A frustrating season continued Saturday afternoon in South Bend as Georgia Tech fell to Notre Dame 59-68. Despite holding a five point lead at halftime, Tech was outscored 45-31 in the second half. The loss marked the seventh time this season the Jackets have been outscored in the second half after being so dominant in that area last season. Tech fell to 6-7 and 0-1 in ACC play with the loss.
Notre Dame was once again led by ACC POY contender Bonzie Colson. Colson was all over the place, finishing the game with 22 points and 17 rebounds, the latter a career high. As a team, the Jackets were out-rebounded 45-34. Notre Dame used a 13-9 offensive rebounding advantage to outscore Tech 16-0 on second chance points.
The Jackets will have major regrets about their performance from the line, finishing just 7-18, a dreadful 39% success rate. This comes off a game in which Tech went 20-21 from the charity stripe in a 76-62 win over Coppin State. On the season, the Jackets are shooting over 72% from the line, a four percentage point improvement from a season ago, making today’s missed freebies that much more frustrating.
The loss wasted another strong effort from Tadric Jackson, who finished with fifteen points off the bench on an efficient 7-13 shooting effort. Jackson has been terrific since returning from an early season suspension, particularly in his efficiency. The senior guard has drastically improved his field goal percentage every season, this year being no different. As a freshman he shot 27% from the field, 39% as a sophomore, 45% as a junior, and this year, he is shooting 52%, despite shooting just 23% from behind the arc. When Jackson has gotten inside the paint and around the basket, he has been nearly unstoppable.
Ben Lammers finished the afternoon with his fifth double-double of the season and third in a row. Despite the double-double, Lammers still looks off from his early season self, as he finished with one of his poorer shooting performances of the season, going just 5-18 from the field. Despite approaching 100% health from an early season injury, he has been practicing all year on a limited basis or not at all and may still be a few games from getting his touch back.
For the majority of the game, Josh Pastner utilized a six man rotation with Curtis Haywood missing his fifth straight game with an injury. The Jackets desperately need his three point shooting, as they are shooting under 30% from behind the arc during that stretch.
Jose Alvarado was considered questionable to doubtful to play as of yesterday, but was cleared to play before the game and turned in a 4-8 shooting eleven point effort. However, the point guard finished with only one assist. As a team, Tech had just 10 assists on 23 made field goals.
Next up for Tech is a return home to take on #15 Miami on Wednesday. The Hurricanes are currently 11-1 with their lone loss coming to New Mexico State.