Georgia Tech will try to keep its perfect record intact under first-year coach Damon Stoudamire when the Yellow Jackets host unbeaten UMass Lowell on Tuesday in the first meeting between the teams.
The Yellow Jackets are off to a 2-0 start after a convincing, season-opening win over Georgia Southern and then a come-from-behind, 88-85 win over Howard on Thursday. UMass Lowell is 2-0 after a decisive 81-48 victory over Dartmouth on Friday.
“It was a good comeback win for the fellas,” Stoudamire said after his team erased a 14-point, second-half deficit against the Bison. “They showed a lot of grit. They kept fighting and fighting until the game turned. That was a great early-season test for us.”
Georgia Tech’s Miles Kelly, who is averaging 26 points, scored 27 against Howard. Kelly is one of four returning players from last season’s team that went 15-18, leading to the dismissal of coach Josh Pastner.
Newcomers Kowacie Reeves Jr., a transfer from Florida, is averaging 15 points, and Tyzhaun Claude, a graduate transfer from Western Carolina, is averaging 14.5 points and eight rebounds.
“I thought offensively we were fine. We’re way ahead of the defense,” Stoudamire said. “We still have a ways to go, but it’s always easier to teach and critique after winning than it is after losing.”
UMass Lowell was picked by the coaches to finish second in the America East Conference. The River Hawks won 26 games and reached the final of the conference championship tournament last season. So far, coach Pat Duquette’s team has lived up to its billing.
“(Dartmouth) was as good of a road win as we have had here at UMass Lowell,” Duquette said. “We executed our defensive game plan, especially in the first half. Ball pressure was great and set the tone early on. It’s the first of six straight road games for us, so it was good to get off to a good start.”
The River Hawks are led by Abdoul Karim Coulibaly, a preseason all-conference selection who averaged 11.4 points and 7.6 rebounds last season. He had 10 points and eight rebounds against Dartmouth. Ayinde Hikim scored a career-high 25 points against the Big Green.
–Field Level Media
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