Moses Wright’s 24 points drove Georgia Tech to a much-needed 71-65 home win over Pittsburgh in the Atlantic Coast Conference action in Atlanta on Sunday afternoon.
The yellow jackets (10-8, 6-6 ACC) shook off the two-point loss to Clemson they lost on Friday and avoided a major setback to their hopes of penetrating the NCAA tournament field.
Pitt (9-7, 5-6), who hadn’t played in eight days after his previous game against Louisville had been postponed, lost for the fifth time in their last six games.
Georgia Tech senior guard and top scorer Jose Alvarado, who missed two late free throws in the Clemson loss, bounced back with 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists against the Panthers.
Pitt had the chance to take the lead and perhaps the win too late, but couldn’t come up with a big stop or score.
The Panthers used a 9-0 run to end the game at 55 at 4:36.
Michael Devoe, who had 13 points, four rebounds and three assists, responded with a 3-pointer on the other end to bring the yellow jackets back to the front.
The Panthers reduced the deficit again to 60-59 before Devoe scored two free throws to start a 7-0 run that effectively put the game out of reach.
Georgia Tech was at the foul line throughout the game, making 21 of 23 free throws.
Pitt put together an even performance, with four players scoring double digits and being led by Ithiel Hortons 18 points. Au’Toney had 15 points and nine rebounds, while Justin Champagnie and Xavier Johnson had 13 points each.
But the Panthers made 12 of their 18 turnovers in the first half, including some costly ones during the Yellow Jackets’ final push in the final minutes.
Georgia Tech led 33:22 at the start of the second half, but quick triples from Horton and Toney kept the yellow jackets from retreating.
For the yellow jackets, security guard Jordan Usher left the game at 8:52 in the second half with a sprained right ankle and never returned.