Charles Mitchell and the Jackets were able to bounce back after dropping a close game to Marquette to win in the Orlando Classic against MAAC opponent Rider, 61-54.
Chuck led the way with 15 points and 12 rebounds on just 10 shots. Demarco Cox was right behind him with 10 points and 8 rebounds. That duo, along with the rest of the team, was able to bludgeon the Broncs on the boards. Tech had a huge 49-27 advantage there, including 19 offensive rebounds.
The defensive intensity came and went. It was especially lax for most of the first half and latter parts of the second half but when it mattered, the Jackets came away with some key stops. There would be no Matt Carlino-type performances tonight.
The Jackets were ahead for most of the first half, but gave up the lead late and headed to the locker room tied 30-30. Coach Gregory must have said something to the team between the halves, because the Jackets pushed the lead to 8 points quickly after beginning the second half.
Neither team shot well from long range, as both finished below 16% shooting from there. Chris Bolden once again looked confident with his shot. He may be over his struggles he had last season shooting the ball. 7 points won't tell the whole story, as he looked active moving without the ball.
MGH and Tadric Jackson also had nice nights offensively, both getting to the free throw line a lot. They combined for 18 points. Robert Sampson provided some grit down low as usual, and Heath and Jorgenson were steady hands amongst unsteady hands.
The turnovers were a big worry. 12 turnovers isn't a terrible total, but many of those were of the unforced variety. It may just represent a lack of focus, but it's something the Jackets will need to clean up as they move forward. On a brighter note, one of the team's Achilles heels, free throw shooting, was much improved tonight as they were 15-20 (75%) from the line. With Cox and Mitchell getting so many touches, the team won't ever be a great free throw shooting team but they certainly cannot be close to 50% and expect to win close games.
Tech will play Rhode Island on Sunday at 6:30 EST with a winning record in the tournament on the line.