Never shy to emote and covered in a celebratory water shower given by his players, Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner thanked everyone from institute President Angel Cabrera, to his wife, to a book she wrote about positivity, to athletic director J. Batt after the Yellow Jackets broke a six-game losing streak to ranked teams with a 76-70 victory over No. 12 Miami on Wednesday at McCamish Pavilion.

The Yellow Jackets hadn’t beaten a ranked team since defeating FSU in the 2021 ACC tournament championship and had lost their last three.

All thanks to what Pastner described as the osmosis of positivity.

“All I talked about for the last 96 hours to the guys is about how we’ve got to remain positive,” Pastner said. “I gave so many examples in life where it looks like the sky is falling and you find a way to bounce back and I’m just so proud of our young men because, look, we didn’t play well in a couple games and it wasn’t good and then all of a sudden, you’re playing the No. 12 ranked team in the country, first place in the ACC, and to be able to get that win was really, really special.”

The victory was Tech’s (8-6 overall, 1-3 ACC) first in the last game of a four-game homestand and its first in the conference this season. It will play at Florida State on Saturday and at Notre Dame on Tuesday.

The Jackets, who closed the game with a 12-0 run, were led by Lance Terry, who scored a team-high 24 points while playing all 40 minutes, a first for Tech this season. Miles Kelly scored 20 and Deebo Coleman added 14. Tech hit 17 of 19 free throws and outrebounded the Hurricanes 46-36. It had 13 fast-break points against a team that hadn’t given up a fast-break point in its past three games.

“We struggled against the zone and never quite attacked it consistently enough,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said.

Though Tech had a few scoreless droughts, which were a problem in its previous three games, none were long enough to cause the team too much damage.

“We’ve had a lot of talks about when teams make runs not shutting down and then going back at them,” Terry said. “I think today we kind of proved that or just made a step forward.”

Tech’s defense shone throughout. The Jackets held Miami scoreless in the final 4 minutes, 50 seconds. Miami, one of the better shooting and scoring teams in the ACC, was held to 35% shooting, including missing 27 of its 32 3-pointers. Tech hit 41% of its shots.

It wasn’t easy though.

Tech built a 12-point lead with four minutes remaining in the first half. It was shooting 54% to Miami’s 39, was outrebounding the Hurricanes 17-11 and had five turnovers to the visitor’s three.

But, as Tech has done in its past few games, it lost its scoring touch and the ball too many times in the final minutes of the half. It scored just two points and Miami climbed back into the game with a 10-2 run to cut the Jackets’ lead to four at halftime. Tech finished the half with eight turnovers.

At halftime, Pastner said he told his players that the drip couldn’t become a flood of more points allowed in the opening minutes of the second half. Those floods resulted in losses against North Carolina, Clemson and Virginia.

“Let’s learn from our previous three games,” Pastner said. “The best way to stop the drip is we’ve got to get stops, we’ve got to defend.”

The faucet was shut off against Miami.

Trailing 70-64 and in a field goal-less drought of almost three minutes, Terry hit a running jumper in the lane to get Tech to within a basket with 2:41 remaining.

Coleman followed with two free throws on Tech’s next possession to tie the game at 70 with 2:15 left.

Tech forced a shot-clock violation on Miami’s next possession.

Deivon Smith grabbed an offensive rebound and made a layup to give the Jackets a 72-70 lead with 1:17 remaining.

After another defensive stop, Kelly hit a short jumper to give Tech a 74-70 lead.

“I’m really proud of our guys,” Pastner said. “We were down six late and we finished on a 12-0 run. Great execution by our players.”