The Georgia Tech men’s basketball team, after leading by as many as 11 in the second half, failed to hold onto the lead and dropped their third consecutive game, falling to the Virginia Tech Hokies 70-65 in overtime at McCamish Pavilion.
The Jackets, led by a 12 point effort by by freshman forward Robert Carter Jr., appeared to be the better team for a majority of the game. Georgia Tech led 25-22 at the half after Carter made a three point basket as time expired.
Defensively, Georgia Tech held Virginia Tech’s senior guard Erick Green to just eight points in the first half. The All-American candi- date Green, who entered the game as the NCAA’s leading scorer in Division I, had been averaging an impressive 24.8 points per contest coming into the day.
The Jackets’ defensive effort was highlighted by junior center Daniel Miller’s four blocks and 11 rebounds, eight of which came at the defensive end of the court. Miller’s athleticism combined with his height and basketball instincts got the nearly sold-out crowd to its feet multiple times as he demonstrated why he has seen significant playing time since his arrival at Georgia Tech.
After halftime, the Jackets continued to build on their lead with the help of Carter, who went five for six at the free throw line through the first three minutes of the second half. A lay up by red-shirt junior forward Kammeon Holsey at the 13:46 mark gave the Jackets their largest lead of the game at 43-32.
However, from that point on- wards, Virginia Tech’s Green took over for the Hokies, scoring 16 of the team’s next 23 points on eight of the team’s next 18 shots from the field. Green showed that he is a scoring threat from all over the court, sinking jumpers from both behind and inside the arc as well as driving to the basket. Green would finish with 28 points on the day, including two free throws that knotted the game at 55 points apiece and sent the game into overtime.
The Hokies started the over- time period with seven straight points. However, undeterred by Virginia Tech’s sudden offensive onslaught, the Jackets fought back with shooting performances by senior guard Mfon Udofia and freshman guard Chris Bolden,
who each hit a clutch three pointer to pull the Jackets to within two with a little over a minute and a half left. However, the Jackets could not seal the deal in the end, bowing out 70-65 in favor of the Hokies.
Georgia Tech’s highly touted freshman class continued to im- press in Saturday’s game despite the loss. Freshmen Bolden, Carter, and guard Marcus Georges-Hunt all scored in double figures and combined to contribute 33 of the team’s 65 points, despite Geoges- Hunt getting in early foul trouble and sitting much of the first half.
Early enrollee, and seventeen year old freshman guard, Solomon Poole, brother of teammate and Kentucky transfer, redshirt soph- omore Stacey Poole, Jr., added five points. Solomon, who gradu- ated high school early in order to join Georgia Tech’s team ahead of schedule, has shown sparks of potential in limited playing time during his first few games as a Jacket.
The Jackets will head to Cha- pel Hill to play the University of North Carolina on Jan. 23, before returning to Hank McCamish Pavilion on Saturday, Jan. 26, to take on the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest at 3 p.m.