On the date of Wednesday, January 8th; McCamish Pavilion in Georgia Tech saw greatest number of attendance of students, some even eagerly waiting the door to open on their lawn chairs for more than four hours, when Georgia Tech was about to face the Number 2 of the country; Duke. This was also the 20th sellout of the Tech’s McCamish Pavilion, and filling up whole stadium even before the warmups are concluded, while being the first for this semester.
The game started with Jackets putting a relatively sizable lead of 14-6 before even the fourth minute have been completed. However, Blue Devils quickly shifted the momentum, capitalizing on Jackets’ loose defense to pull themselves to the score of 29-40, with the 11-point lead when the halftime has arrived.
The second half also saw a shift in momentum, when Jackets started with a hot streak with a lot of momentum, scoring 9 points in quick succession with Duke’s Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski referring it as, “In the second half, [Tech] came out and we gave them nine quick points and it looked like the whole thing was going to turn.” And it did, after a three pointer by sophomore guard Michael Devoe brought Tech to a triumphant 51-50 lead.
The sweat, the enthusiasm and the excitement were exploding from the court and the stands as the unranked Jackets continued to surprise the crowd with an originally unprecedented assumption of such an unlevel playing field against the No. 2 nationally ranked team.
This half saw four score ties and four lead changes as both teams strived to pull ahead. A foul let Duke even the score to a 53-53 tie, and then to 55-55. Solid free throws by junior guard Jose Alvarado brought the Jackets to their third tie, and then another lead, 59-58, against the Blue Devils. The lead wavered back and forth for a final tie of 61-61 with a swisher from Devoe.
However, when the final four minutes have arrived, Duke built out, and then sustained a sizable lead on Jackets, and with several misses, Blue Devils emerged from this long and hard battle with a final score of 64-73. This season, the men’s squad has coined themselves as the team that is #BuiltDifferent. Despite the loss, the Jackets clearly showed the field that they have built themselves to battle hard. As Coach Pastner said, “All you can ask for is a change to win the game, we had some chances … our guys have always fought and competed.”