Wright, Alvarado lead Ga Tech past No. 16 Florida St 76-65

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
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ATLANTA — Florida State’s winning streak ended when its usually reliable scoring fell flat.

Moses Wright scored 23 points and Georgia Tech beat No. 16 Florida State 76-65 on Saturday, ending the Seminoles’ five-game winning string.

Florida State (10-3, 6-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) had 19 points from RaiQuan Gray but too little offensive help for the junior. The Seminoles lead the ACC with their average of 79.25 points. Hurt by 20 turnovers, they were held to their fewest points of the season.

“I think we shot ourselves in the foot,” Gray said. “… We’re definitely a better offensive team than what we showed. We kind of let the turnovers affect our aggression.”

Added Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton: “Today our offensive execution was probably as poor as it’s been all year.”

The Seminoles couldn’t overcome Wright and the Yellow Jackets’ backcourt duo of Jose Alvarado, who had 21 points, and Michael Devoe, who had 19.

Wright had six steals and one block. Alvarado added five.

“It shows how good we are and how good we can be,” Alvarado said.

Georgia Tech (8-5, 4-3) never trailed in the second half and snapped a two-game losing streak.

“We played well,” Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner said. “It was ugly well but we did enough to scrap and win.”

Gray was the Seminoles’ only scorer in double figures. Scottie Barnes had nine points.

Florida State was denied its attempt to go undefeated in January for the first time the the 1988-89 season.

Florida State and Georgia Tech lead the ACC in 3-point shooting in conference games and field-goal percentage for all games. Both teams struggled, especially on long-distance attempts.

The Yellow Jackets made only 2 of 12 3-point shots in the first half and 7 of 24 overall. The Seminoles finished 3 of 14 on 3s.

The Yellow Jackets missed three more 3s to open the second half before Devoe ended a scoring drought with a 3-pointer, extending the lead to 36-26.

The Seminoles answered with a 9-2 run, including seven points by Gray, to trim Georgia Tech’s lead to 38-35.

The Yellow Jackets quickly pushed the advantage back to a big lead of 12 points, the last time at 54-42. The Seminoles closed to within 63-56 on two free throws by Gray. Devoe answered with a free throw and a 3-pointer.

Junior Khalid Moore scored two points in his first start of the season for Georgia Tech.

TAKEAWAYS

Florida State fell to 1-2 on the road. The Seminoles’ five-game winning streak included four home games. The Seminoles lost at Clemson on Dec. 29 and won at Louisville on Jan. 18. Hamilton wouldn’t blame the loss on the lack of road games in the pandemic-affected season. “When you lose a game you can overanalyze this and say it’s being on the road,” Hamilton said. “… The bottom line is we just got outplayed.”

Georgia Tech’s big advantage was the solid backcourt play from Alvarado and Devoe. The veterans combined for 10 assists and only four turnovers. Alvarado had six assists and only two turnovers.

WINNING FOR BUBBA

Georgia Tech senior guard Bubba Parham, who averages 8.1 points and had started the last nine games, was away while attending his cousin’s funeral, Pastner said. Pastner said Parham is not expected to miss any additional games.

“This one was for Bubba,” Alvarado said.

DECISIVE FINISH

The Seminoles led 25-22 before Georgia Tech closed the first half with an 11-1 run for a 33-26 lead at the break. White scored the first six points of the run.

“We want into the locker room feeling very good about ourselves and we came out the same way,” Alvarado said.

UP NEXT

Florida State: At Boston College on Tuesday.

Georgia Tech: At Louisville on Monday.