Georgia Tech Basketball Hosts Boston College
Yellow Jackets and Eagles tip at 5:30 p.m. Saturday [RSN] at McCamish Pavilion
THE FLATS - Georgia Tech resumes its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule Saturday when Boston College visits McCamish Pavilion for a 5:30 p.m. regionally-televised game.
Tech (14-10, 5-6 ACC), which has defied pre-season projections in its first season under head coach Josh Pastner, took a break from ACC play this week by hosting Division II Tusculum and came away with a 96-58 win, snapping a two-game skid that resulted from losses at Clemson and Wake Forest last week. The Yellow Jackets, 12-3 at home this season, enter this weekend’s games tied for ninth place in the ACC standings with Virginia Tech.
Boston College (9-16, 2-10 ACC) has lost eight straight games since opening the conference schedule 2-2, a start that included wins over Syracuse and NC State at home. The Eagles are winless on the road in five games this season.
Saturday’s game will be regionally televised on the ACC’s Regional Sports Network (Fox Sports South in Georgia) and will be streamed live online on the ACC Network Extra. Radio coverage is provided by Tech’s flagship station, 680 the Fan (680 AM/93.7 FM), and is available via satellite radio (Sirius ch. 132, XM ch. 201).
THE STARTING LINEUP
• Georgia Tech’s 2017 ACC Legend, Matt Harpring, will be in attendance Saturday, and the first 1,000 fans through the doors will receive a Matt Harpring bobblehead. Harpring, who will be inducted into the Georgia State Sports Hall of Fame later this month, will sign autographs before the game.
• Georgia Tech ranks No. 1 in the ACC in field goal percentage defense (40.6 pct.) vs. ACC teams, and ranks third in scoring defense (70.2 ppg). Nationally, Tech ranks 22nd in field goal percentage defense and 59th in scoring defense.
• Ben Lammers’ +11.1 per game scoring average increase over the 2015-16 season is the best in the ACC, No. 7 nationally. But Tadric Jackson (+5.7) and Quinton Stephens (+5.6) and also have posted impressive increases over last season. Josh Heath (+3.0) has more than doubled his 2015-16 average.
• Three keys for Tech - The Jackets are 13-1 this season when they shoot a better percentage from the floor than their opponent, are 11-0 when scoring 70 points and 12-1 when attempting more free throws than the opponent.
• Georgia Tech is 4-6 against teams in the top 50 of CBSSports.com’s RPI rankings as of Thursday (2-3 vs. 1-25, 2-3 vs. 26-50). Tech is 2-3 vs. teams ranked No. 51-100.
• In the first half of its ACC schedule, Georgia Tech faced, in order, teams ranked No. 9, 8, 9, 16, 6 and 14. The Jackets have one remaining opponent currently ranked in the top 25 (Notre Dame again).
• Georgia Tech has defeated its three top-25 team this season (No. 9 North Carolina, No. 6 Clemson, No. 14 Notre Dame), the most in one season for the program since the Yellow Jackets went 4-3 vs. top-25 teams in 2003-04. Tech has beaten as many as three top-25 teams in one season six times prior to this season.
• Tech has beaten two top-10 teams this season – No. 9 North Carolina and No. 6 Florida State – the first time the Yellow Jackets have beaten multiple top-10 teams in the same season since 2004-05 (No. 5 Wake Forest in the regular season and No. 2 North Carolina in the ACC Tournament). It is the first time since 2003-04 that the Jackets have beaten multiple top-10 teams in the regular season (No. 1 Connecticut, No. 10 Wake Forest, No. 3 Duke). It is the 18th time in program history that Tech has defeated multiple top-10 teams in the same season.
• Georgia Tech leads the all-time series with Boston College, 13-10, after winning the teams’ only meeting in the 2015-16, 76-71 in Chestnut Hill. The Eagles defeated the Yellow Jackets in both meetings during the 2014-15 season.
• Last year’s Tech win evened the series at 9-9 since the Eagles joined the ACC.
• Eighteen of the games in the short series have been decided by less than 10 points, 13 of them by four points or less, and two in overtime.
• Tech is 5-2 against the Eagles at home, earning the last three wins on three different home courts - Alexander Memorial Coliseum, Philips Arena and McCamish Pavilion.
• Tech has played BC at three different venues in the Boston area. The Jan. 29, 2005 game was Tech’s first visit to the Conte Forum, BC’s current home court, where the Jackets are 2-5. The first game in the series on Dec. 31, 1946, was played at Boston Arena, and the teams also played in the Boston Garden on Jan. 19, 1980.
• Prior to BC’s entry into the ACC, the teams met four times on neutral floors, including one outside the United States, a 65-62 overtime win for the Yellow Jackets in the 1986 Suntory Ball in Tokyo, Japan.
• The teams have met twice in NCAA Tournament competition, both of them won by Tech. The Yellow Jackets downed the Eagles, 103-89, in the 1996 Southeast Regional second round in Orlando, and eliminated the Eagles two seasons ago, 57-54 in the second round in Milwaukee.
COACH PASTNER AUDIO FROM FRIDAY
PASTNER ON TUSCULUM WIN
“It’s not about morale, it’s do we play the right way. We weren’t sharp last week. We had the injury bug, we were sick and we played that way. We played sick. We needed to get back to playing in a rhythm and in a groove and we needed to be sharp. We were sharp today. A lot of credit goes to Quinton Stephens, I really put it on him to make sure the guys were ready to play. We were going to have to generate our own energy and play the right way. Quinton had his group, his teammates ready to play. So Quinton deserves a lot of credit on that.”
