Georgia Tech Falls to Wake Forest 81-69
Okogie leads way for Tech with 23 points, Stephens gets double-double
John Collins scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, his tenth double-double of the season and took advantage of the foul trouble which plagued the Yellow Jackets' front line from start to finish. Georgia Tech's star center, Ben Lammers, picked up three fouls in the first half and added a fourth with 14:58 to play. Lammers, a key part of the interior defense for a team that came into the game fourth nationally in blocks per game, had to play cautiously upon his return.
Lammers entered the game averaging nearly a double-double at 15.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game, but finished with only seven points on 2-of-7 shooting. It was only his third game this season with fewer than 10 points.
Collins was the beneficiary, making 7-of-12 shots from the field and adding a 6-of-8 performance from the foul line. He punctuated the win with an emphatic alley-oop dunk in the final two minutes to put his team up 75-62.
In the process, Collins became the first Wake Forest player to score 20 points or more in six consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference games since Skip Brown did so in 10 straight games in 1974-74.
He led a balanced offensive attack for Wake Forest (14-9, 5-6 ACC), which had six players score at least seven points, and four in double figures, including Mitchell Wilbekin's 16 point effort on 4-of-8 shooting from 3-point range.
Georgia Tech: The loss denied the Yellow Jackets a chance at another RPI top 40 win. It would have been their sixth of the season, and offered a substantial boost to a wavering NCAA Tournament resume.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons bolstered their own March credentials with the win, which made them 5-9 against the RPI top 100. They still lack a marquee win, as that record includes an 0-8 record against the RPI top 50.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets get a brief respite from conference play when they host Tusculum College on Tuesday night. The Division II Pioneers were 9-12 overall heading into a Saturday afternoon contest against Lenoir-Rhyne. The stretch run is favorable for Georgia Tech, which faces only one nationally-ranked opponent in its final eight games (No. 20 Notre Dame).
Wake Forest: The Deacons return to the road to take on No. 20 Notre Dame on Tuesday night. After going three years without an ACC road win, coach Danny Manning and company will be gunning for their third such victory in four tries, with wins at North Carolina State and Boston College sandwiched around a loss at Syracuse.