Tech falls again to Irish, drop to 0-4 in ACC

Georgia Tech added to its growing collection of deflating losses, wasting one of its best halves of play this season with an offensively absent second half in a 62-59 loss to No. 12 Notre Dame Wednesday night at McCamish Pavilion.

Tech dropped to 0-4 in the ACC and 9-7 overall by shooting 26.1 percent in the second half after scorching the Irish with 53.6 percent shooting in the first half. After taking a 56-55 lead with 4:48 to play, the Jackets came up empty over the next five possessions, not scoring again until forward Quinton Stephens’ desperation 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds left, which produced the final 62-59 score.

For the second consecutive game, Tech had a hot hand in center Demarco Cox, but again could not find him enough. Cox finished with 17 points on 6-for-10 shooting to go with seven rebounds and three blocks. Cox made both ends of a one-and-one with 4:48 to give Tech its final lead, but touched the ball once over the final six possessions, with Notre Dame aggressively trying to deny him in the post.

The loss continued a pattern for the Jackets in which they have demonstrated the capacity to compete against ACC teams but have routinely failed to close games out, often due to their own failures to string together efficient possessions. Wednesday, after guard Corey Heyward hit a 3-pointer with 8:14 to play, Tech did not score another basket until Stephens’ last-second 3-pointer.

Notre Dame (16-2, 4-1) won its second game over Tech in the past 12 days. The Irish trailed by double digits in both games, but managed to close down the lead by halftime, leading to a double-overtime win in South Bend, Ind., and to Wednesday’s win in regulation.