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Georgia Tech tops Wake Forest 69-62
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ATLANTA — Georgia Tech guard Jason Morris went to the film room to study the release of his shot, hoping to improve after a poor shooting performance a couple of days ago.

It worked.

Morris scored a career-high 22 points and made five of the Yellow Jackets' season-high 11 3-pointers in Saturday's 69-62 win over Wake Forest in the regular season finale for both teams.

"I could see I was pushing it instead of releasing it," said Morris, whose previous career high of 21 points came in a Nov. 29 home loss to Northwestern. The guard made just 3-of-12 shots in Wednesday's loss at Boston College, and missed all five of his 3-point attempts.

"I can honestly say I've taken that shot (on a kick out pass from an interior player) 1,000 times (in practice). I just shot with confidence," Morris said.

The Yellow Jackets (11-19, 4-12 Atlantic Coast Conference) entered the game making just 22.4 percent of their 3-pointers in Philips Arena — their home court while Georgia Tech's on-campus arena is being renovated.

The Yellow Jackets had a 32-28 halftime lead. But after Wake Forest (13-17, 4-12) took the lead a couple times in the second half, Morris pushed Georgia Tech ahead 49-48 on a 3-pointer with 9:13 left in the game.

Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory credited Daniel Miller's inside presence to his team's smooth ball movement on offense. Gregory said he was also pleased with how his team attacked the glass for rebounds.

"I don't think he missed one shot when the ball went inside, and was kicked out, or when we ran an 'action' for him," Gregory said. "I'm really proud of our guys' effort, their competitiveness, their intensity . . . we forced 10 turnovers, won the battle on the glass (30-28), got 11 offensive rebounds."

Georgia Tech limited Wake Forest to four offensive rebounds and registered 18 assists. That's one less than the Jackets' season high, at Fordham, and the most Tech totaled in a conference game.

The Jackets entered the game making just 22.4 percent of their 3-point shots in Philips Arena, which has been their "home" court while their on-campus arena undergoes renovation.

They made 8-of-17 from beyond the arc for a 32-28 halftime lead, however, and Tech took the lead for good when Morris hit a 3-pointer with 9:14 left in the game for a 49-48 edge.

The pass that set up Morris' go-ahead trey came from center Daniel Miller, a reflection of the way Tech's inside-out game was working. Eight Tech players had at least one assist Saturday, when the Jackets also tied their season low with just six turnovers.

"I don't think he missed one shot when the ball went inside, and was kicked out, or when we ran an 'action' for him," Gregory said. "I'm really proud of our guys' effort, their competitiveness, their intensity . . . we forced 10 turnovers, won the battle on the glass (30-28), got 11 offensive rebounds."

Senior guard Nick Foreman, who started alongside fellow senior walk-on Derek Craig, began the game with a 3-pointer, and Morris made all three of his 3-point shots in the first half while point guard Mfon Udofia hit 3-of-4 long balls. Craig hit a 3-pointer in the second half.

"They got hot from the 3-point line. They hit a lot of shots they're not used to making," said Wake forward Travis McKie. "And we didn't rebound; those are the two main things that cost us the game."

McKie had 23 points and 11 rebounds when the Demon Deacons beat Tech 59-50 in Winston-Salem on Feb. 15.

He hit a 3-pointer to pull Wake within 52-51 with 8:06 left in the game, but the Jackets pulled away from there. The Tech lead grew as big as 12 points before the Deacons scored the final five points.

McKie had just four rebounds Saturday and Tech out-rebounded Wake 16-11 in the second half, when the Deacons had just one offensive rebound.

Tech won the first half from the perimeter, and the second half inside -- as Wake missed suspended 7-foot senior center Ty Walker.

After intermission, Tech forward Kammeon Holsey grabbed five of his seven rebounds and Miller grabbed four of his five. Also, while the Jackets made a modest 3-of-9 3-pointers in the second half, Miller scored all 11 of his points and Holsey had seven of his nine in that time.

"The difference in this game was (Tech) had eight offensive rebounds and I believe 20 points in the paint (in the second half)," said Wake Forest coach Jeff Bzdelik. "When we did get them to miss, they were able to get their second-chance points."

C.J. Harris scored 17 points to lead Wake Forest, and Udofia had 15 points and five assists for Tech, which played without suspended leading scorer Glen Rice Jr. for the fifth straight game.

Georgia Tech and Wake Forest each expect to have low seeds in the ACC tournament in Phillips Arena next week.

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