37. Devoe then answered with a 3-point off a screen set by forward Moses Wright and then won an offensive rebound and scored on a putback for a person five-point run to score the 11-point margin.
That was Nebraska's final threat of the evening.
Forward Moses Wright added 18 on 8-for-14 shooting to go with nine rebounds. Tech shot 43.8 percent from the field, including 5-for-23 from 3-point range.
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