The Jackets (10-11) shot 44.8% from the field and assisted on 24 of their 30 baskets. It was Tech’s highest assist total of the season. Pastner took particular pride in his team’s sharing the ball, particularly as the game took on a looser form in the final minutes.
Pastner played all of his available players, including three walk-ons. Of the 13 players who took the floor, 12 scored.
In a one-sided game, “it gets very easy to (look to) score,” Pastner said. “You’ve got a lead and you can just start trying to get your own shot or points. I was proud of our guys that we kept continuing to find the open man. We shared the ball. We made the one-more pass. So that was a positive.”
Among them was a behind-the-back pass on the break from guard Shembari Phillips to forward Evan Cole, who threw down a windmill dunk with about 12 minutes to play that brought the arena to life. (Announced attendance was 4,133, though actual attendance was perhaps a quarter of that.)
Banks led with 12 points to go with nine rebounds. He left the game with 1:58 to play in the first half after a collision while going for a block, but returned to play in the second half.
Tech put the game out of reach in the final seven minutes of the first half, extending its lead from 25-14 to 44-22 at the half. Pastner kept his starters in for the first five minutes of the second half, by which point Tech had taken a 58-27 lead.
Guard Michael Devoe watched from the bench, his left foot encased in a walking boot. He is considered day to day as the Jackets will resume ACC play Saturday at Notre Dame.
It was the first time that Tech played Morehouse, located less than four miles away from McCamish Pavilion, in a regular-season game. The last time Tech played a regular-season game against an opponent from inside I-285 was in Dec. 2008, a win over Georgia State.
The game was arranged because Pastner’s preference is to schedule games during open dates in the ACC schedule to continue the team’s weekly rhythm. His first option was to play a non-conference game against a power-conference opponent. When none was available, he wanted to play a game that would benefit a local team. Morehouse jumped at the chance.
In one of the quirks allowed by the NCAA rulebook, Morehouse played the game as an exhibition while it counted for Tech’s record. The Maroon Tigers remained at 9-9.
“I thought this experience was great for our kids,” Brewer said. “We have a lot of young guys that we play and hopefully this experience will help us down the line as we get into conference play at the end of the year.”
For a second game in a row, guard Jordan Usher was impactful, logging nine points on 4-for-5 shooting, three rebounds, six assists against one turnover and four steals in 14 minutes of play. It followed a standout performance against N.C. State on Saturday (eight points, seven rebounds, six assists).
Usher’s speed and explosiveness stood out against Tech’s Division II opponent, and his court vision again was impressive.
In the second half, Usher intercepted a bounce pass and took off downcourt, wrapped the ball behind his back and scored on a layup. On Tech’s next possession, he jumped on a loose ball in the paint and, without hesitating, fired a baseball pass between two Morehouse players to guard Jose Alvarado in the corner for a 3-pointer.
“It’s something I like to do,” Usher said of creating scoring chances for teammates. “I like to do it, so getting back to it feels good.”