In another sloppy affair, Georgia Tech pushed past their last opponent of the Orlando Classic, Rhode Island, 64-61.
Marcus Georges-Hunt had a whale of a game. He took Rhode Island defenders off the dribble and finished with ease. He also created runouts by sticking his long arms in passing lanes and incepting passes. Georges-Hunt finished with 16 points, 5 steals, 4 rebounds and 2 assists.
Demarco Cox was the only other Tech player in double figures with 11 points and 6 rebounds. Josh Heath and Quinton Stephens added 7 points and Chris Bolden remained hot, making this his 5th game in 6 total where he has knocked down a three.
The turnovers were a big worry. While Tech forced a lot defensively, they coughed it up offensively a whopping 18 times. That just can't happen. The biggest culprits were uncharacteristically Marcus Georges-Hunt and Josh Heath. Both had a tendency to drive into the lane and get caught between multiple defenders. On a teamwide scale, some of the normally routine passes were floated across court lackadaisically. I think it's just a blip on the radar, but keep a watch for it during the season.
Still, there were a lot of positives in this game. The Tech offense responded to every URI run, keeping the lead at a safe arms length distance. Their three point game was deadly, with 5 different players hitting one. They also shot better at the line than their season average, going 21-31 (67.7%).
The main story was the stout Tech defense. The Jackets held the Rams to 22-50 (44%) shooting from the field but an important 3-16 (18.8%) mark from long distance. The big lineup with MGH at the 2 and Quinton Stephens at the 3 is part of the reason why. Their length makes it hard for opposing shooters to get off good shots.
Tech survived a late charge by the Rams, but it was too little too late. Rhode Island is a solid team in the very good Atlantic 10 conference that had 6 teams punch their tickets to the dance last year. This win rivals the uga win for best performance of the year. The Jackets next play in the ACC-Big Ten challenge at Northwestern on Wednesday, December 3.