Boston College 86, Georgia Tech 75: Eagles Overpower Yellow Jackets

Reggie Jackson scored 25 points and Corey Raji added 22 points and nine rebounds as Boston College defeated ACC foe Georgia Tech 86-75 at Conte Forum on Saturday afternoon. Read more at SB Nation Atlanta, as well as our team blogs BC Interruption and From The Rumble Seat.

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Boston College 86, Georgia Tech 75: Eagles Overpower Yellow Jackets

CHESTNUT HILL - After losing to in-town rival Harvard on Wednesday, Boston College needed a win heading into Saturday's ACC clash with Georgia Tech. 

While it wasn't a must-win situation for the Eagles, a loss would have discredited BC's strong start this season.

Reggie Jackson made sure that wasn't the case, scoring a game-high 24 points en route to Boston College's 86-75 win over the Yellow Jackets at Conte Forum.

"I thought Reggie did a terrific job as well, just being a leader," said Boston College head coach Steve Donahue. "He's had two great practices and I thought we responded very well and got great efforts from almost everybody that played."

Corey Raji added 22 points and nine rebounds off the bench for Boston College. Joe Trapani scored six points and collected nine rebounds, Biko Paris had 11 points, Josh Southern scored eight points and Danny Rubin added six points for the Eagles.

"I thought for the most part the defensive end in the second half for us was the key, when we started getting some serious stops [and] made them shoot over us," Donahue said. "I thought we did a very good job."

Kammeon Holsey scored 18 points to lead Georgia Tech. Iman Shumpert finished with 15 points, Mfon Udofia added 14 points and Glen Rice, Jr. had 12 points for the Yellow Jackets.

BC was 28-for-51 from the field (54.9%) and 9-for-19 from three-point range (47.4%) while Georgia Tech made 30-of-63 shots (47.6%) and hit 5-of-19 threes (26.3%).

Georgia Tech (7-7, 0-1 ACC) jumped to an 8-6 lead with 15:24 remaining in the first half, but Boston College (12-5, 2-0 ACC) fought back and took a 21-14 lead by the 12 minute mark courtesy of three straight shots from beyond the arc.

The Yellow Jackets took a 24-23 lead with 7:42 left, but the Eagles were able to regain their composure and took a 39-39 tie into the intermission.

Boston College connected on 15-of-25 shots (60%) and made 5-of-10 threes while Georgia Tech made 15-of-28 field goals (53.6%) and 4-of-10 three-pointers (40%) in the opening half.

The Eagles burst out of the starting gate in the second half, building a 47-43 lead with 18:36 remaining and a 57-47 advantage with nearly 16 minutes left. However, Georgia Tech cut the lead to five, 68-63, with 7:51 left.

"It was 0-0, basically a tied game [at halftime]," said Jackson. "So I tried to pressure the guys that we had to come out quick and get a great start, and obviously we did and we held onto the lead."

With under four minutes left, the Yellow Jackets had trimmed the Eagles' lead to three, 70-67. Josh Southern hit a pair of free throws with 3:53 left to build the BC lead to 72-67. Shumpert answered on the other end with a floater, cutting the lead to two.

"It's been like that my past three years here," Jackson said about giving up the lead late. "We find a way somehow to break away, but then let teams back in it. Once we break away, [we] just [need to] bury teams and get the game over with. We're going to continue to work on it and get better, and keep poise."

Raji's layup with 2:51 left gave BC a 74-69 advantage and some breathing room. After stopping the Yellow jackets on the other end, Trapani was fouled, but missed the first of a one-and-one free throw, giving the ball back to Georgia Tech.

Raji made another layup with 1:38 left, putting BC up 76-69. After a Rubin rebound on the other end, Jackson was fouled and hit both free throws, giving the Eagles a 78-69 lead with 1:14 left.

Paris then nailed one-of-two free throws with one minute left to put BC up by ten, and the Eagles would ultimately hold on for the 11-point victory.

"They shot 41% in the second [half]," said Donahue. "I think for the most part they were shooting hard shots and we were rebounding the ball, and when we do that, we're a very good basketball team. I thought that was the key in terms of strategy."

The Eagles amassed 34 rebounds, 14 assists, six steals and had 14 turnovers while the Yellow Jackets totaled 30 rebounds, 12 assists, seven steals and 13 turnovers.

"It's very uncharacteristic of me," said Jackson, who had seven turnovers. "But the games over with, I have to let it be and learn [from] my mistakes. But I'm satisfied with the win, so I'm not going to complain too much about it."

Boston College is off until Tuesday, when it hosts ACC rival N.C. State at 9:00 p.m. EST. Georgia Tech will face Clemson in South Carolina on Tuesday night.

NOTES

Boston College improves to 5-8 in the all-time series and 4-4 in conference play with Georgia Tech...Since joining the ACC, BC has started the season 12-4 four times. This is the first time since the 2007-08 campaign that the Eagles have started 2-0 in conference...The Boston College bench matches its season-high 30 points...Eagles head coach Steve Donahue earned his first win against Georgia Tech. At Cornell, he went 0-3 against the Yellow Jackets...BC junior guard Reggie Jackson led BC with 25 points to notch the 49th double-digit scoring game of his career. Jackson went 8-of-9 from the floor and was perfect at the line (6-for-6) and behind the arc (3-for-3).

