Georgia Tech looked for a time like they would pull away in the first half, but it wasn’t to be. Tech let the lead wither before the half and continued to give it away in the second half with the aid of some Bethune-Cookman three pointers. This was a very sloppy game with both teams throwing poor passes and scrambling for rebounds. Tech was able to hold on for the win, but this was far from a great game for them.
Defensively this game was interesting for Georgia Tech. They were able to shut down Bethune-Cookman inside the arc thanks in large part to fantastic defense by Ben Lammers. Outside the arc however, it was a different story. Bethune-Cookman was knockdown from three, particularly Brandon Tabb who was 7-15 from deep. Overall, they were 12-28 (44.4%) from three and just 8-27 (29.6%) from inside the arc. BCU’s three point shooting was what kept them in the game.
This has been the first time that I have said this in years, but GT won this game because of free throw shooting. The refs were very whistle happy for both teams. Despite missing several free throws late to ice it, Tech ended up shooting 24-31 (77.4%) from the line. Brandon Alston was 7-7 and Jose Alvarado was 8-10. Gueye hit two clutch free throws to put Tech up 3 with under 10 seconds. On the other side, Bethune-Cookman was an atrocious 10-25 from the line. Tech got bailed out by the Wildcat’s failure to take the free points.
Ben Lammers nearly pulled off an unconventional triple-double with 19 points, 13 rebounds, and 8 blocks. Jose Alvarado added 18 points on 5-11 from the field and 5 assists. On the bright side for Brandon Alston, he was 7-7 from the line and had only one turnover and ended with 14 points. On the other side he was only 3-11 from the field and disappeared in the second half. Gueye added 6 points (all on free throws) and 5 rebounds.
Overall this was a frustrating, disappointing, and disheartening game. BCU should not have been in this game in the final minutes. The offense continued to struggle mightily only shooting 39.2% from the field and just 1-8 from deep. Lammers was good as usual and Alvarado had a solid game, but only Alston stepped up at all from the rest of the team. Defensively I was disappointed in the strategy and performance from this team. The players weren’t closing out fast enough on shooters, but Josh Pastner didn’t put them in a position to succeed. He kept the team in a zone despite the fact that it was obvious they were going to keep chucking three pointers. It also let Bethune-Cookman get a whole lot of second chances with 14 offensive rebounds. We should have been in man nearly the whole second half.
Next Georgia Tech welcomes UT-Rio Grande Valley to McCamish on Wednesday at 7 pm. If Tech doesn’t figure out something by then, it could be a loss.