WINNING FINALE: Tech seniors go out on a high note

For much of the first half, Georgia Tech couldn’t buy a foul. Literally. Fifteen minutes into the game, the Jackets had been whistled for seven fouls while Wake Forest had apparently not broken any rules.

“I assume that is a first,” said coach Brian Gregory when asked if he had ever seen such a foul disparity. “I wasn’t keeping track but I looked up and saw it was 7-0. I asked a ref ‘Is that right?’ And he said he didn’t know. I said ‘That’s part of the problem.’”

After the foul situation got straightened out, Tech (11-19, 4-12) had earned a 69-62 win on Senior Day in Philips Arena. The Jackets honored seniors Derek Craig, Nick Foreman and Pierre Jordan before the game in their final regular-season game.

Also noteworthy today for Tech was the women’s team making the ACC tournament final. The Lady Jackets defeated N.C. State in Greensboro to stake a place in tomorrow’s championship game.

“Great day for Georgia Tech all the way around,” said Gregory. “I was watching before our game and I heard it announced during the game, about MaChelle (Joseph) and the women’s team advancing to the (ACC Tournament) finals. That was great to see. I was able to watch their game a little bit yesterday. They’ve built a great program and have a chance to win the ACC championship, which is why everyone is in this. Congrats to them.”

At halftime of their game, Gregory’s Jackets led 32-38 behind Mfon Udofia’s 12 points. The Miller Grove product made 3-of-4 three-pointers in the opening stanza while, as a team, Tech made eight threes before the break.

While Tech owned the first half in three-pointers and lack of fouls drawn, Wake (13-17, 4-12) dominated early in the second half with three straight three-pointers to take a 37-34 lead. But the Jackets steadied the ship and began to chip away at Wake down low to eventually re-take the lead and pull away.

“The difference in this game was simply the second half,” said Wake Forest coach Jeff Bzdelik. “I believe they had eight offensive rebounds and 20 points in the paint. When we did get them to miss, we simply gave them some second chance points. That was the difference.”

And Jason Morris. Tech’s sophomore guard came off the bench to drop a game-high 22 points on the Deacons, including 5-of-7 shooting from three-point land. During a 15-3 Jackets run midway through the second half, Morris drilled three shots from downtown to help Tech gain a commanding 61-51 lead with 4:43 left.

Despite the odd foul situation in the opening half, Wake Forest was called for 13 second-half fouls to Tech’s seven.

Next up for both teams is the ACC Tournament, which will, ironically, be held at the same building.

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