Miami-Florida (9-7) at Georgia Tech (10-7)

01/18/2014 7:48 AM

01/18/2014 7:52 AM

GAME NOTES: Both the Miami-Florida Hurricanes and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will attempt to avenge losses from earlier in the week, as the teams meet up for an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup at McCamish Pavilion on Saturday afternoon.

Despite its solid 9-7 overall record this season, Miami has not fared well to start its ACC schedule, as it fell to 1-3 in the league following a 63-53 loss at home to Florida State on Wednesday night. Surprisingly, the Hurricanes have played very well away from home, winning four of six true road games.

Georgia Tech has also disappointed in conference action with losses in three of four contests, most recently falling at home to Pittsburgh on Tuesday night, 81-74. Despite their slip ups of late, the Yellow Jackets are still 10-7 overall this season and have claimed eight of 10 on their home floor.

In regard to the all-time series, Miami holds a 10-7 advantage over Georgia Tech, although the Yellow Jackets won the most recent meeting on March 6, 2013, 71-69.

The Hurricanes fell flat at home against Florida State earlier in the week, as they shot less than 35.6 percent from the field and made just 2-of-6 from the free-throw line on their way to a 10-point setback. Despite the setback, Donnavan Kirk and Rion Brown were both stellar with 21 points each, with Kirk shooting 9-of-12 from the field while blocking four shots and Brown draining 5-of-9 from 3-point range. Manu Lecomte scored just two points but helped out with six assists.

Miami has gotten used to lackluster scoring efforts this season, as it shoots just 41.9 percent from the field for 62.8 ppg, but luckily it makes up for its with an outstanding defense, ranking ninth in the nationally in allowing just 59.6 ppg. Brown (14.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg) and Kirk (9.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.3 bpg) are mainstays in the paint, while Garrius Adams brings 10.0 ppg and nearly two steals per game to the table despite shooting less than 36 percent from the field.

The Yellow Jackets held a five-point lead over Pitt early in the second half of their most recent game but fell victim to a quick 9-0 run by the Panthers and trailed for the rest of the game. They shot a solid 45.6 percent from the field but allowed Pitt to net a lofty 56.9 percent of its tries from the field, and they were also manhandled on the glass, getting outrebounded, 38-18. Trae Golden finished with a game-high 22 points but was just 6-of-16 from the floor and committed six turnovers. Marcus Georges-Hunt chipped in 13 points, Daniel Miller tallied 12 points, five blocks and two steals and Kammeon Holsey also scored 12.

It was a rare performance for Georgia Tech, which shoots 44.2 percent from the field for 70.7 ppg, both numbers good enough to outpace its opponents (.407, 67.7 ppg). It's +4.1 rebounding margin also comes in handy, although its 3- point percentage (.298) has lagged behind. Golden paces the squad with 13.6 ppg and 3.5 spg, Georges-Hunt nets 12.0 ppg, while Miller (10.5 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.3 bpg) acts as the anchor down low with Robert Carter Jr. (10.3 ppg, 9.3 rpg) sidelined with a knee injury.

Miami has shown a strong ability to overcome its road surroundings this season thanks largely to its stout defense. However, while it should be able to stay within striking distance throughout, it doesn't have the firepower to knock off the Yellow Jackets down the stretch.

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