Jackson took a pass on the left side from Jose Alvarado and drove through the lane past two defenders to score at the rim. His basket set off a wild celebration for Georgia Tech (4-1). Jackson, in his first start and second game back since serving a three-game suspension for receiving gifts in violation of NCAA rules, finished with 10 points on 4 for 13 shooting.
Bryant McIntosh scored 18 points, Vic Law added 12 and Dererk Pardon had 10 points and 12 rebounds for Northwestern (4-3). Scottie Lindsey began the game averaging a team-high 17.8 points, but he went scoreless, missing five 3-point attempts and three other shots.
The Yellow Jackets overcame an 8-minute stretch with no field goals to blow a 10-point lead when Bryant McIntosh's runner put Northwestern up 49-47 with 2:22 to play. That ended a 12-0 run and gave the Wildcats their first lead since early in the first half.
Northwestern led 51-50 on Pardon's putback with 7.1 seconds remaining. Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner called timeout and had Lammers, his center, throw an inbound pass to Alvarado, who was told to look first for Lammers on the other end. With Lammers defended well, Alvarado passed to Jackson.
Early in the second half, a Lammers layup gave Georgia Tech its first double-digit lead at 39-29. Northwestern pulled within five on Law's dunk with 9:51 remaining, but the Jackets went back up by 10 on Jackson's 3 less than 2 minutes later.
Northwestern: Coach Chris Collins said he wasn't upset with Lindsey, a senior guard picked up who picked up his third foul at 12:58 and turned his ankle after stepping on Jackson's foot trying to beat a screen with 11:03 remaining. Lindsey came back in for Northwestern's last possession and threw the sideline pass. Aaron Falzon missed a 3-point attempt from the corner before Pardon grabbed the rebound and quickly scored. The Wildcats can afford to have an occasional off game from Lindsey, but the Big Ten schedule is about to begin and they will need him at his best.
Georgia Tech: Still playing without their best player, Josh Okogie, the Jackets showed resolve to win after crumbling in the second half, at one point turning the ball over six straight possessions. But Alvarado wisely didn't force the ball in to Lammers and let Jackson make a play. Jackson was a dynamic player last season, averaging 12.1 points last season to become the fourth reserve in team history to average in double figures.
Georgia Tech continues its homestand when it hosts Grambling State as part of the Ramblin' Wreck Showcase on Friday, Dec. 1. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.