Feb. 28, 2012
ATLANTA – Looking to sweep its season series with Boston College, Georgia Tech plays its final road game of the year against Boston College in a regionally-televised game at 7 p.m. Wednesday night at the Silvio O. Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Mass.
The second meeting between the two schools this season can seen on the ACC’s Regional Sports Network (FS South in Atlanta) can be heard in Atlanta on flagship station 790 the Zone (790 AM) and True Oldies 106.7 FM, as well as across the country on satellite radio (Sirius Ch. 136).
In its first year under head coach Brian Gregory, Tech (10-18, 3-11 ACC) is coming off a hard-fought 63-61 win Saturday over Maryland at Philips Arena, which earned the Yellow Jackets a split of their season series with the Terrapins and ended a four-game losing streak. Tech defeated the Eagles, 51-47, at home in the teams’ first meeting on Feb. 4.
Tech is 3-8 in road games this season 1-6 in conference play. A win Wednesday would give the Yellow Jackets two ACC road wins for the first time since 2007-08, when they had three (NC State, Wake Forest, Boston College).
Boston College, 8-20 overall and 3-11 in the ACC in its second season under head coach Steve Donahue, is tied with the Yellow Jackets for 11th place in the conference following an 85-56 loss Saturday at Wake Forest. The Eagles, 7-9 at home this season, have lost four in a row and 10 of their last 11.
Mathematically, Tech can finish as high as 9th place in the final ACC standings at the conclusion of this week’s action if it wins both of its games and Virginia Tech and Wake Forest, tied for 9th at 4-10, each lose both of theirs. The Hokies must play at Clemson and host NC State to close out their regular season, and the Demon Deacons host Duke Tuesday before coming to Atlanta.
The Yellow Jackets finish out their regular season Saturday with a 12 noon game against Wake Forest at Philips Arena.
Tech/Boston College Update
Georgia Tech’s primary goals this season have been to play solid team defense, win the rebounding battle, and be efficient on offense. The Yellow Jackets have a +3.8 edge in rebounding for the season and has won that battle in 16 of 28 games.
The Yellow Jackets rank 4th in the ACC (48th nationally) in field goal percentage defense (40.4 pct.) and 5th in scoring defense (78yj nationally, 63.1 ppg). Tech has held 14 opponents under 40 percent from the field, and have held 11 teams under 60 points.
Tech has shared the ball much better during the month of February, assisting on 58.2 percent of its baskets, compared to 47 percent for the entire ACC schedule and 49 percent for the entire season.
Tech has found the going difficult on the offensive end throughout the conference schedule with a few exceptions. The Yellow Jackets shot a season-high 58.3 percent in an overtime loss at Virginia Tech last Saturday, shot 49.1 percent against Duke on J7, 51 percent at NC State on J11, and 45.6 percent at North Carolina on J29. Tech averaged 77.5 points in those games.
But altogether, Tech has managed to score just 58.3 points against the conference this year, which would be an all-time low for Tech in the shot clock era, and has converted just 40.8 percent of its field goals. Tech has been held under 40 points in a game twice, and under 60 six other times.
Conversely, Tech has managed to put together some excellent second halves of offense in ACC games. The Jackets have shot 46 percent or better from the floor in the second half of nine conference games, including a 52.6 effort Saturday in their win over Maryland.
Tech’s offensive numbers in road games this year (63.9 ppg, 44.6% FG, 39.1% on 3s, 66.9% FT) are far better than those for the Jackets in Philips Arena.
Boston College ranks 12th in the ACC in scoring offense (59.4 ppg) and field goal percentage (40.7%); 9th in scoring defense (68.5 ppg) and 11th in field goal defense (43.6%). Only the Eagles have averaged fewer points in conference games than have the Yellow Jackets.
Whom to Watch
6-8 sophomore Kammeon Holsey has scored in double figures in five of his last six games, leading Tech in scoring in four of those. He has averaged 13.2 points on 56.0% shooting and has gone 23-for-31 (74/2%) from the foul line over that stretch.
