March 3, 2018
ATLANTA (AP) – Josh Okogie scored 22 points, including six free throws in the final 17 seconds, to lead Georgia Tech to a 64-56 win over Wake Forest on Saturday.
Georgia Tech (13-18, 6-12 Atlantic Coast Conference) closed the regular season with two straight wins, and claimed the No. 13 seed in next week’s New York Life ACC Tournament, where it will face No. 12 seed Boston College at noon Tuesday in the Barclays Center. The Yellow Jackets ended a seven-game losing streak with Thursday night’s 78-75 win over North Carolina State.
With Georgia Tech protecting a two-point lead, Josh Okogie lost possession of the ball when tied up by Wake Forest’s Bryant Crawford. Possession on the jump ball went to Wake Forest, and Okogie seethed.
With only 36.9 seconds remaining, it was a potential game-turning play and Okogie said, “I kind of took it personal.”
Seconds later, Okogie drew a charge — on Crawford — and then sank six free throws in the final 17 seconds, leading the Yellow Jackets to a 64-56 win over the Demon Deacons on Saturday.
“I love the pressure. I embrace it,” Okogie said after leading Georgia Tech with 22 points in the matchup of two of the ACC’s bottom three teams.
Crawford had 22 points and Doral Moore had 12 points and 13 rebounds for Wake Forest (11-19, 4-14).
Okogie said he was focused on defending the basket, not drawing a charge.
“I didn’t know I was going to get it,” he said. “I was more focused on not letting him get to the basket.”
Crawford had three assists and eight turnovers for Wake Forest, leading coach Danny Manning to say “That’s hard to come back from.”
Crawford had nine assists with no turnovers in the Demon Deacons’ 79-62 home win over the Yellow Jackets on Feb. 14.
“We just didn’t take care of the ball today,” Crawford said.
Added Moore when asked about the team’s season-high 22 turnovers: “That’s what basically cost us the game.”
Georgia Tech scored 19 points off the turnovers.
A 3-point play by Crawford with 54.9 seconds remaining cut Georgia Tech’s lead to 58-56. Driving for a potential tying layup, Crawford was called for the charge drawn by Okogie.
“Those are winning plays,” said Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner.
Okogie made 11 of 12 free throws and had a game-high five steals.
In a game with nine lead changes and six ties, the Yellow Jackets finally took the lead for good at 48-46 on Tadric Jackson’s layup.
Wake Forest: Moore recorded his ninth double-double in ACC play. He began the day averaging 11.7 points and 10.8 rebounds in ACC games. He is one of only three players in the conference to average a double-double in ACC games. … The Demon Deacons have lost 12 straight at Georgia Tech.
Georgia Tech: Okogie, a sophomore, surpassed the 1,000-point plateau for his career, making him the third player on Tech’s current roster to reach the milestone, joining Tadric Jackson and Ben Lammers, who both reached it earlier this season. They are the first trio of 1,000-point scorers on the same Tech team since 1989 … Brandon Alston and Jackson had 12 points. Evan Cole had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Georgia Tech senior center Ben Lammers was about to shoot a free throw late in the first half when a fan yelled “Nice hair!”
The taunt drew laughs, but Lammers made both free throws.
“I actually did hear that,” he said, adding that after he dries his hair with a towel during a game “it’s to the point where I can’t do much with it.”
Slowed by foul trouble, Lammers had six points and four rebounds in his final home game.
Wake Forest, the No. 14 seed, will play Syracuse in the first round of the ACC Tournament in Brooklyn on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Georgia Tech, the No. 13 seed, will play Boston College in its ACC first-round game on Tuesday at noon.