March 7, 2009
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Sophomore swingman Rakim Sanders scored a game-high 19 points, including the game-winning baseline jump shot with 1.7 seconds left, to lift Boston College to a 67-66 ACC win over Georgia Tech before a sellout crowd of 8,606 fans in Conte Forum. The game marked the final regular-season contest for both schools.
Sanders' decisive hoop capped a stretch of six lead changes in the game's final three minutes. Georgia Tech had gained a 66-65 lead on two free throws by Lewis Clinch with 12.4 seconds to play.
BC claimed a four-point lead - 61-57 - on a Reggie Jackson put-back dunk with 3:49 remaining in the contest. The visiting Yellow Jackets then scored five straight points - on three Iman Shumpert free throws and an Alade Aminu field goal - to gain a 62-61 advantage with 2:15 left.
Senior Tyrese Rice, who shot a career-best 12-for-12 from the foul line in his final Conte Forum contest, sank two free throws to give BC the lead with 1:18 to play. After Georgia Tech answered with a Gani Lawal field goal (with 44.9 seconds left), Rice hit another two free throws (with 26.6 seconds left) to put BC in front, 65-64.
BC jumped out to an early 14-7 lead - the largest lead of the day by either team - just more than six minutes into the game. Georgia Tech then ran off seven straight points to even the score with 11:21 left in the opening half.
From that point forward, the host Eagles never surrendered the lead in the first half, but never gained more than a three-point lead until Jackson converted an old-fashioned three-point play with 3.3 seconds left in the half. BC led 30-25 at the break.
Georgia Tech started the second half with a 14-4 run to claim its biggest lead - 39-34 - with 13:57 to play.
Josh Southern, who finished with 12 points and a game-high nine rebounds, narrowed the margin with a three-point play, only to see Georgia Tech's Maurice Miller answer with a three-point field goal.
Sanders brought BC to within one point - at 42-41 - with consecutive field goals (including a fast-break dunk off his own steal). After a Georgia Tech dunk gave the visitors a three-point cushion, BC scored nine straight points - four free throws and a three-pointer by Rice and a Sanders field goal - to gain a 50-44 lead with 8:30 left.
The visitors used a 9-3 run, capped by an old-fashioned three-point play, to tie the score at 53-53 with 6:35 left on the clock. The two teams then traded two free throws and one field goal to leave the score at 57-57.
Two Sanders free throws gave BC a two-point lead - 59-57 - with 4:11 to play.
Game Notes: BC outrebounded the Yellow Jackets, 39-29 ... BC committed 19 turnovers (to Georgia Tech's nine turnovers), but gained a 14-13 edge on points scored off turnovers ... The game featured 12 ties and 10 lead changes ... Rice finished with 17 points to bring his career total to 2,064 points ... Jackson netted 11 points and six rebounds off the bench ... Today's game marked the final Conte Forum contest for Rice and managers Mike Coughlin, Kevin Silk and Mike Swets ... The Eagles complete the regular-season with a 21-10 mark, 9-7 in conference play. BC will learn its ACC Tournament opening-round opponent tomorrow (Sunday, March 8).