Holsey, who recorded his first career double-double against Maryland (16 pts, 10 reb) Saturday, leads Tech in field goal percentage in all games (59.9%) and is 2nd in ACC games (51.1%).
6-11 sophomore center Daniel Miller has scored in double figures in six of his last seven games, averaging 9.6 points and 7.3 rebounds. Miller has hit 30-of-48 shots from the floor, 6-for-7 from the foul line. He has 19 blocked shots, 8 assists and 7 steals.
Miller has made a team-high 51.6% of his shots in ACC games and ranks 2nd in the ACC in blocked shots (2.5 per game).
6-2 point guard Mfon Udofia had a career-high 9 assists with just 3 turnovers against Maryland and played good defense on the the ACC’s leading scorer, Terrell Stoglin (18 pts on 5-17 shooting).
Udofia has 28 assists and 14 turnovers in his last six games (201 minutes).
Udofia and backup point guard Pierre Jordan have just 16 turnovers between them in the last 6 games (269 minutes).
6-3 sophomore Brandon Reed has reached double digits in points in 3 of his last 4 games and 4 of his last 7, beginning with an 18-point effort at FSU on F1. He has averaged 10.4 points over that stretch, making 37.8% of his 3s and 39% of his shots overallm, as well as 13-for-14 from the foul line.
6-10 sophomore center Nate Hicks has been sidelined with mononucleosis since F8 (missed 5 games). He returned to practice Monday and is expected to see duty at Boston College.
6-5 sophomore forward Jason Morris played only 17 minutes (0 points) against Clemson after suffering a mid-foot strain late in Tech’s overtime loss at Virginia Tech. He was more effective Saturday against Maryland, hitting 3s on Tech’s first 2 possessions of the game and finishing with 9 pts in 35 minutes.
6-5 junior forward Glen Rice, Jr., was suspended indefinitely on F17 and has not played the last 3 games.
6-3 senior Nick Foreman, a former walk-on who earned a scholarship this year, has played 49 minutes in Tech’s last 3 games to fill the void left by the absences of Glen Rice, Jr., Nate Nicks and Jason Morris. He made a pair of 3s and scored 8 pts against Maryland, his career high for an ACC game.
Last Time We Met
Glen Rice Jr. scored three points in the final minute, Brandon Reed hit a pair of free throws in the closing seconds and Georgia Tech snapped a six-game losing streak with a 51-47 victory in the teams’ first meeting on Feb. 4.
The Yellow Jackets never trailed after Holsey’s inside runner made it 46-44 with 2:55 remaining, but Boston College pulled within one at 48-47 on Jackson’s two free throws with 16.4 seconds to go.
Rice put back his own missed runner to make it 48-45 with 48.9 seconds left and added a free throw with three-tenths of a second remaining.
Tech-Boston College History
Georgia Tech won the first meeting between the two teams this year, a 51-47 decision on Feb. 4 at Philips Arena, but the Eagles have won three of the last five games in the series. Tech leads the series 9-5.
Eleven of the games in the short series have been decided by less than 10 points, eight of them by four points or less, and two in overtime.
The four meetings in Boston have been played at three different venues. The Jan. 29, 2005 game was Tech’s first visit to the Silvio O. Conte Conte Forum, BC’s current home. The first game in the series on Dec. 31, 1946, was played at Boston Arena, and the teams also played in the Boston Garden on Jan. 19, 1980.
Prior to BC’s entry into the ACC, the teams met four times on neutral floors, including one outside the United States, a 65-62 overtime win for the Yellow Jackets in the 1986 Suntory Ball in Tokyo, Japan.
The teams have met twice in NCAA Tournament competition, both of them won by Tech. The Yellow Jackets downed the Eagles, 103-89, in the 1996 Southeast Regional second round in Orlando, and eliminated the Eagles two seasons ago, 57-54 in the second round in Milwaukee.