Brandon Alston’s 17 points help Jackets Cruise to Victory over Lamar
ATLANTA –The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets started their regular season with an 88-69 win over the Lamar Cardinals Friday at McCamish Pavillion. Brandon Alston had 17 points off the bench for the Yellow Jackets, and Jose Alverado added 14 points and five assists.
The Yellow Jackets jumped out to an early 8-0 run to make their presence felt offensive and went into halftime with a commanding 44-22 lead. Curtis Haywood II was a crucial component in the Jackets strong start to the game — by knocking down three three-pointers and scoring 11 points in the first half. He finished the game with 13 points.
Georgia Tech lost three key players in Josh Okogie, Ben Lammers and Tadric Jackson, so it obvious they have holes to fill. Nonetheless, head coach Josh Pastner was pleased with his team’s offensive efforts against the Cardinals.
“When you’re shooting the ball like we were tonight, everything is better,” Pastner said to the media following the game. “We had 26 assists on 32 baskets. That was outstanding.”
Although the Jackets were able to secure their first win of the season against a Lamar team that showed hustle and determination, one could argue that Georgia Tech would have lost to a more talented opponent — mainly because of their poor free throw shooting. Tech made just 12-of-21 free throws, a subpar 57 percent. They made up the points missed at the line by shooting the three ball well. The team shot 40 percent from three-point range, and you can expect them to keep shooting the long bomb.
“We’re going to take more threes because we believe we can make them,” Alverado, the sophomore guard said. “We worked on that all summer.”
Defensively, the Jackets swarmed the Cardinals the entire game holding them to just 38 percent shooting from the floor. Lammers was an excellent shot blocker during his time at Georgia Tech, but Abdoulaye Gueye showed his ability to protect the rim, as well. Ogbonda finished the game with seven rebounds and an impressive five blocks.
The Yellow Jackets’ next game is on the road against No. 6 Tennessee Nov. 13.
By D’Mitri Chin @1DMitriChin