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Boston College MBB Falls 73-65 to Georgia Tech on Senior Day

NCAA Basketball: Georgia Tech at Boston College Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Boston College could not overcome the loss of Quinten Post, and dropped their season finale on Senior Day in one of the uglier Eagle performances of the season. Georgia Tech bested them 73-65.

With Earl Grant opting to start seniors Bickerstaff and Penha, Georgia Tech began the game by draining three straight triples. The Yellowjackets quickly pushed to a 9-0 lead before a Bickerstaff layup got the Eagles on the board. Even worse for BC was the sight of Quinten Post turning his ankle in the opening minutes and having to leave the game with an ankle injury.

After their hot 3-3 start, though, GT missed their next 5 shots as the Eagles responded with a 7-0 run, spurred by 4 Bickerstaff points and a CJ Penha and-1. Though GT snapped the scoreless drought with a layup, Penha continued his hot start by draining a triple from the corner. At the 14:50 mark, Devin McGlockton skied for the offensive rebound and his putback gave the Eagles their first lead at 12-11.

As both offenses settled into the game, buckets began to fall more easily as GT’s Ja’Von Franklin found a groove for 4 quick points, while Zackery sank two FTs after a nifty Ashton-Langford bucket. Without QP’s big presence and finishing ability inside, however, BC was lacking a major source of offense. Guard play from Ashton-Langford and Zackery, then, had to step up for BC’s offense. TJ Bickerstaff, as well, gave BC a lift with some scrappy rebounding and good awareness, getting him 8 quick and easy points.

Both GT and BC are among the worst 3-point shooting teams in the conference, and ugly shooting from downtown started to creep into the game. BC only made 1 of their first 8 triples, while after hitting their first 3 GT proceeded to miss their next 7. BC did well to push the tempo and get out in transition, but with 7:50 in the first half GT still led 24-21. BC looked to spread the floor and get the ball down low to exploit some size mismatches, while Georgia Tech’s passing game and some energetic rebounding kept their offense going. It became a slog of a game towards the end of the first half, as just some ugly stretches of play plagued both teams with ill-advised shots and broken possessions.

Jaeden Zackery had a relatively quiet half, but he drove hard to the basket and finished through a foul, pulling BC within 1 with 3:29 to go. After Georgia Tech cashed a corner 3, however, BC failed to answer as Makai and then Prince (twice) threw up wild shots. GTech took advantage, stretching their lead to 8 before a Zackery layup cut the lead to 6 going into halftime after one of the uglier halves of BC hoops this season.

BC opened the first half with a missed bunny from Ashton-Langford, who only shot 2-7 in the first half. When BC did not settle for bad threes or forcing entry passes, however, they found success – Zackery got inside with a nice drive before finding Bickerstaff with a sweet drop-off for the easy 2. As Georgia Tech’s offense ground to a halt with the jumpers not falling, however, BC made a little run which was topped off by a Bickerstaff and-1 bucket, which tied the game at 40 and also gave Bickerstaff 15 points – a season high. On the day, without Post, Bickerstaff and Penha stepped up big with 28 combined points.

It was BC’s defense, however, that really began to stand out in the second half. Despite a rough offensive day, Prince erased a GT shot at the rim and continued to aggressively rebound. Makai and JZ locked in along the perimeter, and made life increasingly difficult for GTech. THe Yellowjackets continued to bomb away from downtown, despite only shooting 4-19 from 3 with 12 minutes to play in the game.

BC took their biggest lead of the day following a Makai Ashton-Langford triple, as the Eagles led 52-46. Madsen pushed it to a 9-point lead with a deep triple, only for GT to answer immediately with one of their own. But just as it looked like BC could maybe make a run, careless play (three turnovers) led two more GTech threes, gifting the Yellowjackets a way back into the game and tying the contest at 55. The Eagles went over 3 minutes without a bucket before a rhythm triple from Zackery broke the drought.

That JZ 3 were the only 3 points for the Eagles for the next 3 minutes, as the offense again went cold at the worst time. GT’s Miles Kelly hit a trey to put the Yellowjackets up 63-60 with 2:40 to play. Madsen hit a clutch triple, but Miles Kelly answered immediately before GT’s Kyle Sturdivant followed with another to give GT the 69-63 advantage. Two Makai FTs cut the deficit to 4, but BC ultimately went on to fall 73-65.