In the first half of this game, fans could definitely tell both teams were coming off of finals with some sloppy play on both sides. A combined 15 turnovers and poor shooting led to a 27-27 halftime tie, but Tech came out in the second half with renewed focus and played one of their best halves of the season.
Tech was once again led by Marcus Georges-Hunt and Charles Mitchell who had 20 and 12 points respectively, but the play of Josh Heath deserves credit as well as he added 12 points himself. Despite having zero points at the half, the bench unit really sparked the second half surge, with James White, Tadric Jackson, and Quinton Stephens all scoring six in the half. Stephens six points came on critical back to back three pointers that stretched the Tech lead from three to nine.
Despite still scoring 17 points, VCU's leading scorer Melvin Johnson shot an inefficient 6-17 and the Jacket's held him in check most of the game. The Rams best player on the night was actually Justin Tillman, who came into the game averaging just 3.1 ppg, but poured in 18 off the bench tonight for his most points of the season.
Tech's double-double machine Charles Mitchell started the game off slow, but pulled down a flurry of critical rebounds late in the game. With just 1:12 remaining, he pulled down his 10th rebound to extend his historic double-double streak. He finished the game with 12 points and 11 rebounds and has now incredibly had a double-double in all nine games this season.
Despite being just 5-3 coming into this game, that record is a bit deceiving for this VCU team as those three losses came against Duke, Wisconsin and Florida State. In fact, the Jackets 13 point win was the largest loss of the season for VCU, who had lost by just a combined 14 points to those other three teams. In terms of a resume builder, this was an extremely impressive win for Tech, who know has wins over VCU, Tennessee, and Arkansas and has a great opportunity at going 11-2 in their non-conference schedule.
Travis Jorgenson was seen warming up, but did not see any minutes in the game and at halftime it was discovered he had rolled his ankle in practice. The fact that he was warming up provides optimism that he will be ready for the next game, but it is something that will be worth keeping an eye on.
Travis Jorgenson rolled ankle in practice. is dressed (in uniform), but doesn't appear he'll play.— Ken Sugiura (@ksugiuraajc) December 16, 2015
The Jackets next game is on Saturday when they take on uga, who they have had lots of recent success against. Brian Gregory has never lost to uga in his four years at Tech and the Jackets will be looking to make it five in a row this weekend. The game tips off at noon on Saturday and will be broadcast on SEC Network.