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Georgia Tech Vs. Boston College: Yellow Jackets, Eagles Tied 39-39 At Halftime

CHESTNUT HILL - Reggie Jackson scored a game-high 12 points in the first half as Boston College and Georgia Tech entered halftime tied 39-39 at Conte Forum.

Corey Raji had 10 points off the bench for Boston College. Biko Pris scored four points and Joe Trapani added three points for the Eagles.

Kammeon Holsey scored 14 points to lead Georgia Tech. Brian Oliver had six points and Iman Shumpert added five points for the Yellow Jackets.

Georgia Tech jumped to an 8-6 lead with 15:24 remaining in the first half, but Boston College fought back and took a 21-14 lead by the 12 minute mark courtesy of three straight shots from beyond the arc. The Yellow Jackets took a 24-23 lead with 7:42 left, but the Eagles were able to regain their composure and took a 39-39 tie into the intermission.

Boston College connected on 15-of-25 shots (60%) and made 5-of-10 threes while Georgia Tech made 15-of-28 field goals (53.6%) and 4-of-10 three-pointers (40%) in the opening half.

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Georgia Tech Vs. Boston College: Greetings From Conte Forum

CHESTNUT HILL - After completing the non-conference portion of its schedule, Boston College enters a 15-game, season-ending stretch of games against ACC opponents, starting this afternoon against Georgia Tech.

The Eagles faired well in their first 15 games, going 11-4. BC had strong wins against Texas A&M, California, Indiana, Maryland and South Carolina. However, the Eagles have had their fair share of bad losses, especially those against Yale, Rhode Island and Harvard.

All things considered, Eagles first-year head coach Steve Donahue has his team playing at a high level. But the real test begins this afternoon against ACC opponents. That being said, Georgia Tech is not a top-notch ACC opponent, entering the game at 7-6.

PREDICTION: Boston College 79, Georgia Tech 72 - Coming off of a bad loss to in-town foe Harvard, Boston College is looking to prove that they are an elite team in the ACC, and should come out and play with passion. Regardless, Georgia Tech is capable of playing at the Eagles' level, and should keep it close.

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Georgia Tech Vs. Boston College: Yellow Jackets, Eagles Square Off In ACC Tilt

From here on out, it's nothing but ACC basketball for Boston College. The Eagles, who faced 14 non-conference teams in their first 15 games, will close out the season with 15 straight games against ACC opponents.

The Eagles will face conference foe Georgia Tech in the second of 16 ACC games this season at 4 p.m. EST on Saturday at Conte Forum (TV/Radio: RSN/WEEI).

Georgia Tech leads the all-time series against Boston College 4-8. The first meeting between the two schools took place on December 31, 1946 at Boston Arena, and Georgia Tech came away with a 54-50 victory. 

In the last meeting on February 27, 2010, the Yellow Jackets escaped with a 73-68 win behind Iman Shumpert's 24-point performance. Derrick Favors, who was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, scored 14 points in the game. Joe Trapani scored 26 points in the loss for Boston College, which fell to 14-14 (5-9 ACC).

Recent history is also on the Yellow Jackets' side, as they have won four of the seven meetings against Boston College since the Eagles joined the ACC back in 2005. BC does have the edge in game played at Conte Forum, winning two of the three home games against Georgia Tech.

Boston College (11-4) is coming off of a disappointing loss to Harvard on Wednesday. Joe Trapani scored 21 points and Reggie Jackson added 18 points for Boston College, which trailed 33-29 at halftime and lost 78-69.

Prior to the loss against Harvard, the Eagles defeated South Carolina 80-75. Joe Trapani scored 23 points and Biko Paris added 18 points for the Eagles in the impressive victory. BC has won nine of its last eleven games.

Jackson, who was one of five ACC players named for the Wooden Award Top 30 list on Thursday, leads the Eagles in scoring (18.5 PPG), assists (5.7 APG) and steals (1.3 SPG). Trapani is second in scoring with 14.5 PPG and second in rebounding with 6.1 boards per game. Corey Raji leads the team in rebounding (6.7 RPG) and is third in scoring (11.8 PPG).

Boston College is averaging 75.5 points per contest and has scored 1,132 points in 15 games. The Eagles are third in the ACC in field goal percentage (48.5%) and are third in the ACC in three-point percentage (39.7%).

Georgia Tech (7-6) has not yet faced an ACC opponent and is coming off of an 86-83 double-overtime loss to Charlotte. Shumpert scored 28 points on 8-of-19 shooting in the loss for the Yellow Jackets.

The Yellow Jackets won four of their first five games but lost three in a row to fall to 4-4. However, Georgia Tech rebounded to win three of their next five games heading into Saturday's match-up with Boston College. Of the Yellow Jackets' six losses, only one has come against a ranked team (No. 9 Syracuse, 80-76). 

Shumpert leads Georgia Tech in scoring, averaging 15.8 points, and also leads the team in rebounding (5.8 RPG). Glen Rice Jr. is second in scoring for the Yellow Jackets, averaging 12.2 points, and Brian Oliver is the only other Yellow Jacket to average double-digit scoring (11.4 PPG).

Georgia Tech is averaging 71 points per game and has scored 923 points. The Yellow Jackets are last in the ACC in field goal percentage (40.7%) and are last in the conference in three-point percentage, shooting a dismal 28.8%.

Following Saturday's game, the Eagles will host N.C. State on Tuesday, January 11th at 9 p.m. EST. Georgia Tech travels to face conference foe Clemson on Tuesday at 7 p.m. EST.

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