ATLANTA (AP)Moses Wright made a huge block at one end, then powered inside for a basket that helped Georgia Tech pull off a 64-58 upset of No. 5 Louisville on Wednesday night, snapping the Cardinals’ 10-game winning streak.
Louisville (21-4, 12-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) lost for the first time since early January with a truly dreadful offensive performance against the Yellow Jackets (12-13, 6-8).
The Cardinals never led, hitting just 19 of 56 shots (33.9%) from the field – including a 3-of-24 brickfest beyond the 3-point arc.
Jordan Nwora, the ACC’s leading scorer at 19.5 points per game, was held to a season-low 2 points. He missed all four of his 3-point attempts, finishing with a desperation airball that was the perfect capper to his awful night.
Jose Alvarado led Georgia Tech with 18 points, but it was Wright who came up with the biggest plays.
Trailing 53-51 with under 2 minutes to go, the Cardinals took off on a two-on-one fast break that seemed certain to produce the tying basket. David Johnson went up for the apparent lay-in, but Wright came out of nowhere to block the shot.
The officials did a lengthy video review to make sure it wasn’t goaltending, finally awarding the ball to the Yellow Jackets.
At the offensive end, Wright got the ball near the foul line, drove for the hoop and dropped one in to extend Georgia Tech’s lead with 55-51 with just over a minute left. He finished with 12 points.
Louisville had one more chance to force overtime, but Lamarr Kimble stumbled driving into the lane, losing the ball for the last of the Cardinals’ 16 turnovers.
Georgia Tech jumped all over the Cardinals right from the opening tip, racing to a 12-2 lead that prompted Louisville coach Chris Mack to call a timeout just 3 1/2 minutes into the game.
Working the ball crisply inside and out, the Yellow Jackets made five of their first seven shots, including a couple of 3-pointers by Jose Alvarado.
Louisville endured a scoreless drought of 4:23 before finally knocking down a free throw to halt Georgia Tech’s run.
Mack showed his disgust by yanking Nwora out of the game before the first timeout.
The Yellow Jackets led by as many as 11, bringing the crowd to its feet with a dazzling display of hustle. James Banks dove to the floor after a loose ball and flipped it to Alvarado, who spotted Jordan Usher breaking the other way for a thunderous, one-handed slam.
But Georgia Tech struggled to put the Cardinals away. Alvarado went to the bench after picking up his third foul with 6 minutes remaining in the half, bogging down the Yellow Jackets’ offense.
The home team failed to score over the final 4 minutes, settling for a 31-26 lead at the break. Georgia Tech missed its last six shots and turned it over four times during its closing drought.
Georgia Tech lost the first meeting between the team on Jan. 22, squandering an 11-point lead early in the second half to lose 68-64.
This time, the Yellow Jackets made it stand up.
Louisville: The Cardinals hardly looked like the No. 5 team in the country. It was their first loss since a 78-65 setback to Florida State on Jan. 4.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets finally won a close game. Six of their eight ACC losses had been by less than 10 points.
Louisville: Travel to Clemson for a rematch against the Tigers on Saturday. The Cardinals won the first meeting 80-62 on Jan. 25.
Georgia Tech: Have a week off before heading to Wake Forest next Wednesday.
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