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#TGW: Jackets Re-energize

Dec. 22, 2015

By Matt Winkeljohn | The Good Word

– There is nothing like a good scrum to get back in the spirit, and Georgia Tech carried one of its best and most physical practices into a 75-62 beating of Southeastern Louisiana 75-62 that was mostly brute work with a tad of art.

Charles Mitchell returned to his double-double form, James White doubled up in his first start, and Josh Heath added a season-high nine assists as the Yellow Jackets looked much more like themselves than in a loss Saturday at Georgia.

Tech crushed the Lions on the boards 43-29 and despite being far more physical than Southeastern, the Jackets avoided the foul problems that plagued them two days earlier in Athens. Mitchell grabbed 15 rebounds while scoring 14 points, and White added 13 caroms with 12 points.

Southeastern (2-10) did not provide stiff competition, but the Jackets (8-3) did not play down to their opponents. They led by double digits for the final 22:30, from the point where Travis Jorgenson drained one of Tech’s nine 3-point shots.

The two biggest issues from the Georgia game, short nights by the Jackets’ two leading scorers, were absent.

Mitchell was scoreless and had just four rebounds in Athens, and senior Marcus Georges-Hunt scored 11 points but was 1-of-5 from the field.

Monday, he scored 14 points on two free throws and 4-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc.

Bigger still was the return of Mitchell. With a bandage over his right eye, he had as many offensive rebounds, six, as all the Lions combined.

“It started in practice,” Mitchell said. “We knew after a loss that we had to come together.”

Head coach Brian Gregory agreed that Monday’s practice was fantastic.

“Look at Charles’ eye,” Gregory said. “Any time you see stitches, it’s a good practice.”

White made his first start, in place of Nick Jacobs, and both players were effective. Tech’s bench outscored Southeastern’s 17-8, and Jacobs led the way with nine points, four rebounds and a steal in just 15 minutes.

“It’s next man up,” White said.

Tech led by as many as 24 when Adam Smith hit a long ball with 16:27 left in the game to push Tech to a 49-25 lead. Smith scored 16 points, making 4-of-7 3-pointers. That’s expected of the sharpshooter.

The Jackets aren’t meant to be artful, though. Their best chances to compete come when they hit the boards hard. After grabbing just as many rebounds as Georgia, 34, and falling, they got back to business Monday and will look for more of the same Wednesday against Colgate.

White gives the Jackets a different look, relying more on his quickness to grab balls off the glass. He scores from multiple angles as well.

“He’s a different rebounder than [Mitchell] and Nick,” Gregory said. “Ben [Lammers] kind of rebounds with his length. Chuck and Nick kind of rebound with brute force, and then James is kind of the long, athletic rebounder. He is able to … play over the top of people.”

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