Dec. 22, 2016
ATLANTA (AP) Ben Lammers scored 12 of his 19 points in the second half, Justin Moore added a career-high 12 points, and all of Tadric Jackson’s 14 came in the first half as Georgia Tech re-discovered offense for a 76-72 win over Wofford.
The Yellow Jackets (7-4) still needed four free throws in the final five seconds Thursday from Josh Heath, who scored a season-high 12 off the bench, to beat the Terriers (5-8) for the 14th straight time.
Tech managed just enough defense, mostly early.
Wofford stuck around with 3-pointers in the second half, when Eric Garcia sank five of his total six on the way to scoring 23, and the Terriers made 7-of-16 after intermission.
As Tech built a 38-30 halftime lead, though, the Jackets held Wofford to 4-of-15 from distance.
”Listen, they came in as the (third)-best team in the country at 43.2 percent and we held them to (26.7) percent in the first half,” said Tech coach Josh Pastner. ”We’re guarding . . . we’re flat-out guarding. Our defense hasn’t been the issue.”
No, that’s been offense. In their previous game, a 60-43 loss Tuesday to rival Georgia, the Jackets mustered their lowest output in 88 games.
The Terriers pulled within a point twice in the second half, and on three other occasions they were down by two. Three possessions for the lead were foiled by missed shots and a fourth by a turnover.
”We couldn’t (make the big shot),” said Wofford coach Mike Young. ”Georgia Tech had something to do with that . . . The scheme that coach Pastner is employing causes shots to come from different spots. The 1-3-1, the 1-1-3 . . . and a sprinkle of man can take the wind out of your sails.”
TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE
Garcia’s three free throws with five seconds left pulled Wofford to within 72-70, but Heath then made a pair of free throws without any time off the clock. After forward Cameron Jackson scored a short jumper to pull Wofford within two with just 0.6 seconds to go, Heath added two more at 0.1.
Moore, Tech’s freshman point guard, came in averaging just 5.8 points only to score eight in the first half. ”Coaches told me to be aggressive,” he said. ”(Pastner) just said, `When you’re open, take your shot and if you find a lane go attack.’ ”
A PASSING FANCY
Lammers has put up career highs several times this season in points, rebounds and blocked shots and the nation’s blocked shot leader (4.1 per game) added another with six assists.
The 6-foot-10 junior center is drawing attention. He didn’t mind supplementing his 19 points, seven rebounds, two blocks and a steal with a half dozen dimes. He said, ”They definitely tried to double a lot more when I was down in the low post so I tried to do more things from the high post.”
Wofford: After closing their non-conference schedule 1-8 away from home, the Terriers can look forward to smaller Southern Conference opponents and an even split home/away games. Wofford was outscored 38-22 in the paint.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets have one more non-conference game before diving into the ACC, and they’d like to keep shooting like they did Thursday (27-of-52).
Wofford will play its first two Southern Conference games at home in Benjamin Johnson Arena Dec. 31 against Mercer and Jan. 2 against The Citadel.
Georgia Tech plays one more game before diving into ACC action as the Jackets will play host to North Carolina A&T Dec. 28. North Carolina visits Dec. 31.