BOSTON (AP) — Georgia Tech’s big men heard the pregame message and took care of things in the paint against Boston College.
Moses Wright scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Georgia Tech to a 71-52 victory over BC on Saturday night.
James Banks III and Jordan Usher each added 13 points for Georgia Tech (8-8, 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), which had lost three of its last five games.
“One of our keys to this game was to impose our will,” the 6-foot-10 Banks said. “That’s what we were doing, imposing our will on the boards and blocking shots and, of course, dominating down low.”
Georgia Tech owned a 42-18 advantage with points in the paint. Wright, a 6-foot-9 forward, had his sixth double-double this season.
“We’ve been pretty good in the red zone,’’ Yellow Jackets coach Josh Pastner said. “I call the red zone the paint.”
CJ Felder led the Eagles (9-7, 3-2) with 13 points. BC shot just 30% (17 of 57). Steffon Mitchell scored 10 with 11 boards.
“We shot the ball poorly the whole night,” BC coach Jim Christian said. “On top of the basket, open 3s, right from the first five minutes of the game. … We got the ball in spots where we needed it, probably 80 percent of our possessions the ball was in a spot where you could make plays. We just couldn’t make a shot.”
The Yellow Jackets led 31-23 at halftime and used a 6-0 spurt early in the second half to push their lead to 40-27, capped by Bubba Parham’s 3-pointer from the top of the key. They pushed it to 16 points on Usher’s three-point play with 12:24 to play.
Georgia Tech continually frustrated the Eagles, switching from man-to-man to a 1-3-1 zone defense that had BC looking flustered.
The Yellow Jackets opened a 56-38 edge on Jose Alvarado’s 3 from the top with just over eight minutes to play.
BC never threatened in the second half.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets came into the game last in the conference and 334th nationally in 3-point shooting, hitting only 5.1 per game, but with their tough defense and inside play of Banks they are a different kind of tough matchup with 3-pointers flying around college basketball.
“We’re shooting the ball better now, but we’ve never been a team that’s going to live and die with 3s,” Pastner said. “We’ve tried, saying we need to be able to do a better job in the red zone or the paint. We did a nice job today.”
Boston College: Missing point guard Derryck Thornton for the second straight game, the Eagles showed an inability to get penetration for easier looks. Coming off an upset win over No. 18 Virginia in its last game, BC had a chance to build momentum going into a three-game road trip.
“I don’t think a lot of guys played with the confidence they did the game before,” Christian said.
Banks changed his sneakers, switching to his Adidas fluorescent green pair after one of his blue ones broke and started to play much better. He had Georgia Tech’s final three baskets of the half when the Yellow Jackets outscored BC 12-6 over the final 4 minutes.
“I don’t think Adidas is looking for me like that,” Banks said, smiling when asked if he should reach out to former Duke star Zion Williamson, who busted a Nike sneaker last year in what became a big national story.
“I’m not sure if I’ll get a new one in the mail,” Banks said, joking.
The Eagles went 6 ½ minutes without a basket in the first half and ended up shooting just 30% (8 of 27) overall and 2 of 10 on 3-pointers before halftime.
Georgia Tech: Hosts Notre Dame on Wednesday night.
Boston College: At Syracuse on Wednesday.
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