Men’s Basketball wins two of three, finishes 5th at Puerto Rico Tipoff

The Jackets won two of three games at the Puerto Rico Tipoff in San Juan this past weekend. Their record now stands at 3-1.

Tech lost its first game against No. 21 Dayton, 63-59, on Thursday afternoon. Freshman power forward Derrick Favors and junior point guard Moe Miller each had 10 points to lead all Tech players in scoring.

In the first half, the offense struggled to both keep the ball and score points. Despite holding Dayton to just 31 first half points, Tech committed 18 turnovers.

Many of the same problems Tech struggled with last year were evident in this game. Their 26 turnovers resulted in 27 Dayton points, nearly half of the Flyers’ offense. Furthermore, while Tech was able to shoot over .500 from the field, the team only made 11 of 20 shots from the free throw line.

Junior power forward Gani Lawal and sophomore guard Iman Shumpert combined for 12 of those turnovers and were each one-for-two from the free throw line.

The defense held Dayton’s offense to 63 points, including just nine-of-28 on three-point shots, and the Flyers shot 22-of-51 from the field. Tech’s offense made one more shot with six fewer attempts but missed four more free throws, resulting in the final difference in the score.

With the loss, Tech moved into the consolation bracket and would play two more games with a chance to finish as high as fifth. They won the first of those games, beating George Mason 70-62 on Friday.

Favors and Lawal both had 18 points to lead all players in scoring. Lawal also had 14 rebounds, giving him his second double-double of the season. Shumpert made all three of Tech’s three-point shots for the game and finished with 12 points.

While Tech fell behind early in the game, they led by eight at the half, 27-19, and led by double digits for most of the second half. The Patriots made a comeback late in the game to cut the deficit down to seven at 65-58 with less than a minute to go but could not bring it closer than that.

The Jackets limited turnovers from the previous game but still committed more than the Patriots, finishing with 17 turnovers to the George Mason’s 14. The two teams were statistically close in every category but two: free throws and blocks.

George Mason committed 27 personal fouls and allowed the Jackets to shoot 37 free throws. The figure is more than three times the number of times the Patriots went to the line. The Jackets continued to struggle at the line, making just 21 of the 37 shots.

While Tech rebounded the ball just five more times than George Mason, they had nearly triple the number of blocks. Lawal and Favors finished with three blocks apiece, two more than the entire George Mason team had the entire game.

In the fifth-place game on Sunday, Tech defeated Boston University 85-67.

Senior forward Zach Peacock had 22 points on 10-for-12 shooting from the field. He also grabbed three rebounds and had a block. The 22-point output was more than he had scored in the first three games of the season combined.

Favors also had his first double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

The game was relatively close for much of the first half with eight lead changes. Tech went into the locker room leading just 42-40.

In the second, Tech would open up a double-digit lead and eventually win by nearly 20 points. After the Terriers had pulled within one at 52-51, the Jackets would go on a 16-2 run. Boston University would not be within more than 13 for the rest of the game.

While the Jackets limited their turnovers for the third straight game, they also allowed more turnovers than forced for the third time that weekend. Tech only had 12 turnovers but forced just nine turnovers. The defense limited the Terriers to just 19-of-57 shooting from the field, but BU shot 28 shots from the free throw line and made 24 of them. Tech was not as successful from the line, going 15-for-24 on free throws.

The Jackets next play Mercer on Friday at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Last year’s meeting saw Tech win 82-76 in overtime at Macon.