Baye Ndongo’s buzzer-beater lifts Georgia Tech, stuns Wake Forest

Georgia Tech's Baye Ndongo scored nine points and had 11 rebounds. AJC file photo by Jason Getz /



Georgia Tech's Baye Ndongo scored nine points and had 11 rebounds. AJC file photo by Jason Getz /

Baye Ndongo hit a game-winning running floater and Georgia Tech stunned Wake Forest 70-69 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Tuesday in Winston-Salem, N.C.

The Yellow Jackets led by as many as 19 in the first half and by eight with less than two minutes to play. Wake came storming back to take its first – and only – lead of the night with 18 seconds to go on a Hunter Sallis fadeaway.

Tech, having no timeouts remaining, nearly fumbled the ensuing series when the Demon Deacons forced a jump ball. But the possession favored the Jackets and Nait George threw an inbounds pass to Ndongo on the right block who charged at Wake forward Efton Reid and threw up the game-winner with his right hand.

“I was just executing the game plan,” Ndongo said on Tech’s postgame radio show. “And there was three seconds left so I had to do something, especially when they trust me with the ball. I had to come up with something especially for the win. I was really glad we got that win.”

Ndongo had 11 rebounds to go along with his game-winner which was part of his nine points. Miles Kelly led the way offensively with 19 points and Tafare Gapare scored 11, grabbed six rebounds, two assists and a block. George finished 16 points but had seven of the team’s 16 turnovers.

Tech (14-16, 7-12 ACC) has won three in a row and handed Wake Forest its first loss of the season at home – the Deacons had been 15-0 coming into the affair. The Jackets close out the regular season at 8 p.m. Saturday at Virginia (21-9, 12-7).

“I’m just proud of each and every guy on this team for preparing the way they’ve been preparing,” Tech coach Damon Stoudamire said. “We had a chance to lay down after that (Wake) game (on Feb. 6) as a team and they responded. That’s a testament to each one of their character.”

The Jackets couldn’t have asked for a better start Tuesday. They raced out to a 14-0 start over the first 5:05 and at one juncture were ahead 21-4 thanks to an 8 of 12 shooting start (and 5-for-7 clip from downtown). A rare Ndongo 3 with 10 1/2 minutes to go in the half opened up a 26-7 lead for the visitors.

The Jackets took a 40-26 lead at the break, a lead that didn’t feel totally safe considering nine Tech turnovers. Kelly and George combined for 22 points in the first 20 minutes and Tech connected on eight 3-pointers.

Less than four minutes into the second half, a Sallis layup got the Wake deficit into single digits at 44-36. Four minutes later Cameron Hildreth buried a 3 to slice the margin to 50-47 and the Deacons would eventually get within 52-51 with nine minutes remaining.

Tech got off the mat, though, and regained composure to punch back and eventually open a 66-58 lead on a Gapare dunk with 3:34 on the clock. The Jackets would only score four points the rest of the way.

Sallis, one of four Deacons in double figures, led Wake (18-11, 10-8) with 22 points.


  • Kelly moved into 44th on Tech’s all-time scoring list with 1,049 career points. Ben Lammers (1,055) is 43rd.
  • Tech is 47-43 all-time against Wake Forest and 15-28 against the Demon Deacons in road games.
  • The Jackets are 4-8 in road games this season, 10-12 against teams with winning records, 10-4 when leading at halftime, 11-0 when leading at the 5-minute mark of the second half, 12-5 when scoring 70 points, 7-1 when holding the opponent to less than 70 points and 12-4 when shooting better than the opponent.
  • Tech has played 21 games decided by single points this season and is 12-9 in such contests.
  • Tuesday’s victory was Tech’s fourth this season against an opponent inside Quadrant 1 of the NCAA’s NET rankings.