Men’s basketball wins exhibition game in overtime

Photo by Adebola Adedire / Student Publications
On Friday, Nov. 5, Tech faced off against Clark Atlanta in an exhibition game at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. What was expected to be a routine practice game turned out to be a 71-68 overtime victory for the Jackets, with the game finishing on two clutch free throws by redshirt freshman power forward Kammeon Holsey.
The game began slowly with both teams exchanging a few missed shots until sophomore small forward Brian Oliver made an open three-pointer to give Tech a short-lived lead. Turnovers, a common theme throughout the game, started to hurt Tech early and Clark Atlanta scored two consecutive fast-break layups off these Tech mistakes.
The turnovers started to add up, and these along with missed shots allowed the Clark Atlanta Panthers to take a 10-point lead with about 12 minutes left in the half.
“For the most part we were running the offense well, [though] we still have some things to work on. We did execute the plays better than we have. We just weren’t making shots,” said sophomore shooting guard Glen Rice Jr.
Tech would begin to improve, however, cutting the lead down slowly with some athletic plays by Rice Jr. and junior shooting guard Iman Shumpert.
One momentum changer came when sophomore point guard Mfon Udofia was driving in heavy traffic, only to miss a layup. Still, Over was able to rebound the dunk the ball.
Tech’s big men were rebounding the ball well, helping the team stay within reach of the lead. Oliver led the team in several categories, pulling down 13 boards on the night and scoring 10 points.
Shumpert was impressive on defense, making several athletic plays including some steals.
With 20 seconds left in the half, senior point guard Maurice Miller made a three-point play after a foul on a layup. The score at halftime was 30-27 with Tech finally bringing the game back within one score of the Panthers.
The second half kicked off with several mistakes by Tech, turning the ball over several times before finding a groove in the teams’ offense.
Things started to improve when Miller made another three-point play, followed by a steal by Rice Jr. for a dunk, cutting the deficit to just one point.
Rice Jr. continued scoring and keeping the lead small, making a three-point play on a lay up and scoring again on the ensuing three possessions.
With just over 12 minutes left in the game, Tech began a 7-2 run, taking a nine-point lead. Tech,  however, would continue to show struggles with the players’ free throws, as seen in previous years, keeping the game close.
Tech struggled to defend the three-point line, and the Panthers used this to their advantage. Clark-Atlanta roared back with a 14-2 run of its own, taking the lead 54-51 with just 4:31 left in regulation time. Clark Atlanta was intent on keeping this game close, securing overtime with 13 seconds left with a three-pointer tying the game at 60.
“We have to limit allowing open shots. They got a lot of open shots, and they hit them. We had some and we didn’t make [ours]. We have to defend better and get in there and contest every shot,” Shumpert said.
Tech led for most of the overtime period, but after yet another three-point shot by Clark Atlanta, Shumpert made a two-point midrange jumper to give Tech the lead with 39 seconds remaining in the game.
Then, with just 22 seconds left on the clock, Holsey snagged the rebound from a missed shot by the Panthers and made two free throws to seal the game at 71-68.
“It’s better now to get a game out like that than later in the season because now we know what we have to do to stop getting into overtime in games. It shouldn’t have been that close. Obviously, we need to play a little harder and execute better,” Rice Jr. said.
Tech starts the regular season on Friday, Nov. 12 against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers  at 7:30 p.m. in Alexander Memorial Coliseum.
Charleston Southern went 13-17 last season with losses to two ACC opponents.


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