ATLANTA (AP) – Jose Alvarado played through an arm injury to score 19 points and Georgia Tech overcame Aamir Simms’ 23 points to beat Clemson 68-59 on Tuesday night.
Alvarado played most of the game with a wrap on his left arm after appearing to fall on the arm late in the first half.
Alvarado helped the Yellow Jackets stretch their lead to double figures for the first time. Georgia Tech led only 49-46 before back-to-back baskets by the junior guard, including a 3-pointer. Bubba Parham’s layup with 6:33 remaining extended the lead to 10 points at 56-46.
Georgia Tech (14-14, 8-9 Atlantic Coast Conference) earned its fifth straight home win. Michael Devoe had 14 points and eight assists.
Clemson (14-13, 8-9) had its three-game winning streak snapped. Simms finished two points away from matching his career high of 25 against Duke on Jan. 14.
Georgia Tech stretched its lead to 13 points at 61-48. Clemson cut the lead to 66-59 on Hunter Tyson’s basket with 1:11 remaining. Following a missed 3-pointer by Simms, the Yellow Jackets worked on the clock before Alvarado’s jumper provided the final margin.
The Tigers led 25-20 before suffering a drought of eight consecutive missed shots from the field. The Yellow Jackets seized the opportunity by taking the lead with a 14-2 run, including nine consecutive points, for a 34-27 lead. Simms finally ended the Tigers’ field-goal drought with only 4 seconds remaining in the half.
Alvarado fell to the floor, grabbing his left arm in obvious pain, following a collision under the basket late in the first half. He returned to his feet while action continued on the other end of the court and then caught a pass a made a 3-pointer before again grabbing his arm and leaving the game with 5:19 remaining in the half.
Alvarado was escorted to the locker room and returned to action in the final minute of the half with a wrap on the arm.
After scoring a career-high 33 points with 10 rebounds in Saturday’s 79-72 loss at Syracuse, Georgia Tech’s Moses Wright had 10 points – all in the second half. He missed each of his five shots before halftime but sank a jumper to open the second half.
Clemson: The Tigers were hurt by their lack of scoring balance. They leaned heavily on Simms for their scoring, especially in the first half when the junior had 16 of the team’s 29 points. He made 7 of 10 shots from the field in the half while his teammates combined to make only 6 of 17. The Tigers, one of the ACC’s most active 3-point shooting teams, couldn’t find their long-range touch. Clemson made only 2 of 20 3-pointers.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets kept both of their biggest starters active for the full game for a change. Senior forward James Banks III was called for only two fouls, ending his streak of fouling out in four straight games. Overall, Banks has fouled out of seven games and has finished with four fouls in 10 games this season. The two front-line starters helped Georgia Tech claim a 35-31 advantage in rebounds.
Clemson returns home to play Florida State on Saturday.
Georgia Tech continues its three-game homestand when it plays Miami on Saturday night. The Yellow Jackets’ only remaining road game is at Clemson on March 6 to close the regular season.
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