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FSU’s winning streak ends at Georgia Tech

The Seminoles had won five straight, but never lead in the second half of a 76-65 defeat.
Coach Leonard Hamilton, shown in 2020, and FSU have a five-game winning streak end at Georgia Tech on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021.
Coach Leonard Hamilton, shown in 2020, and FSU have a five-game winning streak end at Georgia Tech on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021. [ ROBERT FRANKLIN | AP ]
Published Jan. 31
Updated Jan. 31

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 Saturday, ending the Seminoles’ five-game winning string.

The Seminoles (10-3, 6-2 ACC) had 19 points from RaiQuan Gray but too little offensive help for the junior. They entered leading the conference in scoring with 79.25 points per game. 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 FSU 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,” 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.

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

The Seminoles and Yellow Jackets lead the ACC in 3-point shooting in conference games and field-goal percentage for all games. But both struggled, especially from long range.

Georgia Tech made only 2 of 12 3-pointers in the first half and 7 of 24 overall. FSU finished 3-of-14.

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 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

FSU 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,” he 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 previous 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. Wright 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

FSU: At Boston College on Tuesday.

Georgia Tech: At Louisville on Monday.

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By CHARLES ODUM