Sophomore Evan Cole scored a career-high 16 points, leading Georgia Tech to a 79-63 nonconference win over South Carolina Upstate on Wednesday in Atlanta.
Cole, coming off the bench, shot 6 of 8 from the field and had five rebounds. He set his previous career mark in his last game when he scored 11 against Kennesaw State. The forward injured his ankle against Tennessee on Nov. 13 and is finally returning to form.
Yellow Jackets freshman guard Michael Devoe matched his career high with 14 points. Devoe was especially effective taking the ball to the basket and wound up making 5 of 8 from the field while contributing three rebounds and two assists.
Georgia Tech also got 10 points each from Brandon Alston and Curtis Haywood II. The Yellow Jackets (8-5) shot a season-high 58 percent (29 of 50) from the field, giving them back-to-back games over 50 percent. However, they made just 5 of 16 3-point attempts.
USC Upstate’s Malik Moore scored 18 points. The senior, who scored a career-high 33 against Coker in the previous game, was 5-for-15 from the field and added five rebounds and two assists. Deion Holmes had 12 points and six boards for the Spartans (5-10).
Georgia Tech scored the final seven points of the first half to take a 33-25 lead into the break. Haywood sparked the outbreak with a 3-pointer and a fast-break layup.
USC-Upstate cut the deficit to 35-33 with an 8-0 run early in the second half, only to have Georgia Tech respond by scoring seven unanswered points to retake control at 42-33. The Yellow Jackets’ Evan Cole scored five of those points, a three-point play and then a layup with 13:35 to play.
Georgia Tech didn’t put the Spartans away until midway in the half. An 8-0 run that was capped by back-to-back fastbreak baskets from Khalid Moore and Alston upped the Yellow Jackets’ lead to 57-42.
Georgia Tech will open its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule at home on Saturday against Wake Forest. USC-Upstate travels to Presbyterian for its Big South Conference opener on Saturday.
—Field Level Media