Georgia Tech ends the regular season with a 73-65 win at BC

CHESTNUT HILL, MA- Georgia Tech went on the road shorthanded again and pulled off another upset win knocking off Boston College 73-65 on Saturday afternoon. Miles Kelly led the way with clutch threes scoring 21 points to lead all scorers including going 5-11 from three. The win was the 14th this season for the Jackets who finished in 13th place in the ACC with a 6-14 league record after being picked to finish dead last in the preseason.

The Jackets have won six of eight now heading into the ACC Tournament after a nine-game losing streak through part of January and February.

“I’m just so proud of our guys to find a way to kind of fight through it, the toughness, the gut check to find a way to get a win, like we did today. Our second win this week on the road and we are like the Coach (Bobby) Cremins era playing five or six guys and we had to reinvent ourselves. At one point in the season, we were in the deepest part of the ocean and somehow we’ve found a way to get back to the surface and resurface for air,” Tech head coach Josh Pastner said. “We had to really reinvent who we are and go smaller and guys have bought in.”

Kelly is averaging 23.5 points per game in Tech’s last four games. He said that the difference in the team now and earlier in the year is more mental than anything else.

“We just I’ve always kept the right mindset, whatever, practice or losing games like I think we just kept a positive mindset and now as we’re showing on the back end,” Kelly said. “I just think if we just continue to keep a positive mindset, everything will work itself out.”

The Jackets outshot the Eagles 11 to 6 from three and that was the difference in the game. Tech ranks first in the ACC in three-point defense this season and 19th overall in the nation. Boston College shot 27.3 percent for the game from three.

Guard Lance Terry added 17 points and seven rebounds.

Tech big man Ja’von Franklin fell just short of another double-double with eight points and 15 rebounds, he had only one assist after a 10-assist performance against Syracuse on Tuesday night that resulted in the fifth triple-double of all time for the Jackets.

Veteran guard Kyle Sturdivant rounded out the night with 14 points, five rebounds and four assists for the Jackets. He scored Tech’s final seven points of the game including a clutch three to extend Tech’s lead to six with 58 seconds left at the end of the shot clock over a defender and four free throws as well to ice the game.

Sturdivant’s clutch three was not what Pastner wanted at that moment, but sometimes making a shot like that can win the game.

“We ran a high-ball screen and it was good D and better offense and it is a make-and-miss game and we were lucky the ball went in. We’ve had good D and a guy hits a tough shot late and it was good it worked out for us,” he said.

Sturdivant is averaging 13.1 points per game in the Jackets’ last six games when the team has gone 5-1. His play turned around after a rough game at Wake Forest when Sturdivant turned the ball over with a chance to draw a foul and end the game with a win for the Jackets.

“That just shows how much we’ve grown and how more together we are,” Sturdviant said of the team’s play over the last eight games. “We’re not really getting down on ourselves on other teams making runs, we keep our composure, and we’re finding ways to win.”

Sophomore wing Deebo Coleman had another strong night defensively drawing three charges and adding six points and three assists.

“Lance Terry and Ja’von Franklin both get to sign the bubble with their defensive rebounds. Deebo’s defensive charges, Miles Kelly with his shooting and the way he is moving the ball, Kyle Sturdivant made some big shots and then Jalon Moore got some buckets and some big defensive rebounds,” Pastner said.

Pastner played only six players in the win with Moore being the only sub playing 15 minutes with seven points, three rebounds, and a steal.

The Jackets held Boston College scoreless for two long stretches in the second half to pull away and win the game after surrendering a first-half lead on a series of runs in the second half trailing by nine with 10:08 left in the game. Kelly erased that lead with back-to-back threes and a Terry three on a second-chance shot in the corner. The Eagles also struggled after Jaeden Zackery picked up his third foul. The Jackets closed with a 27-10 run to end the game.

“We change our defenses a lot and that helps us and guys are playing hard and guys found a way to win. We were down nine and we clawed our way back in to get a win,” Pastner. “Earlier in the year a run would turn into an avalanche and the reinventing of who we are let us put a cap on the leaks and we’ve done that in this whole stretch here and we’ve won six of eight.”

Tech outscored Boston College 12-2 on points off turnovers as the Jackets did not turn the ball over in the second half and had just five turnovers compared to 11 for the Eagles.

Boston College lost their primary big man Quentin Post just two-plus minutes into the game with an ankle injury. TJ Bickerstaff led the Eagles with 15 points and nine rebounds while Zackery added 14 points and eight rebounds and CJ Penha added 13 points. Tech held Makai Ashton-Langford in check holding him to 3-12 shooting and 1-4 from three for nine points.

The Jackets took command of the game early, jumping out to a 9-0 lead on three three-pointers and controlling the first half leading for the entire first half except for a brief stretch in the first five minutes. Tech took a six-point lead to the locker room 36-30 behind Lance Terry’s eight points. TJ Bickerstaff, Jaeden Zackery, and CJ Penha each added eight points for the Eagles in the first half. BC had an edge in points in the paint in the first half 22-14 and at the line with six chances to just three for the Jackets. BC was 1-10 from three while the Jackets also went 1-10 after the first three attempts from the arc went in.

The Jackets head into the ACC Tournament, play Tuesday at 2:00 pm in the Greensboro Coliseum, and face either Virginia Tech or Florida State. Three rotation players remain out for the Jackets with Deivon Smith sidelined with a high-ankle sprain and Rodney Howard and Tristan Maxwell out with an undisclosed illness. Pastner does not expect either of the three players to join the Jackets in Greensboro.

Sturdivant is ready to return to Greensboro where the Jackets went on a run to capture the 2020 ACC Tournament Championship.

“You know the last time we were in Greensboro we won it all,” Sturdivant said with a grin after the BC win. “We just have to keep stacking days and keep getting better. I feel like we’ve done that throughout the season.”


Georgia Tech started out quickly with three three-pointers from Lance Terry, Deebo Coleman and Miles Kelly to take a 9-0 lead and the Eagles fought back with three inside buckets to cut the Tech lead to 9-6 at the first media timeout with 15:55 left. Quentin Post left the game at the 17:18 mark with an injury and was taken to the locker room. Tech maintained the lead through the third media timeout at 7:50 24-21 over the Eagles. Boston College cut the lead by one to 29-27 at the final media timeout with 3:29 left in the game.

The Eagles started the second half with a 9-4 run into the first media timeout to cut the Tech lead to 40-39 with 15:43 left and tied the game at 40 after the media timeout. BC continued the hot run taking the lead 46-44 with 13:29 left forcing a Pastner timeout after hitting six straight field goals. The Eagles extended their run and took a four-point lead into the second media timeout with 11:56 to go as the Jackets went stone-cold offensively and couldn’t get a stop on defense. The Eagles extended the lead to nine before back-to-back threes by Kelly erased the lead. Terry hit a corner three to tie the game back up ahead of the third media timeout with 7:57 left. Tech held Boston College scoreless for two long stretches to take a 63-60 lead at the final media timeout on a Kelly three with 2:40 left. Madsen hit a three with 2:00 left to tie it at 63, but Kelly answered back with a three and then Sturdivant hit another three after a defensive stop to make it 69-63 with a minute left. Ashton-Langford hit a pair of free throws to make it 69-65 with 44 seconds left. Kyle Sturdivant hit four free throws late to preserve the lead and Tech defended the Eagles to close out the game.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *