Georgia Tech loses ACC opener

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- That elusive first win of the new year will have to wait a few more days.

Georgia Tech could not keep up with Boston College’s second-half scoring in the Yellow Jackets’ ACC opener, losing 86-75 on Saturday at the Conte Forum.

The loss dropped the Jackets to 7-7, the first time they have been .500 this season, and to 0-2 in 2011.

Freshman Kammeon Holsey paced the Jackets with 18 points, while Glen Rice Jr. chipped in 12 with a team-high seven rebounds. Boston College’s Reggie Jackson astounded with 25 points in 26 minutes, making eight of his nine shots, and Corey Raji scored 24 off the bench.

“We were not grinding like we should have been, making sure they didn’t get anything easy,” said Rice. “They went on a little run, and we just never recovered.”

The “little” run was a 19-4 streak that Boston College (12-4, 2-0) reeled off about a minute into the second half.

Tech opened the half with Iman Shumpert’s follow on Holsey’s miss to break a 39-39 tie, but the lead was short-lived. The Eagles torched the Jackets with a pair of baskets en route to building the game’s first double-digit lead, with freshman Danny Rubin and Jackson connecting on back-to-back 3-point shots that provided a 60-47 cushion.

The run was a microcosm of Tech’s woes. Boston College shot 47.4 percent from beyond the 3-point arc (9-of-19) and suffered too many defensive mishaps.

“That ... run, I was afraid that was going to be the difference,” coach Paul Hewitt said. “It’s one thing when a team puts together a run where they out-execute you, but I just thought those points came from us having some breakdowns.”

Holsey, who made eight of 10 shots in his first career ACC game, echoed his coach's sentiments.

“I thought we could have done a better job on defense,” said Holsey, who redshirted last season after a torn ACL. “We didn’t talk a few times. I give them credit though, they shot the ball very well.”

The 86 points were exactly as many as the Jackets allowed in their previous loss to Charlotte, only that game went to two overtimes. The Eagles shot almost 55 percent.

The Jackets trimmed the deficit to three, 72-69, on Shumpert’s jumper with 3:33 remaining, but didn’t score again until Rice’s dunk with 38 seconds left.

Boston College played a 2-3 zone that Tech carved to the tune of 55.2 percent shooting -- highlighted by Holsey’s efforts -- before a switch to man-to-man slowed the Jackets' offense. Hosley made his first five shots and two free throws before finally missing on a layup attempt, but his inside presence was an encouraging sign to Hewitt.

“We were looking for somebody to give us some punch inside, some scoring punch, and to try to give the defense something to be concerned about in the paint,” Hewitt said. “He can do it.”

Neither team imposed its will on the other in the first, with the Eagles’ 7-0 mini-run to go up 15-10 about six minutes into the game serving as enough of a buffer to keep the Jackets trailing for much of the half.

Holsey’s layup with 7:43 left in the first put Tech back on top, 24-23, and the teams played tug-of-war that culminated in Holsey’s layup on a nice pass from Shumpert to knot the score going into halftime.

Shumpert, who has battled leg cramps recently, was held to 6-of-19 from the floor, but he led the team with four assists and had five rebounds. Hewitt insisted the injury had no impact on Shumpert's performance.