When Tech took the court on Monday night, many expected it to be a remarkably easy win the same fashion that facilitated a 31-point margin against Presbyterian in the season opener. However, Delaware State had other plans, as they scratched and clawed their way through the entire 40 minutes and presented a reasonable challenge before succumbing to the Jackets by a 68-50 final score.
Trae Golden led the way for the Jackets with 16 points on 7 of 10 shooting, and his early scoring binge (Golden made his first 4 shots) was key in giving Tech the cushion that they needed. Frankly, the difference between Golden engineering the offense and that of his predecessor (Mfon Udofia) is jarring, and it is extremely nice to see a point guard in command of what looks to be a dangerous unit.
Tech led by a 31-18 margin at the half, thanks to suffocating defense that held DSU to just 7 of 30 shooting (23%) in the opening 20 minutes. That defensive level waned a a bit in allowing 12 for 26 from the field in the second half, but the Hornets would never get closer than 8 points, and Marcus Georges-Hunt capped a 9-0 run that effectively put the game away.
Speaking of Georges-Hunt, the sophomore forward led the team in rebounding with 8 (while scoring 12 points) and, along with Robert Carter (11 points, 5 blocks), keyed the Jackets in the painted area. It was positive to see Brian Gregory and company use their athletic advantages in this ball game, and that is encouraging for the rest of non-conference play.
The Jackets are now 2-0 as they await their first legitimate test of the season on Friday. Of course, it is more than simply a test, as Tech travels to Athens to take on the rival Georgia Bulldogs at Stegeman Coliseum, and that is the definition of must-see TV for any Tech hoops fan. Stay tuned.