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Starting 5: Georgia Tech (7-3) vs. Southeastern Louisiana (2-9)

Dec. 21, 2015

By Jon Cooper | The Good Word

– It’s back on the horse and quickly for Georgia Tech, which hosts Southeastern Louisiana of the Southland Conference tonight. Tip-off at McCamish Pavilion is at 7 p.m.

The Yellow Jackets saw their three-game winning streak snapped on Saturday afternoon at Georgia, dropping a 75-61 decision at Stegeman Coliseum. The Jackets led by one at the break, but allowed an early 9-0 run and shot below 30 percent in the second half in falling to the Bulldogs for the first time in the Brian Gregory Era. Guard Tadric Jackson led the Jackets with a career-high 14 points to lead four double-digit scorers. Charles Mitchell saw his streak of double-doubles end, going scoreless with four rebounds as he was plagued by early foul trouble.

The Lions dropped a 67-64 heart-breaker its last time out, on Dec. 15 at Florida A&M. The loss was their third straight and seventh in eight games. Freshman forward Mo Greenwood recorded his first career double-double, with 19 points and 11 rebounds, and senior guard Zay Jackson (12) and junior guard Joshua Filmore (11) each scored in double-figures. Southeastern trailed by two at the half and by 13 with 10 minutes to go but closed to within two in the closing seconds. The Lions shot for a tie, but the potential game-tying three-pointer by redshirt freshman guard Dimi Cook rimmed out. The Lions shot only 36.8 percent, 28.6 from three and 59.3 from the foui line (16-for-27).

Tonight’s game will be the first meeting between the two schools and only the second meeting ever for Georgia Tech against a Southland Conference school. Tech beat New Orleans on a neutral floor in 1998.

The game will be streamed on ESPN3 with Richard Musterer and Jon Babul calling the action. It also can be heard on the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network, WYAY (93.7 FM) and 680 The Fan (680 AM), with Brandon Gaudin and Randy Waters on the call and on satellite radio on Sirius Channel 119. Tech fans also can get up-to-the-minute stats on and the GT Gameday App.

And now, the Starting Five for tonight’s game.

Tadric-ery: Sophomore guard Tadric Jackson continues to improve, performing well at both ends of the floor on Saturday. Jackson had his best offensive day on the season, as his 14 points, five field goals, 11 attempts, three three-point field goals and six three-point field goal attempts all were season-highs. The five FGMs were one fewer than he’d made over the previous four games, while the three 3PFGMs were one fewer than he had in the season’s first nine games. Jackson also did work on the defensive end, making a career-best two steals. That’s three steals over the last two games for Jackson, who played superbly on the defensive end in Tuesday’s win over VCU, helping shut down Rams’ gunner Melvin Johnson. His three steals in the two games are one fewer than he had all last season.

That’s Life…: To show what an outlier Saturday afternoon was for Charles Mitchell, you have to go back to March 13, 2014, to find the last time Mitchell went scoreless in a game. He was playing for Maryland in the ACC Tournament, was on the court only 18 minutes and took only one shot. On Saturday, Mitchell fouls did more to slow Mitchell than Georgia did, as he committed two early fouls and four for the game. It was the third time this season, although also the second time in three games, The 15 minutes played against Georgia were his season-low and the first time he played fewer than 20 minutes — his previous low had been 21 in the season-opener. It was only the third time in the last 21 games, going back to last season that Mitchell played 15 or fewer minutes in a game.

Tech Trivia: Even with his tough day Saturday Mitchell is still averaging a double-double for the season (12.8 ppg/11.9 rpg). Who was the last Yellow Jacket to average a double-double for the season?

