Sports, Winter, Men's Basketball, Basketball

Eagles Storm Back Against Georgia Tech Behind McGlockton’s Career-High

Down 13 points heading into halftime after giving up a season-high 51 first-half points along with nine 3-pointers, things were not looking good for Boston College men’s basketball. Still winless in conference play, the Eagles couldn’t afford to drop another close ACC matchup.

Yet BC head coach Earl Grant’s sole concern was BC better executing its game plan, because he knew that’s what it would take to win.

“In my heart, and in my mind, I never really had must-win in my mind,” Grant said. “I had it in my mind that we needed to go play and play well, and try to figure it out to execute our plan.”

And that’s exactly what BC did, as the Eagles (10–4, 1–2 Atlantic Coast) outscored Georgia Tech (8–6, 1–2) by 21 points in the second half behind Devin McGlockton’s career-high 30 points to earn a 95–87 victory on Saturday.

“I’m so happy for Dev,” Grant said of the Cumming, Ga. native. “He’s a loyal guy. … I knew he played a good game, but I didn’t realize he had that type of performance.”

McGlockton shot 12 of 15 from the floor, including 3 of 4 from beyond the arc while adding five rebounds, two assists, two steals, and a blocked shot. And despite the rough start for BC, McGlockton couldn’t deny the special night.

“I had my family here, I’m back [in my] hometown,” McGlockton said. “So everything was going well for me.”

Claudell Harris Jr. poured in 26 points of his own with 4-of-4 3-point shooting off nifty shotmaking all game to help BC rise from the dead.

“It’s refreshing that he can be so aggressive and has a knack for making shots,” Grant said of Harris. “That’s something that this team needed, and I’m glad we were able to get him into our program and let him find his rhythm with us.

After allowing Georgia Tech to nail nine 3-pointers in the first half on 50 percent shooting—many uncontested—Grant’s squad limited the Yellow Jackets to just one triple in the second. And while only two of Quinten Post’s 15 points came in the second half, the seven-footer used his passing ability to help BC’s offense move more fluidly. He finished with 15 points and seven assists.

“We just tightened up some screws on everything, and then the guys showed great character,” Grant said. “Our ball movement wasn’t as good as it needed to be in the first half. … In the second half, we did a better job of really valuing the possession, moving the ball.”

But BC nearly tossed the game away in the second half with sloppy offense after fighting all the way back. A 15–2 run five minutes into the half cut the Eagles’ deficit to just three points, and seven consecutive Chas Kelley III points put the Eagles ahead 74–66 with 7:07 remaining.

But with McGlockton on the bench with three fouls, Georgia Tech responded with a 13–2 run to take a 79–76 lead at the 4:12 mark.

Harris, however, nailed a 3-pointer, and McGlockton returned and followed with his third triple of the game. Harris then went on to take eight straight free throws—hitting five—as a result of a Georgia Tech personal foul, technical foul, and common foul to give BC an 87–79 advantage with 2:07 remaining.

McGlockton decided to take a layup with one second left to hit the 30-point mark with the game already over, sending the programs into a scuffle during the post-game handshake.

“We didn’t want to shoot that ball,” Grant said. “They were pressing us. It was hard to get it in. We ended up throwing it long. [McGlockton] caught it right under the rim and he shot it in. I think those guys weren’t happy with that.”

Two McGlockton 3-pointers helped BC take a 13–7 lead early in the first half, but once McGlockton, Post, and Harris were subbed out, the Eagles’ offense stalled. The Kelley, Prince Aligbe, Jaeden Zackery, Mason Madsen, and Armani Mighty lineup in particular found little success moving the ball and finding open looks.

Georgia Tech then closed the half on an 11–0 run to take a 51–38 advantage at the break, headlined by three consecutive 3-pointers. But the Eagles’ 57-point outburst in the second half undid any previous damage to secure the victory. 

“I thought it was a great snapshot of a group digging themselves out of a hole, being resilient, really believing what we’re trying to execute and doing together as a group,” Grant said. “It was beautiful to watch, beautiful to see, and beautiful to be a part of.”

January 6, 2024