Late run keys Georgia Tech in 67-64 win over Illinois


Dec 3, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets forward Kammeon Holsey (24) shoots the ball around Illinois Fighting Illini forward/center Nnanna Egwu (32) and guard Rayvonte Rice (24) in the second half at Hank McCamish Pavilion. Georgia Tech won 67-64. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Gregory and the Georgia Tech basketball program have finally secured an elusive, quality win in the non-conference, as they upended the visiting Illinois Fighting Illini, 67-64, on Tuesday night.

With less than 7 minutes to play in the game, Illinois led 60-48, and looked to be cruising to the win. However, the Jackets were up to the challenge, and Marcus Georges-Hunt keyed a 12-0 run to knot the game at 60 a piece with 1:51 remaining. From there, the teams traded mini-runs, with Illinois going back up by 4, but Robert Carter, Jr. scored 5 points in the final minute, including 2 free throws with 3 seconds remaining, to put away the 3-point win.

The aforementioned duo of Georges-Hunt and Carter, Jr. led the way throughout the night for Tech, as they were far and away the leading scorers. Carter, Jr. continued his stellar, all-court play with 20 points (on 6 of 10 shooting) and 9 rebounds, while Georges-Hunt was equally as efficient, tallying 20 points on 7 of 13 shooting.

However, the defense was where the team made its mark as a whole, holding the visiting Illini to to 41.8% shooting from the field and 30.4% from the 3-point line. In addition, Tech won the turnover battle by taking care of the ball (only 9 giveaways), and finished with a rebounding edge at 33-30.

In the grand scheme, this wasn’t an earth-shattering victory for the Jackets, simply because this was a game that was supposed to be very competitive. That said, it could be a season-changing one for Brian Gregory and company, as they were in desperate need of a resume-building win in the non-conference, and this should give the squad some additional confidence as they head into the upcoming conference slate with a winning record.

Next up for the Jackets will be another home date on Saturday, and this time, they’ll square off with the East Tennessee St. Buccaneers at 2:00 pm ET.