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March 8, 2014

Jackets sweep VT

ATLANTA -- On Senior Night, Georgia Tech center Daniel Miller made the most out of his final game at McCamish Pavilion helping guide the Jackets to a 62-51 win. Miller scored 14 points with nine rebounds, three steals and three assists in 33 minutes.

The Jackets knocked off Virginia Tech sweeping the last-place Hokies after knocking off #7 Syracuse earlier in the week.

"Give Georgia Tech a lot of credit coming off of the Syracuse win. They weren't feeling too good about themselves and they were ready to play on Senior Day. Daniel Miller and Kam Holsey have played a lot of basketball around here," Hokies coach James Johnson said. "We held them to 62 points and that should've been good enough to win for us."

Miller came on strong early with a 10-point, seven rebound, three steal first half performance to build a 29-22 lead for the Jackets at the break. The Jackets then shot 54.5-percent in the second half to put away the Hokies.

"I thought it was exciting couple of days build up to it with the win on the road and then getting back-to-back wins and we came out and played like it," Miller said.

Tech senior guard Trae Golden also finished out his lone season at Tech with a strong performance on Senior Night. Golden had 14 points with eight assists (a Tech career-high) in 35 minutes. Golden also had zero turnovers and the Jackets had 18 assists and only 8 turnovers.

"We definitely did and wanted to pull out a great week and take care of business and I'm excited we go to do it," Golden said. "Syracuse was when I felt like I was back moving like I was normal and moving without thinking about the injury."

Gregory said that Golden looked like the pre-injury hamstring injury Golden in the game.

"Trae made that runner and he had explosiveness and he executed well getting us into his stuff. It was the best he has looked since his injury," Gregory said. "I think having Corey Heyward out there with him as a second ball handler has helped. We are more efficient with Trae and Robert back."

Tech sophomore Robert Carter continued his return to form leading all Yellow Jacket scorers with 16 points in 23 minutes.

"In the last three games, Robert was averaging 17 points and 9 rebounds; he had 16 and four in foul trouble today. Robert and Daniel combined for 13-of-15 and 13 rebounds," he said. "Daniel has been really coachable and those three guys including Jason have been tremendous buying into something that was hard to buy into because there would be nights where it would be tough. I wish we had more wins on that left hand column but there are more games to play."

Virginia Tech forward Joey van Zegeren led all scorers with 21 points for the Hokies, but Jarell Eddie and Devin Wilson combined for 4-of-18 shooting.

Gregory put all three seniors in with 50 seconds left and allowed them to garner a standing ovation from the crowd when he pulled them back out with 27 seconds left. Senior wing Jason Morris was honored before the game, but he has not played since January after injuring his foot.

The Hokies fall to 9-21 on the season and just 2-16 in ACC play after battling injuries all season.

"I think there are a few guys around this league that can understand what James is going through. It is tough when you can't put out your whole team. You saw how good Emelogu is and you look at how hard they play and they do it. My hat goes off to him and he has kept those guys together and playing hard," Gregory. "We had that run in the second half that was the difference in the game and they came back at us. Our seniors were great and finished off a pretty good week."

Georgia Tech will be the 11th seed at the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, NC next week and will face Boston College at 7pm on Wednesday.

"Playing them the third time and they have played well the last few weeks, beat Cuse and lost a close one to Pitt, they beat us last year in the tournament. Sometimes faces your fears will help you build for the future," Gregory said.

The Eagles bounced Georgia Tech in the first round of the ACC tournament in 2013 behind Olivier Hanlan's 45-point outburst in an 84-64 blowout. While Golden was not on the team at the time, he says like his teammates he has a bitter taste in his mouth from that game.

"We are excited about playing Boston College and it is kind of like a revenge game," Golden said. "They took me in here and I feel like I have been here a long time. The Jackets swept Boston College in the regular season.

Gregory says his team may finally be hitting their stride though a few weeks to late to get onto the NCAA tournament bubble.

"We've played 31 games and we haven't been able to do that, but it has been those eight guys and they know their rotation and roles. It is unfortunate it took 31 games to there because of the injuries," he said.

Georgia Tech NEWS


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