Alvarado shines as Georgia Tech pulls away from Yale, 74-60
ATLANTA (AP) — It took a while to get comfortable, but Jose Alvardo warmed up in the second half and scored 16 of his career-matching best 23 points to send Georgia Tech past Yale, 74-60 on Saturday night.
Josh Okogie added 20 points and Abdoulaye Gueye chipped in a career-high 14 for Tech (8-7).
The game was tight through the first half as the Yellow Jackets rode a 7-0 closing run for a 37-33 halftime advantage.
Alvarado made his first three shots of the second half — all 3-pointers — and the freshman point guard felt so good on a fast break that he bounced a pass backward between his legs to Okogie, who dunked with 13:38 remaining.
“I just felt it, and it went as planned. Hopefully, it looked good,” Alvarado said. “He (coach Josh Pastner) likes anything that goes in.”
Tech led 55-42 and was never threatened again.
Miye Oni scored 10 of his 14 points before intermission for Yale (7-9), but Tech limited him to 2-of-7 shooting in the second half. Paul Atkinson added 10 points for the Bulldogs, who were outrebounded 34-23 by the bigger Jackets.
Yale, which last led 33-30 on Atkinson’s 3-point play with 2:53 to go, made 6 of 15 3-pointers before halftime and just 3 of 12 afterward.
“We did a good job attacking their zone to begin the game,” Yale coach James Jones said. “Georgia Tech turned up its defense in the second half.”
Yale missed senior guard Makai Mason, who is out with a foot injury suffered in the preseason, yet is expected to return. He led the Bulldogs to an upset of Baylor in the 2016 NCAA Tournament and then missed last season with a foot injury.
Georgia Tech has been wracked by injuries and player suspensions, but the Yellow Jackets are getting healthier. Freshman guard Curtis Haywood, a former starter, played for the first time after missing six games with a right shin injury. He played nine minutes without taking a shot. Forward Sylvester Ogbonda (ankle) also played for the first time in six weeks.
BIG DAY FOR ABDOULAYE GUEYE
Georgia Tech’s fourth-year forward from Dakar, Senegal, looked comfortable than ever. For second game in a row, center Ben Lammers (10 points, eight rebounds, three blocks) worked chiefly on the perimeter to give the 6-foot-9 Gueye more room.
Gueye added nine rebounds, three steals, and two blocked shots to go along with his career-best 14 points, and deflected numerous passes. “Trusting the work I’m putting in during the season and the summer,” Gueye said. “It was just my day.”
Yale will kick off Ivy League play Friday against Brown before a rematch at Brown one week later.
Georgia Tech returns to Atlantic Coast Conference action with a Wednesday rematch at home against Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish beat the visiting Yellow Jackets 68-59 on Dec. 30 in the league opener for both teams.