Eagles Snap Skid In Atlanta

Boston College ended their four-game losing skid by outlasting Georgia Tech for an 80-to-76 overtime win in Atlanta. The victory did not come easy for the Eagles. Major foul trouble and a late game scoring drought nearly cost them the much needed victory. They managed to hang on to push it to overtime and then sneak past the Yellow Jackets to win and improve to 2-3 in the ACC.

The first half was a back and forth battle that saw five different lead changes. The Eagles played strong on defense, especially in the post, and were able to create some steals and turnovers. They established an early energy and the players were diving on the floor scrounging for loose balls. BC even showed a little full court pressure early, which is unusual under Coach Skinner.

Joe Trapani hit two early threes to pace the team, but he quickly cooled off and air-balled his next three attempts. When Trapani cooled off, Rakim Sanders stepped up. Sanders scored 9 in the first half including two three's of his own. Boston College and Georgia Tech traded baskets for much of the first half and BC trailed 31-30 at the break.

In the second, BC quickly tied the game at 33 after a Rakim Sanders three pointer. He then stole ball on the ensuing possession and got fouled while making a layup, putting BC up 36-33 following the free throw. BC was able to build a sizable lead mid-way through the second half. A Tyrese Rice three pointer put Boston College up 10-points, 49-39 with 11 minutes remaining. BC's largest lead of the game was 12-points with 7:30 left to play.

All this occurred with Trapani on the bench with 4 fouls and Southern fouling out with 8 minutes left in the half. It appeared as though BC would cruise to an easy double-digit victory on Georgia Tech's home court. A pair of Rice free throws put BC up 62-51 at the 6-minute mark. Thos points, however would be the last the Eagles would score for the next four-plus minutes. During the Eagle's scoring drought the Yellow Jackets stormed back into the game, eventually taking the lead.

Tech's full court pressure gave BC fits in the backcourt. The Eagles had trouble inbounding the ball and Tech forced turnovers on nearly every possession. BC showed no signs of any functional press-break or inbounds plays and Tech was able to swarm around the ball and trap the ball handlers.

BC looked confused and defenseless as they tried unsuccessfully to get the ball over half court. Things got worse for the Eagles when Joe Trapani fouled out with 4 minutes left in the game with Tech trimming the lead down to 4 points at 62-58.

Following a Reggie Jackson turnover, Georgia Tech hit a three pointer to tie the game at 62 a piece. Shorty after, Rakim Sanders was charged with his 5th and final foul. BC was then forced to use their last timeout with 3 minutes left to play after they could not inbound the ball.

Georgia Tech took a 64-62 lead on a fast break drunk with two minutes remaining. Rice countered with a tough runner in the lane to even the score at 64 with 1:30 to play. An exchange of fouls and foul shots sent the game to overtime tied at 66.

BC began the overtime period with three of their starters fouled out and having scored just 4 points in the final 6 minutes of regulation. Georgia Tech took an early 69-66 lead in overtime thanks to a free throw and a fast break dunk. Rice missed a three pointer on the Eagles next possession but Reggie Jackson grabbed one of his nine rebounds of the game and converted the bucket to bring BC back to within one at 69-68.

From there, BC was able to control the action. Corey Raji scored back-to-back baskets on assists from Biko Paris to put BC ahead 72-69. Another defensive stand for BC led to a pull up jumper from Tyrese Rice that extended the lead to five.

Georgia Tech was able to trim the lead to two, 78-76, but Tyrese Rice made two free throws with 12 second remaining to ice it for the Eagles. Rice was a perfect 10-10 from the line, including the game winners in the final seconds.

Tyrese Rice and Corey Raji each contributed 6 points in overtime. Rice finished with 26 points, 24 of which came after the first half. Rakim Sanders added 19 points despite fouling out before regulation. Joe Trapani scored 12 points, but struggled in the second half due foul trouble. Corey Raji chipped in 10 points and Reggie Jackson had 8 points and a career high nine rebounds.

Courtney Dunn was forced to play extended and responded with a solid defensive effort. Dunn had his hands full with Gani Lawai, one of the better post players on the conference, but managed to hold him to 14 points. Dunn struggled to find himself on offense, but he did haul in six rebounds. The struggles for Josh Southern continued, as he fouled out early and finished with just four points and two rebounds.

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