Starting Five: Georgia Tech at Boston College
Preview of Saturday afternoon’s matchup in Chestnut Hill between the Yellow Jackets (16-12, 6-9) and Eagles (7-21, 0-15)
By Jon Cooper | The Good Word
- Georgia Tech looks to make it four straight and five out of six and keep Boston College winless in ACC play, when it begins its final road swing of the season. Tip-off at Conte Forum is set for noon.
The Yellow Jackets made it three straight wins in ACC play, overcoming a 13-point second-half deficit to knock off Clemson, 75-73, Tuesday night at McCamish Pavilion. Marcus Georges-Hunt scored a game-high 25, the final two coming at the foul line with three seconds remaining to pull out the victory. Georges-Hunt also played superb defense in the second half on Clemson star and former AAU teammate Jaron Blossomgame -- holding him to five points. Adam Smith added 20 points, 15 in the second half to spark the offense. Tech shot 59 percent in the final 20 and 54.2 for the game. Quinton Stephens and Ben Lammers were stellar defensively, each grabbing seven rebounds, with Lammers adding four blocks.
The Eagles remained winless in ACC action, dropping a 71-56 decision to Virginia Tech on Tuesday night at Conte Forum. Grad student guard Eli Carter had a game-high 19, senior forward Dennis Clifford had a 13-point, 12-rebound double-double, also swatting a career-best four shots and dishing two assists, and junior forward Garland Owens just missed a double-double, going for nine and 11 (a career-high in rebounds) for the Eagles. The Hokies broke open the game with a 13-0 run late in the first half and led by double-digits the rest of the way. B.C. won the rebounding battle, 39-36, and broke even on turnovers, but shot 35.5 percent for the game, 17.9 from three and only 53.8 percent from the line.
Tonight’s game will be the 23rd game between the schools. Georgia Tech holds a slim 12-10 lead, but have lost the last two meetings. They also trail 5-2 all-time in Conte Forum, but snapped a four-game losing streak in the last meeting there, Jan. 21, 2014.
The game can be seen on the Fox Sports South, with Wes Durham and Brian Oliver calling the action. The game also will be streamed on the ESPN3 app. It can be heard on the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network, WYAY (93.7 FM) and 680 The Fan (680 AM), with Brandon Gaudin and Randy Waters on the call. You also can hear Brandon and Randy via satellite radio, on Sirius (Channel 106) and XM (Channel 193). Fans also can get up-to-the-minute stats on Ramblinwreck.com and the GT Gameday App.
And now, the Starting Five for Saturday’s game.
The Last Time We Met...: Playing without injured Marcus Georges-Hunt, Georgia Tech fought hard and nearly advanced in the ACC Tourn ament, but lost a 66-65 heartbreaker to Boston College on March 10, 2015, at the Greensboro Coliseum. Tadric Jackson scored an ACC-career-high 16, Charles Mitchell went for 14 points and 11 rebounds and Robert Sampson added 12 for the Jackets, who trailed by a point at the break. The Jackets led by six, the largest lead of the half for either team, with 1:51 to play, but B.C. went on an 8-1 run then the game saw two more lead changes in the final minute. The last one came with 12 seconds left, when Tech nemesis Olivier Hanlan nailed a jumper for the winning points.
Getting Better Later:One of the most rewarding parts of Georgia Tech’s streak of four wins in five games is their ability to find ways to break through and accomplish things that previously they hadn’t done. One of those things is winning games when trailing in the final five minutes, something Tech has done in each of its last two games. Against Notre Dame, the Jackets trailed by six with 4:42 to play before closing on a 9-2 run. They converted on their final four possessions, twice getting offensive rebounds to do so, while allowing Notre Dame only one score in its four tries, then, against Clemson they trailed by five inside five before going on a game-closing 14-7 run. Against the Tigers they got points on eight of their final 10 possessions. Prior to these last two games the Jackets had been 0-9 this season and 7-69 under Brian Gregory when trailing with five minutes to play.
