When coach Brian Gregory saw his Yellow Jackets jump out to a 15-0 lead to start the game against Boston College, little did he realize the Eagles had them right where they wanted them.
The Eagles, who just five days ago squeaked out a 74-72 win at home against these same Yellow Jackets, erased the early deficit and went on to blow out Georgia Tech, 84-64, in the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.
BC’s comeback, and subsequent victory, was mounted on the shoulders on guard Olivier Hanlan. The ACC’s Freshman of the Year erupted for 41 points, a tournament record for freshman.
Hanlan had the Midas Touch as seemingly almost everything he launched in the direction of the rim found the bottom of the net. He was a sizzling 14-of-18 from the field, hitting his last 12 attempts. Even more remarkable was his sizzling 8-of-10 effort from three-point range. And to round out the scoring symposium, he sank five of his six free throws. Hanlan also corralled five rebounds and had three steals.
Though he didn’t need much, Hanlan did get some help from his teammates.
Fellow freshman Joe Rahon scored 15 points and dished out seven assists. Sophomore Ryan Anderson tallied 11 points and five boards. Patrick Heckmann contributed 10 points and Eddie Odio had a team-high 10 boards off the bench.
BC led at the half, 38-33, before pouring it on after the intermission as the Eagles outscored the Jackets, 46-31, for the 20-point margin of victory.
Marcus Georges-Hunt paced the Yellow Jackets with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Mfon Udofia was the only other Georgia Tech player to crack double figures with 10 points.
The Eagles (16-16, 7-11 ACC), winners of four straight, move on to face No. 1 seed Miami on Friday afternoon.
The Hurricanes swept the season series from BC winning a 60-59 nail-biter on the road and blowing out the Eagles, 72-50, at home. But the ACC regular-season champs will have their hands full against an Eagles squad who’s playing its best basketball of the year at the right time of the year.