Bench Marks: Georgia Tech continues to get solid production off the bench. Led by Tadric Jackson, the Yellow Jackets’ bench outscored the Bulldogs’ reserves, 25-5 on Saturday. The Jackets’ reserves also out-rebounded the ‘Dogs, by a 16-5 margin, led by James White, who pulled down a team- and game-high-tying eight rebounds (three on the offensive end) and Ben Lammers, who grabbed five boards, with a block and two steals. Quinton Stephens had only three points but made his one shot, a three-pointer. That continued his hot shooting from behind the arc. Stephens has shot 75.0 percent from three-point range (6-for-8) over the last three games.

White Lightning: James White’s performance against Georgia was just the latest productive effort off the bench. The energetic 6-8 forward has pulled in 16 rebounds over the last two games, eight on each end and has led the Jackets in offensive rebounding in each of the last two games. It would have been three in the last four, as he grabbed three ORBs against Wofford, were it not for a season-best six ORBs grabbed by Charles Mitchell. White has five games with at least three ORBs, and he’s pulled down almost as many offensive rebounds (24) as he has defensive rebounds (29). Only Mitchell has more offensive rebounds than White (39-24), and only Mitchell (119) and Nick Jacobs (59) have more total rebounds. Both Mitchell (26.4 minutes) and Jacobs (22.6) play over 20 minutes a game, while White plays only 13.8.

The Sixth Man: Georgia Tech has continued to win the battle on the boards. The Yellow Jackets were even with the Bulldogs on Saturday, making it nine games out of 10 this season where they’ve either won or been at least even on the glass. Saturday was the first time all season an opponent matched them in rebounding, as both teams grabbed 34 boards. It was the third time and second straight game they were topped on the offensive end (12-11)…It’s been awhile since the Yellow Jackets have seen the kind of one-man show that J.J. Frazier put up on Saturday, when he scored 35 points on 6-for-9 shooting from three. No opposing player had scored more than 24 points (East Tennessee State’s Ge’Lawn Guyn on Nov. 22) while no player had hit more than four three-point shots (three players hit four of them, the most recent Anthlon Bell of Arkansas on Nov. 26). The last opponent to score 30 and hit six three’s against the Jackets was Marquette’s Matt Carlino, who scored 38 points while making 8-of-14 three-pointers on Nov. 27, 2014…Trivia Answer: Alvin Jones, who averaged 13.4 points and 10.4 rebounds in 2000-01. Jones was the eighth different Jacket to do so…Georgia Tech allowed a season-high 22 points off turnovers and was outscored by 10 off turnovers against Georgia. The 22 points and minus-10 both are opponent season-highs…Josh Heath recorded his second blocked shot of the season on Saturday. That’s one fewer than he had last season when he recorded a season-best three swats.

GEORGIA TECH SCORING LEADER: Marcus Georges-Hunt, 14.8 ppg
SELU SCORING LEADER: Zay Jackson, 11.5 ppg

GEORGIA TECH REBOUNDING LEADER: Charles Mitchell, 11.9 rpg
SELU REBOUNDING LEADER: Keith Charleston, 6.2 rpg

SELU ASSISTS LEADER: Zay Jackson, 5.0 apg

OPP. 2014-15 PPG: 70.4 ppg

SELU PPG: 67.7 ppg
OPP. PPG: 75.8 ppg

SELU Player To Watch – Zay Jackson: The 6-0, 178-pound point guard gives as well as he gets. Jackson, a Preseason All-Southland selection, is the Lions’ lone double-figure scorer (11.5 ppg), and while he’s shooting below 40 percent (39.0 percent) and only 25.0 percent from three-point range, he is still explosive and is dependable at the line shooting 77.8 percent from the line. He’s a tremendous distributor (5.0 assists per game), and had a career-high 12 assists against Loyola (New Orleans) on Dec. 1, the most in a Southland game this season. Zay also is active on the boards on both ends, as he’s tied for third on the team with 12 offensive rebounds and is third on the team with 3.9 total boards per game. Jackson’s quick hands have helped him make 22 steals (2.0 spg), including seven in the last game at FAMU. Jackson also leads the team with 30.0 minutes played per game.


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