Men’s hoops tops Maryland, falls to Boston College

The men’s basketball team managed to pull out a narrow victory on Saturday, Feb. 24, against Maryland that ended with a score of 63-61.  It was only the second win in Philips Arena for the Jackets and the team’s third conference victory for the season.

With the suspension of junior guard Glen Rice Jr., the team’s leading scorer, each of the starters was called to play at least 31 minutes in the game on Saturday.  The Jackets were ready, and redshirt sophomore forward Kammeon Holsey led the team with his first career double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Tech started the game off quickly with two three-pointers by sophomore guard Jason Morris in their first two possessions of the game.  Redshirt sophomore center Daniel Miller added four points soon afterward, and the Jackets had their biggest lead of the game, up 10-2 with 17:43 remaining the in the first period.

Junior guard Mfon Udofia notched a career-high nine assists in the matchup, four of which occurred in the first three minutes of the game.  Holsey scored his initial points on a dunk with 16:47 remaining in the first half, and senior guard Nick Foreman came in off the bench and drained back-to-back three-pointers to put the Jackets ahead 18-11.

Maryland quickly began making a comeback. Tech held a small lead until Maryland guard Nick Faust scored a three-pointer with 3:49 remaining and gave the Terps a one-point lead. The half ended with Maryland leading 37-31.

Less than a minute into the second half, Maryland guard Terrell Stoglin made three free throws to give the Terps their largest lead of the game. The Jackets were able to gain the momentum for the remainder of the half, tying the game after a dunk by Miller and two successful free throws by Holsey with 13:21 left to play.

Maryland was only successful on two of its 22 shots for the beginning of the second period and finished with a shooting average of 23.3 percent for the half. The Jackets had an even-handed offensive performance with six players scoring at least seven points throughout the game and led by six multiple times in the second half. Maryland regained the lead when Stoglin, the leading scorer in the ACC with a 21.1 points-per-game average, scored on a layup with 2:03 left to play to give the Terps a 56-55 lead.

A three-point play by Udofia gave Tech a two-point lead heading into the final, action-packed 30 seconds. A three-pointer from redshirt sophomore guard Brandon Reed put Tech ahead by five at 61-56 with 27 seconds left.  Maryland center Alex Len scored off a dunk and brought the Terps within three with 18 seconds to play. Holsey and Reed both went to the free throw line and hit one of two attempts, helping to keep the Jackets in the lead despite a Stoglin three-pointer with just three seconds left in the game.

On Wednesday, the Jackets traveled to Boston College to take on the Eagles in their second matchup of the year. A month ago, Tech had an important 51-47 victory over Boston College, who came into the game off a four-game losing streak and tied with Tech for 11th place in the ACC.

The game started off slowly with several missed shots for both teams, and Tech stole the lead early, taking a 7-5 lead 4:30 into the game. The Jackets were able to hang on to a close game until 12:33 left in the period when Boston College broke away and held the lead for the remainder of the half.

At the start of the second half, Tech was behind 33-22. The Jackets were able to close the gap to five points after a Holsey layup with 17:40 left to play.  The Eagles had their biggest lead of 17 points 10 minutes into the second period, but an 18-3 run by the Jackets closed the gap to two points.  Holsey had a tip shot with 2:21 to play, but two free throws by Lonnie Jackson stretched the Boston College lead to 56-52, and the Eagles were able to hold on to the lead the remainder of the game.

The Jackets play their final regular season game Saturday, March 3, against Wake Forest at the Phillips Arena.