Georgia Tech Basketball Hosts Alcorn State
Yellow Jackets and Braves tip at 2 p.m. Sunday [ACC Network Extra] at McCamish Pavilion
THE FLATS - Resuming its non-conference schedule following a nine-day break for fall semester final exams, Georgia Tech begins a stretch of three home games in five days Sunday with a 2 p.m. contest against Alcorn State at McCamish Pavilion.
Tech (5-3), in its first season under head coach Josh Pastner, salvaged a stretch of three straight road games by upending VCU, 73-70 in overtime, in its last game on Dec. 7. The Yellow Jackets began the season with five straight games at home, winning four of those, before dropping games at Penn State and Tennessee.
Alcorn State (2-6) has not played since Dec. 5, when it fell 98-65 at Louisiana Tech, ending a four-game road stretch that took the Braves to Colorado State, San Francisco and California. After Sunday’s game, Alcorn State travels to Grand Canyon in Phoenix, Ariz., for a game Tuesday night.
Sunday’s game will not be televised, but will be streamed live on ACC Network Extra, available online through the WatchESPN app. Radio coverage is provided by Tech’s flagship station, 680 the Fan (680 AM/93.7 FM).
• Sunday’s game is the first of five straight home games coming up for the Yellow Jackets, who host Georgia Tuesday and Wofford Thursday before breaking for Christmas, then entertain North Carolina A&T (Dec. 28) and begin ACC play against North Carolina (Dec. 31).
• Sunday’s game is the second for Tech this season against an opponent from the Southwestern Athletic Conference. The Yellow Jackets defeated Southern on Nov. 14.
• For Sunday’s game, every Tech fan who donates a winter coat will get their photo taken with Buzz on the court, and the first 1,000 fans through the doors will receive a free Georgia Tech cookie cutter.
• Center Ben Lammers leads the nation in blocked shots per game (4.63), ranks fifth in offensive rebounds per game (4.5), 16th in double-doubles (5) and 20th in total rebounds per game (10.8).
• Lammers and forward Quinton Stephens have eight double-doubles between them. Lammers leads the ACC in rebounds per game, and Stephens ranks 10th.
Georgia Tech and Alcorn State are meeting for the third time, and for the first time since 1989.
• The Yellow Jackets and Braves played in back-to-back years in the late 1980s, winning both at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Tech defeated Alcorn State 114-71 in a first-round game in the Pre-Season NIT in 1987, and captured an 88-63 victory at home a year later.
• Tech is 15-1 all-time against members of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, including a 77-62 victory over Southern on Nov. 14 of this season.
• In the last meeting between Tech and Alcorn State, Dennis Scott led five Yellow Jackets in double figures with 23 points. Tom Hammonds added 16 points and Brian Oliver 13 as Tech shot 60.8 percent from the floor.
LAST TIME OUT
Georgia Tech earned a big road win heading into its layoff for finals, thanks to Josh Heath, who hit a tie-breaking 12-foot jumper in overtime, and fellow guard Tadric Jackson, who bounced back from one of his worst games with one of his best as the Yellow Jackets beat VCU 76-73 in overtime on Dec. 7 at the Siegel Center.
Jackson scored 19 of his 24 points after halftime for the Yellow Jackets (5-3). They won despite turning the ball over 20 times and getting just three points from freshman scoring sensation Josh Okogie, who played 16 minutes. Ben Lammers had 18 points, eight rebounds and four blocks for the Yellow Jackets.
“To win on the road, in the early stages of the rebuilding process is a huge, huge win. And on national television against a very well-coached team, an NCAA tournament team, a program that won 86 percent of their home games the last six seasons. That’s a huge win in year one of a major rebuilding job with the most inexperienced team in all of college basketball.”
• With its win at VCU, Georgia Tech improved to 11-7 in the home arenas of non-Power-5 conference teams since 2000.
• Justin Moore returned to the starting lineup after missing the Tennessee game with an illness. Tech has started the lineup of Lammers, Stephens, Moore, Heyward and Okogie in four of eight games this season.
• Tech used nine players in the game, eight logged double-digit minutes, more than in any other game this season.
• Tech led at the half (36-28) for the sixth time in eight games, and improved to 5-1 when leading at the half.
• Tech led the game for 35:29 of a possible 45 minutes, and trailed for just 3:17.
• Tech played its first overtime game since beating Clemson, 88-85, in last year’s ACC Tournament. Tech had lost four straight road games that went to overtime; this was the Jackets’ first OT win on the road since beating Mercer, 82-76, on Nov. 22, 2008.
• Tech shot 47.5 percent from the floor, including 56 percent (14-of-25) in the second half. Tech has shot 50.5 percent from the floor in its five wins this season, 34.2 percent in its three losses.
• Tech assisted on only 11 of its 29 made field goals (37.9 percent), well below its stated goal (60 percent), and stands at 56.3 percent for the season.
• Tech connected on 4-of-10 shots from three-point range (40 percent), and is 27-for-61 (44.2 percent) from long distance in its last five games, 38.5 percent for the season.
• Tech out-rebounded VCU, 38-36, and has out-rebounded its opponent five times in eight games. Tech is 3-2 this season when winning the boards.
• Tech has hit 63.5 percent for the season from the foul line, and won at VCU despite missing six of its last seven free throws, including four of five in overtime.
• Quantity more important than quality - Tech has hit 59.4 percent of its free throws in its wins, 76.1 percent in its losses. However, the Jackets have outscored their opponents 17.0-10.4 points per game from the line in their five wins, and has been outscored 12.3-11.7 per game in three losses.
• Tech’s 20 turnovers were a season high, and VCU scored 29 points from those. Tech has surrendered 95 points off 71 turnovers in its last four games.
• Tech blocked six shots (Ben Lammers had four) and is averaging 7.8 blocks for the season, which ranks No. 2 nationally.
• Tech had a season-high 10 steals and forced 21 turnovers, but scored just 18 points off them.
• Tadric Jackson scored a career-high 24 points, 16 of those in the second half and overtime, including a three-pointer in OT. It was his second 20-point-plus effort of the season and his fourth double-figure game. Jackson is shooting 49.6 percent from the floor this season, including 9-of-16 from three-point range.
• Quinton Stephens scored in double figures (12 points) for the seventh time in eight games, hitting 4-of-7 shots from the floor and 4-of-6 from the line. He also grabbed eight rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal, playing 42 of a possible 45 minutes.
• Ben Lammers reached double figures in scoring for the eighth consecutive game with 16 points (7-of-13 FG, 2-of-5 FT), also playing 42 minutes. Lammers is averaging a team-high 15.8 points per game but has taken 10 or more shots only four times in eight games. He is hitting a team-best 59.1 percent from the floor.
• Lammers grabbed eight rebounds, four on the offensive end. Averaging 10.8 rebounds per game, he is tied for the ACC lead, and also is No. 2 in the conference in offensive rebounds (4.5 per game).
• Lammers blocked four more shots, giving him 37 in eight games (4.6 per game), which leads the nation.
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.