Dec. 1, 2017
THE FLATS – Diontae Jones had 18 points and nine rebounds Friday night, when a Georgia Tech player inadvertently tipped a shot into the wrong basket with 6.5 seconds left to send Grambling State to a 64-63 upset win over the Yellow Jackets.
Georgia Tech (4-2) had scrambled back from a 16-point deficit to lead 61-60 when Jose Alvarado hit his fourth 3-pointer of the second half with 1:01 left in the game.
Alvarado scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half, including 11 straight as the Jackets began their rally against the Tigers (2-5), who got 14 points each from Ivy Smith Jr. and Axel Mpoyo.
Alvarado gave Tech a 63-60 lead with two free throws with 43 seconds to go before Grambling State’s Ivy Smith Jr. hit a pair of free throws with no time having gone off the clock because Tech’s Brandon Alston was whistled for a foul on Grambling State’s inbounds pass.
After Tech failed to score on the ensuing possession, the Tigers ran the clock down before Smith missed a drive in the waning seconds. A couple of Tech players got hands on the ball as it came off the rim, sending it back in for the upset.
Tech leading scorer Ben Lammers, who has rarely practiced recently because of a sprained ankle, missed all six of his shots before halftime, and while he had nine rebounds and seven blocked shots, he finished 1-of-7 from the field. Senior guard Tadric Jackson scored 19 points for Tech.
Grambling State: The Tigers closed their seven-game, season-opening road trip in high style with one of the biggest wins in school history.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets got hot late, especially Alvarado and Haywood, but were dreadful shooting the ball most of the game. They made just 9-of-30 shots in the first half, including 3-of-13 3-pointers.
Grambling State will finally play a home game, after seven on the road, on Monday in hosting Tougalou College (Miss.) – a historically black college established by Christian missionaries for freed slaves around 1871 – before playing five more games on the road, including a Dec. 28 game at Seattle.
Georgia Tech will close out a six-game homestand Sunday with an evening game against Tennessee before the Yellow Jackets play their first true road game, at Wofford, on Wednesday. Tech’s only other game away from McCamish Pavilion so far was a 63-60 season-opening loss to UCLA in Shanghai, China.