Top Story, Men's Basketball

Georgia Tech Uses 50-Point Second Half to Overcome BC

The ball whipped around the perimeter, searching for an open man. It started at the top of the key with Ky Bowman, passing inside to Mo Jeffers, who kicked it back out to Jerome Robinson. Robinson faked and threw the ball to Bowman, who immediately found Jordan Chatman open for a 3-point attempt. Clank.

The ball bounced off the rim and Georgia Tech pulled down the rebound before transitioning down the court for an easy two. That’s largely how the second half went for Boston College men’s basketball, as the Yellow Jackets returned from an awful first half to defeat the Eagles on Saturday night, 65-54. This is now the ninth consecutive game that BC (9-17, 2-11 Atlantic Coast) has lost, cementing its place alone in the basement of the ACC.   

Both teams started out slow, as Georgia Tech (15-10, 6-6) didn’t hit its first field goal more until eight minutes into the game. Some of this cold streak can be attributed to unlucky bounces, but BC’s defense also played tenaciously in the first half. The Yellow Jackets missed many of shots, and with three minutes left,  they were 2-for-24, a putrid eight percent. Though Georgia Tech finished the half and BC also began to cool down, the Eagles held a seven-point lead when the buzzer sounded.

Georgia Tech came charging back, however, and regained the lead midway through the second half. The Yellow Jackets defense returned with passion, helping them to open up the floor on the offensive side. It was a tale of two halves for both these teams, and BC went from playing stout defense and holding the Yellow Jackets to 15 points in the first, to letting Georgia Tech players walk to the basket on their way to scoring 50 points in the second. Georgia Tech guard Tadric Jackson was colossal in the second half, and finished with a career high 29 points. The Eagles had no answer for Jackson, as he seemingly scored at will to bury BC towards the end of the game.  

Georgia Tech outrebounded BC, 45-42, as big men Ben Lammers and Josh Okogie brought down 17 and 12 boards, respectively. Although the Eagles scored 10 more points in the second half than in the first, the Yellow Jackets’ second-half defense looked impenetrable. Neither team shot the deep ball very well as BC shot 22 percent of its 3-point attempts, while Georgia Tech hit only 21 percent.

Although it managed only 54 points, the Eagles’ offense was not all bad. BC’s ball movement looked very polished, and the Eagles found open men to take their shots. Jeffers looked like a monster down low at times with four offensive boards, allowing shooters like Bowman and Robinson to get open, as well. Robinson quietly had himself a nice game, tallying 17 points on 7-of-16 shooting. Bowman nailed two treys and dropped 13 points. Chatman had himself a tough night to say the least, as he didn’t make a field goal on any of his eight shots.

This was a tough loss as the Eagles still haven’t won a road ACC game since March 2015. It is a difficult road ahead for BC with games against Notre Dame and No. 14 Florida State coming up next. If the Eagles want a chance to win either of those games, their defense has to be as strong as it was in the first half on Saturday night, and has to stay that way for all 40 minutes. If not, BC’s losing streak may not end in the near future.

Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor

February 11, 2017