For the second consecutive game in Brooklyn, the Georgia Tech basketball team played one spectacularly bad half of basketball. Unfortunately, it was the second half of Saturday’s game against St. John’s that did in Brian Gregory and the Jackets, and they fell by the final score of 69-58.
Tech came out of the gate flying high on the heels of a 19-4 run over the first moments of the game, and looked to running on all cylinders. There wasn’t a great deal of concern as the half closed, even as the Red Storm closed the halftime lead to 7 at 31-24, but the ship went terribly off-course after halftime.
The big blow for the Johnnies (playing a virtual home game at the Barclays Center) came with a massive run over the middle portion of the half. St. John’s outscored the Jackets by a 16-0 margin to go from a 10-point deficit to a 6-point lead at 52-46, and in the process, Tech lost one of their better defensive options when Kammeon Holsey fouled out with 8:22 remaining.
From there, the Jackets couldn’t mount a late rally, and St. John’s cruised to the finish line at the final 11-point margin. On the whole, it wasn’t a disastrous effort from the Jackets, but the team was (again) void of any spectacular individual performances. Tech failed to place even one player in double-digits, and Robert Carter, Jr. and Trae Golden led the team with 9 points each despite 3-for-8 and 2-for-6 shooting, respectively.
As a unit, the Jackets shot just 37% as a team, and not even a 35-29 rebounding edge could help to overcome that porous shooting and 20 inexplicable turnovers. St. John’s probably had the best player on the floor in this one with D’Angelo Harrison (21 points, 12-13 FT), but for me, this was a simple lack of execution for Brian Gregory’s team.
This loss coupled with Friday’s defeat brings Tech’s record to just 5-3 on the year. The Yellow Jackets will return to action at home on Tuesday night, as they take on Illinois in the ACC-Big 10 Challenge. Stay tuned.