By Mychal Hunter
I have told you guys all season, it’s difficult being a Georgia Tech. The Jackets went into the ACC Tournament on Tuesday as the #10 seed. Which is three or four spots higher than anyone predicted they would finish in the preseason.
Defense has been the name of the game all season for Georgia Tech, who finished the regular season on a two game winning streak after an abysmal (but again, expected) showing in ACC league play. The Jackets came into today’s game as the #33 team in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency (KenPom), 50th in PPG against and 5th in opponents three points percentage.
Their opponent on the tournament’s opening day, was last place Notre Dame. The Irish were fresh off a loss to Pittsburgh in which they only managed to produce 53 points.
Predictably, the Irish came out and scored 52 first half points.
Notre Dame came into today’s game as the #303 team in three point shooting.
They shot 7-11 from deep in the first half.
It’s hard guys, really hard. After 20 minutes, Josh Pastner, who ridiculously stated GT was an NIT team if they won two games in this tournament, found himself down 20, 52-32.
Now, if ever there was a game of two halves, this was it. Moses Wright, a sophomore forward for Georgia Tech, had himself an afternoon. Coming into the game Wright had seemingly found himself, averaging 13 and 6 with a block over his last 4 contests, including 61% from two point land. He finished today’s game 12-18 for a career high 25 points. Freshman forward Khalid Moore put up 10 points in the second half as well as Georgia Tech mounted a huge comeback to bring the score within 3 with a 1:06 to go.
In the end, the Fighting Irish went back to Mr. Reliable, John Mooney, in crunch time. Mooney high a little baby hook and a face up jumper in the final minute and combined with Prentiss Hubb’s clutch free throws, the Irish came away victorious, 78-71.
The Irish played the second half with basically five guys as freshman sharpshooter Nate Laszewski was lost late in the first half after taking a hard fall on his backside, he will have a hell of a contusion in the morning. He led the Irish charge early with 14 first half points on 4-6 from the field and 3-3 from the line. It is unclear if he will return tomorrow when the Irish take on the Louisville Cardinals.