Jan. 16, 2016
ATLANTA (AP) Seth Allen’s free throw with three seconds left lifted Virginia Tech to a 78-77 win over Georgia Tech on Saturday, capping a furious free throw barrage that helped the Hokies rally from a 10-point deficit over the final 4:14.
Marcus Georges-Hunt scored 16 of his career-high 27 points in the second half for Georgia Tech (11-7, 1-4 ACC), which led 44-33 at halftime.
The second half bore little resemblance to the first, when Georgia Tech scored on 13 of 21 possessions to take a 29-14 lead on Tadric Jackson’s 3-pointer.
After Georges-Hunt’s 3-point play with 4:32 left in the game, Georgia Tech Charles Mitchell rebounded Kerry Blackshear Jr.’s miss but threw the ball away.
Justin Robinson intercepted, and scored.
Mitchell then threw the ball away on the inbounds pass, and Allen was fouled by Josh Heath after picking off the pass. He made both, and the Hokies scored four points in six seconds to trail 74-68 with 4:08 remaining.
”When a play like that happens, it’s both guys’ fault,” said Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory. ”The guard has to come back to the ball and we have to make a better decision on the outlet. The second one was just being sloppy.”
Josh Heath, a point guard, had two turnovers in the final three minutes, and Adam Smith fouled Allen after his steal on the second. With 1:37 left, he made two free throws to make it 75-all – the first tie since the opening tip.
”Obviously disappointed in our second-half performance,” Gregory said. ”In particular, being (un)able to guard the basketball without fouling.”
Zach LeDay led Virginia Tech with 21 points and seven rebounds, and his 10-footer with 57 seconds left was good for the Hokies’ first lead, 77-75.
Georges-Hunt countered with a layup to tie 20 seconds later.
Allen soon drove, and after pump-faking in the lane, he was fouled by Mitchell with 3.4 seconds remaining. Mitchell fouled out with six points and five rebounds, well below his averages of 12.6 and 11.4.
Allen made the first three throw, and Georgia Tech rebounded the second.
After a timeout, Georges-Hunt was unable to get off a shot when he was tied up by LeDay as time expired. Georgia Tech howled for a foul, but there was no call.
”At different spurts, we were playing kind of fast,” Georges-Hunt said. ”At times, they were kind of speeding us up.”
Georgia Tech: Of the seven different Yellow Jackets who have started this season, only Georges-Hunt and Quinton Stephens began their careers with the program. Mitchell (Maryland), James White (Arkansas-Little Rock graduate), Smith (Virginia Tech graduate), Nick Jacobs (Alabama) and Josh Heath (South Florida) all transferred to Georgia Tech.
Georgia Tech entered Saturday having played the toughest ACC schedule their first four conference opponents – North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Virginia and Notre Dame – had a combined record of 53-12.
Georgia Tech is home next Saturday against No. 16 Louisville.