Tech men’s hoops wins season finale

Rodney Howard (24) rises for a dunk against Boston College on Tech’s senior night win. The Jackets pulled off an overtime win to end a tough regular season on a high note. // Photo by Maya Torres Student Publications

On March 3 and 5, the Tech men’s basketball team wrapped up the regular season with their final two games of the regular season against Clemson and Boston College. The Jackets began their week on March 3 in Clemson, S.C. to take on the Tigers. Both teams went back and forth for the majority of the first half as neither team could keep or expand the lead. The Jackets were able to change this when freshman guard Miles Kelly scored a putback layup with 18 seconds remaining in the half to stretch the Tech lead to six points. Kelly almost extended the lead further with a floater that went in as the clock expired, but the shot was not released before the buzzer, leaving the Jackets ahead 33-27 at the half. 

In the second half, Tech was able to increase their margin even further, eventually leading by 13 points. The Jackets offense distributed points across the board but senior Michael Devoe led the team in scoring during this stretch, ending the game with 15 points. With just over thirteen minutes remaining, Clemson began to catch their stride and began to chip away at the Jacket lead. The Tigers eventually surpassed the Jackets with just over three minutes to play behind the scoring of Clemson’s David Collins, who finished the game with 19 points. From that point on the Jackets were never able to regain the lead and they fell short on their game tying attempt as the clock expired, leaving the final score 68-65.

Boston College visited McCamish Pavilion for Tech’s home finale and senior day game. The game began similarly to the Clemson game with a closely contested scoring battle and neither team gaining momentum. The tides turned again in Tech’s favor, this time with the Jackets entering the half with a ten point lead due to their solid 3-point shooting. At the start of the second half, Tech further extended their lead to 15 points before Boston College began to pick up steam. The Eagles went on a 12 point scoring run with around 11 minutes left to play, shrinking Tech’s lead to three points. 

From there, it was close through the end of the half. At the end of regulation the Jackets defense was able to stifle the Boston College offense, sending the game into overtime with the score knotted at 70 points apiece. 

Tech scored the first bucket of the extra period when Jordan Usher grabbed a rebound, going coast to coast before dumping a perfect pass into Devoe for the layup. Usher, who finished the game with 30 points, eight rebounds and five assists, led the charge for the Jackets, scoring six more points in overtime to secure the at home victory on senior night.

The Jackets will almost definitely not be a part of the NCAA postseason after losing to Louisville in their first round ACC Tournament game on March 8. The Jackets had not been projected to make the tournament before the loss, and failing to advance in the conference tournament should spell the end of the season for Tech men’s hoops.