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NCAAB: Georgia Tech aims to build momentum vs. Alabama A&M

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In its final nonconference game of the regular season, Georgia Tech will aim to build momentum against visiting Alabama A&M on Thursday in Atlanta.

The Yellow Jackets (6-5) will resume Atlantic Coast Conference play next week.

Georgia Tech is coming off a 72-62 overtime victory over cross-city foe Georgia State on Tuesday that ended a four-game losing streak, which had tarnished what had been a strong start to the season for Josh Pastner’s side. The Yellow Jackets won five of their first six games.

Jordan Usher scored nine of his career-high 30 points in overtime against Georgia State. He finished 5 of 6 from behind the arc and 9 of 10 at the free-throw line, in addition to posting three steals and a game-high 11 rebounds. Kyle Sturdivant had 12 points and Khalid Moore added 11.

“Jordan Usher really came through for us,” Pastner said. “His energy was awesome. He made some big shots at key times.”

Georgia Tech’s Michael Devoe is coming off one of the worst games of his career. He entered Tuesday night averaging 22.4 points per game but was held to a season-low eight points on a season-worst 2-of-11 shooting from the field.

“Mike is one of the best shooters in the country. Mike had an off night,” Usher said. “It could have been anybody, but the ball came to me and it was going in and that’s how it is.”

For the season, Devoe is averaging 21.0 points, 3.4 assists and 1.7 steals. He’s also shooting 50 percent (73 of 146) from the field and an impressive 45.9 percent (28 of 61) from 3-point range.

Usher averages 14.9 points and a team-leading 7.2 rebounds. But he’s the only other Yellow Jacket who is scoring in double figures, as Sturdivant and Dallan “Deebo” Coleman are the team’s third- and fourth-leading scorers at 7.0 and 6.6 points per-game, respectively.

Alabama A&M (1-8) has dropped the first eight games of a 12-game road trip that started following a season-opening win over visiting Tennessee State on Nov. 9.

The Bulldogs have struggled to score, as they haven’t tallied more than 66 points since their first game of the season. They have scored 50 or fewer points five times during their skid, including in a 67-43 loss at Indiana State on Saturday.

Jalen Johnson leads the team in points (14.1) and rebounds (6.4). Garrett Hicks is second in scoring for the Bulldogs with 13.2 points and 3.4 rebounds per game.

–Field Level Media

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