Georgia Tech escapes with 74-71, buzzer-beating win over Boston College


Dec 3, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets guard Stacey Poole, Jr. (1) and guard/forward Marcus Georges-Hunt (3) celebrate beating in the Illinois Fighting Illini at Hank McCamish Pavilion. Georgia Tech won 67-64. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

With 3 seconds remaining in Thursday afternoon’s tilt between Georgia Tech and Boston College, it looked as if the Jackets were headed to disappointing and heart-breaking defeat. Then, Marcus Georges-Hunt took the ball the length of floor, was fouled, and knocked down the game-winning 4-point play with 0.7 seconds remaining, giving Tech the unlikely, 74-71 victory.

Prior to the late-game heroics, Boston College was able to surge into the lead with an 8-0 run midway through the second half, and they led from the 7:54 mark on. However, the aforementioned Georges-Hunt was able to get to the line and knock down two free throws to cut the lead to 1 with 1:09 remaining, and following that, Daniel Miller rejected a lay-up attempt from BC’s Joe Rahon with 41 seconds remaining. From there, Brian Gregory chose to call the number of Georges-Hunt for a second time, and the swingman got to the rim for a lay-up to give Tech the 70-69 lead with 22 seconds remaining.

From there, it looked like Tech gave BC too much time, as guard Olivier Hanlan attacked point guard Corey Heyward on the ensuing possession for a fadeaway to give the Eagles the lead at 71-70. However, Georges-Hunt (again!) went the length of the floor for the infamous pull-up 4-point play with 0.7 seconds remaining, and the Jackets were able to escape with a narrow victory.

Georges-Hunt emerges as the biggest hero of the win (quite obviously), having scored the final 8 points in route to a 15-point day, but he wasn’t nearly alone in propelling the Jackets. In fact, the front-court trio of Daniel Miller, Robert Carter Jr., and Kammeon Holsey were mostly responsible for keeping Tech afloat as the perimeter game lagged.

Miller was the best player on the court on Thursday, scoring 18 points on just 8 field goal attempts and providing rim protection that would keep BC out of the lane. In addition, Holsey and Carter Jr. combined for 25 huge points, and the 3-headed monster was a Godsend for Brian Gregory in providing extra offensive opportunities by virtue of a 36-19 rebounding edge.

Defensively, this wasn’t exactly the finest hour for Tech, but the stated rebounding edge allowed them to overcome that. Boston College (on the road, mind you) shot 51% from the field and 53% from 3-point range on the night, and for good measure, they committed only 5 turnovers. Unfortunately for them, though, they simply couldn’t get a rebound when it mattered, and the 13 offensive rebounds for the Jackets were enormous.

Winning at the buzzer with a 4-point play is just about the most exciting scenario imaginable for a college basketball team, and hopefully, it will spark some energy within the program. Topping BC by a 3-point margin at home isn’t exactly anything to write home about in the long term, but a loss would have been much worse, and the Jackets are back to .500 on the season with a 12-12 record as they look forward to a home game against Duke on Tuesday. Stay tuned.