• Tech started Josh Heath, Corey Heyward, Ben Lammers, Josh Okogie and Quinton Stephens for the fifth game in a row and for the sixth time this season. Three Yellow Jackets – Lammers, Okogie and Stephens – have started every game this season.
• Tech was able to play all 13 of its available players in the Tusculum game, and all 13 of them scored.
• Tech got 99 minutes and 50 points from its bench against Tusculum, both season highs. Tech’s previous high for bench points this season was 36 at VCU (24 by Tadric Jackson). Its previous high for bench minutes was 78 against Alcorn State. Tech has averaged 17.8 points from its bench this season, 11.8 in ACC games.
• Tech’s 96 points were a season high, eclipsing the 86 the Yellow Jackets scored Jan. 15 at NC State, and the most since the Jackets scored 107 vs. Green Bay on Nov. 19 of last season.
• Tech led at the half (58-31) for the first time in three games and scored its most points in a half this season. It was the most points Tech has scored in one half since the Jackets scored 59 in the second half in their 2015-16 opener against Cornell. The Jackets are 13-2 when leading at the half this season.
• Tech reached its magic number for points (70), and remains unbeaten (12-0) when reaching that number offensively.
• Tech outshot Tusculum 56.3 percent to 32.8 percent and improved to 14-1 when shooting a higher percentage from the floor than its opponent this season.
• Tech’s 56.3-percent shooting from the floor was its highest mark of the year, edging out the 56.0 percent the Yellow Jackets shot in their season opener against Tennessee Tech. It was the highest field goal percentage for the Jackets since shooting 60.3 percent in the 2015-16 season opener against Cornell.
• Only Alcorn State (31.4 percent) and North Carolina A&T (32.1 percent) have posted lower percentages from the floor against Tech this year than the 32.8 percent by Tusculum.
• Tech had a 46-14 advantage on points in the paint, the first time in three games the Jackets have come out on top in that category.
• Tech’s plus-18 advantage on the boards (47-29) was its biggest of the season. The Jackets out-rebounded Alcorn State by 15 and Florida State by 14.
• Lammers and Stephens, who have combined to average 70.6 minutes in ACC games this season, played a combined 40 minutes against Tusculum. No Tech player logged more than 22 minutes in the game.
• Tech made 10 three-point field goals in 21 attempts, matching its season high in three-pointers (10-of-16 at NC State). Tech went 8-for-20 at Wake Forest and is 18-of-41 in its last two games.
• Pastner meter 1 (assists to made field goals): Tech has a season-high 25 assists on a season-high 36 made field goals (69.4 pct.) vs. Tusculum - 60 percent goal accomplished. Tech is at 63 percent for the season, which ranks 11th in the nation, and 66.4 percent in ACC games.
• Pastner meter 2 (free throws made to opponents’ attempts): Tech made 14 of 18 free throws Tusculum’s 6 of 14 (goal of making more than opponent tries not accomplished). The Yellow Jackets maintain a 72.6-percent clip from the foul line in ACC games, 69 percent in all games.
• Pastner meter 3 (guard rebounding): Tech’s guards combined for 17 of Tech’s 35 defensive rebounds.
• Josh Okogie scored a team-high 15 points against Tusculum, his 19th double-digit game out of 24 games overall. He missed his second career double-double by one rebound.
• Ben Lammers got back into double digits against Tusculum with 13 points to go with six rebounds, four blocked shots and three assists. Lammers has reached double-digits in 21 of 24 games this season. He ranks No. 2 nationally in blocked shots with 3.25 per game.
• Lammers needs two rebounds to reach 400 for his career. He surpassed 500 career points against Tusculum. He blocked four shots to move into seventh place all-time with 129.
• Freshman Christian Matthews scored 12 points and posted his second double-digit scoring game this season (scored 14 in 13 minutes at Tennessee). He hit one three and has three triples in Tech’s last two games. He played a career-high 21 minutes, adding four rebounds and three assists.
• Tadric Jackson scored 10 points to post his third double-digit game in Tech’s last four games, and added a season-high four assists in 19 minutes, He is averaging 12.3 points and 3.0 assists over that stretch and has hit 19 of 41 shots from the floor.
• Backup center Sylvester Ogbonda set career highs with eight points (4-7 FG) and five rebounds in 14 minutes. In Tech’s last two games, he has played 28 minutes, scored 13 points (5-9 FG) and grabbed seven rebounds.
• Kellen McCormick went 3-for-3 from three-point range and scored nine points with two assists in 18 minutes. It was his most productive game since he went 4-for-4 on threes for 12 points against North Carolina A&T on Dec. 28. McCormick is 10-for-13 from the floor this season, 9-for-12 from behind the arc.
• Former non-scholarship player Rand Rowland, who earlier in the day was named to the AllState NABC Good Works Team, scored the first points of his career on a bucket inside with 6:32 left in the second half. He played a career-high eight minutes.
• Quinton Stephens, who had averaged 13.0 points and 10.1 rebounds over his last eight games, had a quiet seven points, five rebounds and two assists in 18 minutes.
• Stephens went 1-for-6 from three-point range and has connected on 23 of 61 (37.7 percent) from beyond the arc in his last nine games.
• Stephens needs 15 rebounds to reach 500 for his career.
• Corey Heyward, who started his fifth straight game, played 18 more turnover-free minutes. In his five starts, he has committed just one turnover in 124 minutes.
• Josh Heath dished five assists with no turnovers in 21 minutes, and also scored six points and took three rebounds. It was Heath’s 27th turnover-free game at Georgia Tech.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL
Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is in its first year under head coach Josh Pastner. Tech has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993), played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004). Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball on social media by liking their Facebook Page, or following on Twitter (@GTMBB) and Instagram.