The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets snapped a 17-day covid enforced hiatus and beat the No. 20 Clemson Tigers 83-65 on Wednesday night at McCamish Pavilion. The Jackets entered the matchup hot, coming off of a four-game winning streak while the Tigers were shaking off a recent loss to No. 18 Virginia.

This was going to be a battle of offense versus defense that would not disappoint a single ACC hoop fan. Clemson came into the matchup armed with the 12th nationally ranked scoring defense, allowing an average of only 60.1 ppg. Tech came equipped with the ACC’s top-scoring unit consisting of several guards that can fill it up from anywhere on the court. This season, the Yellow Jackets are maintaining an average of three guys with double-digit scoring each game.

Tonight’s game started off as a back and forth affair until the Jackets quickly found the Achilles heel of the Tigers defense. Clemson’s defensive switches around the arc were timed poorly and the Jackets made them pay for their mistakes. Several of Georgia Tech’s guards put up easy catch and shoot 3s with a defender in orange trailing behind. At one point it seemed like Michael Devoe could score at will for the Jackets as he finished the night with 22 points, six assists, and four steals. He shot a perfect 100% from three, knocking down all six of his attempts. Jordan Usher added 21 points as well.

“We punched ’em in the mouth,” Usher said.

Georgia Tech as a whole put on an unstoppable show from behind the arc. The team finished the night with a 61% three-point accuracy that kept the crowd hollering. Moses Wright, Michael Devoe, and Jordan Usher all ended the game with at least 20 points on the board. With 12 assists and only three turnovers between the three, the trio is definitely one to keep an eye on.

The Yellow Jackets completely embarrassed the Tigers when it came to forcing turnovers. Clemson finished the game with 20 turnovers and showed another weakness that will hurt them down the road. The Jackets forced all but one Tiger on Clemson’s roster to at least turnover. Tech’s ability to disrupt plays by literally taking the ball out of someone’s hands is something opposing offenses will want to be on the lookout for.

Many were anticipating the matchup between the Tiger’s big-man Aamir Simms and the Jacket’s Moses Wright. When Simms was on the court, he found himself in foul trouble while attempting to protect the rim. Simms was able to create some moves to score around Wright. However, he was also pretty bad at handling the rock after grabbing rebounds and ended the night with four turnovers. Wright, on the other hand, dominated his assignment. He was able to split defenders for contested buckets, get easy putbacks, and even stretch the floor and knock down jump shots. He finished the night with 21 points, two blocks, and two steals. He also had an exciting dunk over Simms that pumped up the limited fans in attendance.

Georgia Tech has a 7-3 overall record with a 3-1 conference record. The Jackets will play another nationally-ranked ACC foe in No. 12 Virginia in Charlottesville this Saturday.

Georgia Tech celebrates a win over Clemson in an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal Constitution via AP, Pool)

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