Friday October 20th, 2017 10:54PM

Carter lifts Tech past Wake Forest 57-56

By The Associated Press
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Georgia Tech has had problems winning on the road in the Atlantic Coast Conference the past few seasons, but is making small strides to change that dilemma.

The Yellow Jackets have two straight road games for the first time in five years after edging Wake Forest 57-56 on Saturday.

Robert Carter Jr. hit two free throws with 8.7 seconds left, and Georgia Tech (14-10, 4-8) held off the Demon Deacons' last-chance shot to win for its first road-game winning streak since the 2007-2008 season.

"We're feeling better about playing on the road," said Yellow Jackets center Daniel Miller. "We've had a few road wins now, and that will keep us going. Those are big wins. We need those now more than ever."

Marcus Georges-Hunt finished with 16 points, Miller added 15 and Carter 10 for Georgia Tech, which also completed its first sweep over an ACC opponent since the 2010-2011 season.

The Yellow Jackets' opponent during their last sweep? Wake Forest, which has now lost five of its last six games against Georgia Tech, and six of its last seven league games this season.

"Obviously, it was a very tough week," said Demon Deacons coach Jeff Bzdelik, whose team lost their second straight by three points or less. "We just didn't make those open shots and convert those opportunities at the rim. Once again, it came down to a timely stop and a timely shot, and we came up short."

C.J. Harris and Travis McKie scored 15 points each for Wake Forest (11-14, 4-9), which overcame 29.2 percent shooting (14 of 48) and a three-point halftime deficit to lead by as many as five points midway through the second half.

"It was a hard fought, physical game," Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory said. "We just made a couple more plays at the end; sometimes that's what it takes.

"We both have young teams, guys make young mistakes out there. We made our share, they made their share. We're just pleased with the win."

Despite their shooting woes, the Demon Deacons led 56-53 on a McKie 3-pointer with 1:19 left. But Georges-Hunt hit a jumper with 1 minute left to pull the Yellow Jackets within a point.

"Early in the year, if we had been in a situation like this, we would've hurried and put up a quick shot," said Georges-Hunt. "But as the season's gone along, we've learned and understand the game more."

After McKie missed an open 3-pointer with 30 seconds left, Georges-Hunt missed a driving dunk attempt that would have put Georgia Tech ahead. But Carter came down with the rebound and was fouled going up for a follow, setting up his game-winning free throws.

The Demon Deacons had one last shot, but Georges-Hunt knocked a crosscourt pass by Harris out of bounds with 2.2 seconds left. Devin Thomas, who had 12 rebounds and nine points for Wake Forest, then missed an 18-foot jumper at the buzzer.

"We had options for Travis cutting to the rim," Bzdelik said. "Really, the play was designed for Aaron Roundtree to go to the rim, and they did a good job of covering everybody. There was one player left open ... and he had a good look at it. But we wanted to go to the rim."

Behind Georges-Hunt (seven points) and Miller (six points), Georgia Tech shook off a slow start and took advantage of Wake Forest's poor shooting to take a 30-27 halftime lead.

The Demon Deacons led 7-3 in the first two minutes, and held the lead two other times in the first half, the last at 16-15 on Thomas' layup with 9:34 remaining.

Wake Forest shot just 29.2 percent (7 of 24) in the half, but hit 3 of 10 on 3-pointers and 10 of 11 free throws. Meanwhile, while the Yellow Jackets struggled at the free throw line (2 of 6), they hit 13 of 39 (44.8 percent) from the field. That allowed Georgia Tech to stay close, and eventually pull ahead by 30-25 on Miller's jumper with 1:12 left.

Still, the Yellow Jackets could have led by an even bigger margin, giving away a possible seven points off of missed free throws and scoring chances in the first half.

First, Mfon Udofia missed a pair of free throws and Georgia Tech failed to score on the possession when Arnaud Williams Adala Moto was called for a flagrant foul at the 15-minute mark. Then, Solomon Poole missed two free throws after Bzdelik was called for a technical foul with 12:27 left.
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