It wasn’t the prettiest game at times, but when the final buzzer sounded, the Jackets had picked up their best win of the young season. Sam Houston State, who came into the game ranked 150th in the kenpom rankings, had scored 75+ in every game so far, but Tech held them to just 42% shooting and a season low 73 points. The Jackets held a 40-20 halftime lead and despite that lead being briefly cut to single digits, Tech was always in command throughout the second half.
Ben Lammers had another monster game, leading the Jackets in scoring with 19 points. He added eight rebounds and six blocks, adding to his nation leading six blocks per game. Four other Jackets were in double digits (Stephens with 10, Okogie with 16, Jackson with 15, and Heyward with a career high 10). Freshman point guard Justin Moore also had a career high, scoring nine points.
Stephens added 10 rebounds to go with his 10 points, giving him the second double double of his career. Despite the double double, he continues to struggle from the field, shooting just 3-11 tonight after going 1-9 last Friday. The Jackets will need their senior leader to shoot much more efficiently as the season progresses.
Tadric Jackson continues to build upon his impressive junior season campaign, scoring 15 points despite first half foul trouble which limited him to just 19 minutes. Jackson was 5-5 from the field, but just 3-8 from the line. His season field goal percentage now sits at 66%, up from 39% last season and just 27% as a freshman. The most noticeable difference in his game may be from behind the arc, where he is now 6-7 on the year. If Jackson can make defenders respect his jump shot, he should have a much easier time attacking and getting to the basket.
Point guard Josh Heath was completing the final game of his four game suspension and will return on Saturday against Tulane. He is expected to slide into his role as the team’s starting point guard.
Saturday’s game against Tulane will tipoff at 7:30 and will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.