Boston College buries Georgia Tech with offensive onslaught

Georgia Tech's Baye Ndongo puts up a shot against Boston College on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2024. (Photo by Danny Karnik / Georgia Tech Athletics)

Credit: Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics

Credit: Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics

Georgia Tech's Baye Ndongo puts up a shot against Boston College on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2024. (Photo by Danny Karnik / Georgia Tech Athletics)

In an absolute barnburner of a battle Saturday at McCamish Pavilion, Boston College seized control over the final four minutes to win 95-87 and break a five-game losing streak against Georgia Tech.

The Yellow Jackets led by three late in the game after an exhilarating surge got the crowd of 5,052 rocking. But the visitors refused to be rattled and pulled away, thanks to a relentless offense and Tech’s oft-absent defense.

“It’s a lot of growing pains,” Tech coach Damon Stoudamire said. “I think I understand it, as frustrated as I am sitting here about the loss of this game, I understand when you’re Year 1 and you’re trying to build and you’re going through the process and trying to figure things out, sometimes the ball don’t bounce your way. I’ve seen it 100 times.

“When you’re going through that process, it’s gonna be nights like this. No matter what. You just gotta keep on fighting, and I think that at some point we’ll learn from it. Unfortunately it doesn’t help right now with the way I think those kids are feeling in the locker room.”

Tech trailed 87-79 with 2:07 on the clock – that score coming after five consecutive Boston College free throws that stemmed in part from a flagrant foul charged to Miles Kelly and a technical foul on Stoudamire. The Jackets, meanwhile, were in the midst of a stretch of 3-1/2 minutes without a made field goal, as they couldn’t keep pace with the Eagles’ offense.

Baye Ndongo’s double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds led Tech (8-6, 1-2 ACC). Kowacie Reeves added 17, Kyle Sturdivant had 11 points and nine assists and Deebo Coleman added 10.

Boston College, which outscored Tech 57-36 in the second half, got 30 points from Devin McGlockton, a South Forsyth High School product, and shot 55.6% from the field – including a 66.7% clip in the second half. The Eagles (10-4, 1-2) had only five turnovers and racked up 21 assists on their 35 made buckets.

The 95 points scored by Boston College was its most against Tech in the 32-game history of the series that dates to 1946.

Tech (8-6, 1-2 ACC) next hosts Notre Dame (6-8, 1-2 ACC) at 9 p.m. Tuesday. The Jackets now have lost three consecutive games.

“I don’t know how much better you’re gonna get in season practicing on the court when you play Tuesday or Wednesday and Saturday for the next two months, two-and-a-half months,” Stoudamire said. “But we just gotta keep on beating down that film. That’s the process a lot of ‘em I don’t think they actually have been through it before like that.

“I just want our guys to think about the little things that we didn’t do well, and then, hopefully, that can help us in the next game come Tuesday.”

Boston College began Saturday’s affair by making its first five shots, including three 3′s, and two free throws to race to a 15-7 lead. Tech came back with a 12-4 run to tie the score at 19-19 on a Sturdivant 3-pointer and then took a 22-21 lead – its first of the game – on a Reeves 3-pointer from the left corner.

The Jackets extended that lead to 30-23 thanks to back-to-back possessions in which point guard Nait George fed Ndongo for easy buckets. Boston College then rallied to get within 34-33 before Tech got consecutive 3′s from Reeves and Kelly, respectively, to get back up by seven.

Tech’s offensive onslaught continued over the final three minutes of the period. An Ndongo dunk was followed by a Reeves 3, an Ndongo 3 and a Sturdivant 3, putting the Jackets up 51-38 going into the break.

Ndongo scored 15 points in the first half alone as Tech shot 57.1% from the floor, registered 12 assists on 29 made shots and turned the ball over only three times.

“I think that when they look on the scoreboard and we come in and we start the second half, they see a cushion, when they see a 16-point lead, I don’t see a cushion. I see we gotta get better and we need to put our foot on people’s necks,” Stoudamire said. “We gotta get hungry. ... what I gotta do is I gotta get guys understanding we’re really good when play defense, when we have intensity. We can’t rely on our offense to help us play defense because it don’t work like that. Defense is the only thing that travels.

“In the first half we were making shots, so obviously, we played D. In the second half we didn’t make as many shots, and I think our defense suffered.”

Boston College didn’t pack it in at halftime, instead coming out for the second period with a 15-5 run over the first 4:23 to get within 56-53. The Eagles made eight of their first 12 shots over the first eight minutes of the half and were down just 63-60 after a Donald Hand 3-point shot from the left wing.

Claudell Harris finally knotted the score at 63-63 with a 3 from the left corner. McGlockton’s layup with 9:02 left finally put the Eagles back ahead at 67-66.

A Chas Kelley layup with 7:07 on the clock gave the Eagles their largest lead of the evening, at 74-66.

“We didn’t have the same intensity that we had in the first half in guarding ‘em,” Sturdivant said. “We just have to do a better job of coming out the second half with the same intensity that we usually end the first half with or play with the first half with when we have a big lead.”

From there Tech roared back with a furious 13-2 run that was finished off by center Tyzhuan Claude’s dunk that resulted in a three-point play, got Tech football coach Brent Key up out of his courtside seat and put the Jackets up 79-76.

But Boston College came immediately back with 3′s from Harris and McGlockton to take an 82-79 advantage. That set up the final and decisive three minutes, which turned out to not be as dramatic as they were setting up to be.

Harris finished with 26 points, making all four of his 3-point attempts, and went 8-of-10 from the field.

“Defensively we had no answer (for Tech) in the first half,” Boston College coach Earl Grant said. “We made some adjustments at the halftime, and guys started playing with more effort and really locking into the details, and we found a way to win the game.”


  • Tech now leads the series with BC 19-13 and 8-3 at home.
  • The Jackets fell to 5-2 at home this season, 6-3 in games decided by 10 points or less, 7-2 when leading at half, 2-6 when trailing at the five-minute mark, 7-3 when scoring more than 70 points and 7-3 when out-rebounding the opponent.
  • Ndongo has averaged 15.7 points and 11 rebounds per game over the past six games.
  • Stoudamire said guard Amaree Abram and forward Ibrahim Souare missed Saturday’s game because of illness.