The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will advance to their second ever NIT championship game with their 76-61 win over CSU Bakersfield Monday night.
of 15 ACC teams, 12 of them played in the postseason. two remain:
the north carolina tar heels…
AND THE GEORGIA TECH YELLOW JACKETS pic.twitter.com/cvKITtKszy
— Michael (@BigMikeGTBuzz) March 20, 2017
Four Yellow Jackets scored in double figures. Freshman Josh Okogie scored a game-high 22 points in the win. Ben Lammers scored 15 points, Quinton Stephens dropped 13, and Tadric Jackson added 12 coming off the bench.
Everything clicked offensively and defensively for Georgia Tech, but defense was the biggest factor in advancing to the championship. They forced 15 turnovers, scoring a total of 18 points off their turnovers. They also held CSU-Bakersfield to only 34% from the field. Tech took a 36-26 lead into halftime following a buzzer beating three pointer made by Tadric Jackson.
Coming out of the half, they did not slow down and the Roadrunners of CSU-Bakersfield just could not live up to their name and speed up their pace against the Yellow Jackets.
Despite going to the NIT, Georgia Tech did have a pretty impressive 2016-2017 season. In ACC play, they managed to get top wins over North Carolina, Florida State, and Notre Dame.
Georgia Tech making it to the championship game speaks volume for the program. Head Coach Josh Pastner in his first season has done a terrific job with the Yellow Jackets. “It’s been a remarkable year,” Pastner said. It’s a great win for us. Playing in the NIT, we were excited. We wanted to keep playing. This is important for our program.”
They finished 8-10 in ACC play, so if they had won two more games, they were likely looking at an NCAA bid this season.
In opening conference play, the Yellow Jackets upset North Carolina at home. They are the only two ACC teams left playing in the post season. It would be interesting to see if both Georgia Tech and North Carolina win it all (assuming North Carolina advances to the championship game), because it will certainly be quite the story for both teams since that opening game.
The Jackets will play Texas Christian University Thursday at 8 p.m.