Tech Trivia: Last Saturday, Marcus Georges-Hunt became the first Yellow Jacket to play all 40 minutes in a game since 1999 and on Wednesday came within a minute of playing 40-minutes in back-to-back games. Who was the last Yellow Jacket to go all 40 minutes in back-to-back games?
Let’s Keep Streaking!: Georgia Tech’s current three-game winning streak is the longest in ACC regular-season play since 2007-08, when the Jackets won against Virginia Tech at Alexander Memorial Coliseum on Jan. 19, at NC State four days later, and at Virginia four days after that. A win over Boston College would be the first regular-season four-game winning streak since 2001-02, when the Jackets topped NC State, 65-59, on Feb. 20, edged Virginia on Feb. 23, 82-80, in Charlottesville, beat Wake, 90-77, on Feb. 27, then won at Florida State on March 2, 86-78, as part of a season-ending five-game winning streak.
Process of E-Lammination: Sophomore forward Ben Lammers has blossomed into one of the most solid defensive forces in the ACC and came up with one of his biggest games Wednesday against Clemson, matching his ACC-highs with seven rebounds and four blocks. Lammers comes into this game with a team-high 37 blocks, having made 23 of them in ACC play. He has 11 blocks in his last six games and his 1.5 blocks per game in conference play tie for sixth. Lammers also saw 21 minutes against Clemson, one off his season high and the second game in three in which he’s logged at least 20 minutes.
The Sixth Man: A win today would assure Georgia Tech of a winning season and give them a season-best wins and ACC wins total under Gregory…Marcus Georges-Hunt begins action with an even 1,600 career points. He’s only 16 behind Georgia Tech’s 2016 ACC Legend B.J. Elder, who currently sits in 13th place. Were he to match the 25 he scored against Clemson, Marcus would be only three points from tying Roger Kaiser for 12th...Tech Trivia Answer: Matt Harpring, who went wire-to-wire on Jan. 22, 1997 at Virginia then followed that up three days later by going 40 against NC State...There will be a Georgia Tech Athletics Hall of Fame broadcast crew on hand today as former Yellow Jacket Brian Oliver (Class of 2000) will be working along side former “Voice of the Jackets,” Wes Durham (Class of 2015). Oliver, a member of the legendary “Lethal Weapon 3,” and the school’s eighth all-time leading scorer, will be calling his first Georgia Tech game for the ACC Network...Boston College will have a really good scouting report on Tech point guard Josh Heath, as Josh’s dad, Stan, is an assistant coach for the Eagles.
BOSTON COLLEGE SCORING LEADER: Eli Carter, 15.9 ppg
BOSTON COLLEGE SCORING LEADER (ACC): Eli Carter, 14.9 ppg
BOSTON COLLEGE REBOUNDING LEADER: Dennis Clifford, 7.3 rpg
BOSTON COLLEGE REBOUNDING LEADER (ACC): Dennis Clifford, 7.3 rpg
BOSTON COLLEGE ASSISTS LEADER: Eli Carter, 4.0 apg
BOSTON COLLEGE ASSISTS LEADER (ACC): Eli Carter, 3.5 apg
GEORGIA TECH PPG/ACC: 74.5/71.7 ppg
OPP. PPG/ACC: 71.5/73.9 ppg
BOSTON COLLEGE PPG/ACC: 60.7/54.9
OPP. PPG/ACC: 69.8/73.7
BOSTON COLLEGE Player To Watch - Eli Carter: The 6-2, 200-pound graduate student is having a superb final year of eligibility. Following stints at Rutgers and Florida, Carter comes into today’s game 13th in the ACC in scoring (15.9 ppg), ninth in assists (4.0 apg) and ninth in three-pointers made (2.2 per game) and his 14.9 ppg and 2.4 3PTFGMs rank 17th and sixth in conference play. He made history on Dec. 19, 2015 against Delaware, recording a 20-point, 10-assist double-double, the first Eagle to record a points/assists double-double since 2010 when Reggie Jackson did it, and he came up two rebounds shy of a triple-double. He also just missed the triple against Maine six days earlier, going for 16 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.