The Jackets decided to play for one shot and run an isolation play for Kelly, who had 15 points. Kelly looked confident as he dribbled and drove for the go-ahead basket.
“We knew we wanted to get the last shot, so we took the clock down a bit,” Kelly said. “And we wanted to get me going to my strong hand downhill so we could get something at the basket, and that’s what we did.”
The play was the latest step in the development of Kelly, who played in all but one game last season and started in the ACC tournament.
“Miles has come a long way,” Pastner said. “The No. 1 thing of our program is about player development, getting guys better. He’s only going to continue to get better as the season progresses.”
Georgia State coach Jonas Hayes was disappointed with the outcome, but not with the effort.
“I saw some good things, and I saw some things we need to work on,” Hayes said. “We do not believe in moral victories, and we’ve got to keep marching forward. We’re going to get better.”
Georgia Tech 59, Georgia State 57
Georgia State got a double-double from sophomore Ja’Heim Hudson for the second consecutive game. A Wheeler High product, Hudson had 34 points and 11 rebounds and scored 12 of the team’s 14 points during a stretch that saw the Panthers build a seven-point lead.
“It was great to play in front the crowd. The fans showed up, and there was a lot of energy,” Hudson said. “But at the end of the day, we didn’t get the win.”
Tech also got 16 points and five rebounds from Deebo Coleman. Jalon Moore led the Jackets with seven rebounds. Tech finished with 13 turnovers, but only four in the second half.
Georgia State also got 13 points from Jamaine Mann and 10 points from Dwon Odom.
Georgia State will host Mercer on Tuesday. Tech is off until Thursday, when it hosts Northern Illinois.