Dec. 27, 2017
The Yellow Jackets (6-6) rallied over the final 10 minutes to avoid a huge upset loss to the Eagles (0-14), who fell to 0-21 against ACC teams.
Fans in McCamish Pavilion were uneasy after Coppin State’s Cedric Council Jr., a native of the Atlanta suburb of Kennesaw, hit a 3-pointer for a 54-51 lead with 9:51 left in the game. He led the Eagles with a career-high 17 points, making 5-of-6 3-pointers.
From there, the injury- and suspension-plagued Jackets – who had lost five of their previous six – closed with a 25-8 run.
”This is the first game where everything started to feel close to back to normal,” said Lammers, who has been struggling with a badly sprained ankle. ”We had a lot more poise than I think we’ve had in the past when we were down in the second half.”
Coppin State led 33-30 after making 7-of-15 3-pointers in the first half.
”We were prepared for their zone and we made shots early,” said first-year Coppin State head coach Juan Dixon.
They Eagles made another 5-of-11 3-pointers in the second half, but Georgia Tech’s Josh Okogie asked head coach Josh Pastner to led him guard Coppin State’s Karonn Dixon after he’d scored 10 points in the first.
Dixon missed all eight of his shots after intermission, when Okogie scored 11 of his 13 points.
Georgia Tech took the lead for good, at 55-54, on two Okogie free throws with 8:55 remaining. That was part of a 12-0 burst by the Jackets.
”We needed that as a team,” Pastner said. ”We’re a little bit (of) a wounded animal. It was great to see Ben in those last six, seven minutes play like the old Ben Lammers.”
Coppin State: The Eagles were competitive for 30 minutes even though injured guards Dejuan Clayton, who first-year head coach Juan Dixon said is his team’s best player, and Taqwain Drummond did not play. …Coppin State has lost 17 in row dating to last season.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets were without four players. Curtis Haywood II (shin), Abdoulaye Gueye (fight foot/ankle) and Sylvester Ogbonda (ankle) were injured. Justin Moore, a reserve, remains in San Diego for personal/family reasons, and starting point guard Jose Alvarado left the game with 18:30 to go after being hit in the head. Pastner said Moore and Haywood will not play Saturday at Notre Dame.
HITTING THE BOARDS
Tech also had a whopping 21-6 rebounding advantage after intermission. Jackson, a senior guard, grabbed a career-high nine boards.
”People’s size gives us issues,” Dixon said. ”Georgia Tech had 16 second-chance points and 40 points in the paint; that’s where the game was won.”
FREE THROW DISPARITY
Coppin State did not attempt a free throw until Davis made a pair with 3:29 remaining to cut Tech’s lead to 69-58. The Eagles finished 2 of 3 from the line. Georgia Tech made 20-of-21.
Coppin State will close its non-conference schedule Saturday at Penn State (10-4) before the Eagles opening MEAC play at Norfolk State on Jan. 3.
Georgia Tech will open ACC play Saturday night at Notre Dame (10-3), and then play host to No. 15 Miami (11-1) on Jan. 3.
Georgia Tech will open ACC play Saturday night at Notre Dame (10-3), facing a team that the Jackets have upset once in each of the past two seasons, and then play host to No. 15 Miami (11-1) on Jan. 3.