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Jackets fall to 0-5 in ACC
Boston College Georgi Holl
Georgia Tech head coach Paul Hewitt instructs his team as they play Boston College on Tuesday at Alexander Memorial Coliseum in Atlanta. - photo by Stanley Leary

ATLANTA — Tyrese Rice stepped up when three other Boston College starters fouled out, leaving Georgia Tech with a too-familiar case of overtime blues.

Rice scored 24 of his 26 points after the first half, including six points in overtime, and Boston College recovered after blowing a big lead in the second half to beat Georgia Tech 80-76 on Tuesday night.

The Eagles won despite having three starters foul out in the second half: Joe Trapani, Josh Southern and Rakim Sanders, who had 19 points.

Corey Raji had 10 points, including six in overtime, for Boston College, which led by 14 points in the second half. The Eagles lost their composure and the lead as Georgia Tech turned up its defensive pressure.

The Eagles recovered to give Georgia Tech its third overtime loss in five Atlantic Coast Conference games.

Boston College (14-6, 2-3) snapped a four-game losing streak. Georgia Tech (9-9, 0-5) remains the only ACC team without a conference victory.

“We know we can play with anybody in the league,” said Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt. “It’s a matter of having something of value to show for it.”

The Eagles had more success against the Yellow Jackets’ full-court press in the overtime period.

“In regulation, we really weren’t disciplined when they were pressing,” said Boston College coach Al Skinner. “We did not run our press offense at all and were very inconsistent, so we made it very difficult. We weren’t going to try to dribble through the press. We were going to try to pass through it, and obviously that did not occur.”

Rice had seven of the team’s 16 turnovers.

“We made it hard on ourselves, but we executed down the stretch like we’re supposed to,” Rice said.
“When we executed it, we got good things out of it. When we didn’t, you see what happened, we got a lot of turnovers. Believe me, I’m not happy with the ones I had either, because it makes for a lot of running in practice on Thursday.”

Rice made up for the turnovers with his scoring, even after the slow start. He said he didn’t press even after making only one shot in the first half.

“I was just playing in the flow of the game,” Rice said. “Joe (Trapani) was hitting shots, so there was no reason for me to force the issue.”

Trapani had eight of his 12 points in the first half.

It was Boston College’s first win since beating North Carolina on Jan. 4. Georgia Tech is 0-5 in the league for the first time since the 2001-02 season, when it started 0-7. The three overtime losses, including two straight, add to the Yellow Jackets’ frustration.

“There’s no question they’re down,” Hewitt said. “The locker room is very quiet.

“I feel bad for our players; obviously, this is not an enjoyable thing.”

The Yellow Jackets also lost overtime games to Virginia and North Carolina State. Georgia Tech has held late leads in four of its five ACC losses, with a 70-56 loss to Duke the exception.

“I’ve got to do a better job of managing the game,” Hewitt said.

Guard Moe Miller said the Yellow Jackets only lack confidence.

“Once we get that confidence, we’ll get to the next level,” Miller said.

Iman Shumpert led Georgia Tech with 16 points. Gani Lawal had 14 points and Miller had 13.

Rakim Sanders, who had 19 points, was one of three Boston College players to foul out in the second half.
Rice scored his team’s last four points in regulation to force overtime.

With Boston College leading 76-74, Zach Peacock threw the ball away to set up a driving layup by Rice with 20.5 seconds left in regulation. Rice added two free throws with 6.6 seconds left.

Georgia Tech scored the first three points of the overtime period before Boston College answered with eight straight points.

Boston College took a big lead at 60-46 in the second half before Shumpert led the Yellow Jackets’ comeback with seven points in a 13-2 run.

A 3-pointer by Lewis Clinch tied the game at 62, and a fast-break layup by Miller gave Georgia Tech the lead before Rice scored the next four points for the Eagles.

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