The iceman cometh.
In a game delayed one day by the winter storm, Georgia Tech forward Marcus Georges-Hunt showed frost in his veins with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to beat Boston College 74-71 on Thursday night at McCamish Pavilion.
“I did that a million times (growing up), and tonight, it was one of those moments,” Georges-Hunt said. “I got one with a tip-in at Miami (last year). Two years in a row. I guess my dreams come true a little bit.”
It was a victory to savor for the Yellow Jackets, whose injury-plagued season has included a series of aggravating results. It also was a boost for Georges-Hunt, who came into Thursday’s game on a bumpy path. He was 4-for-22 in the past two games, both Tech losses. In the loss at Clemson on Feb. 4, he came up short in a similar situation, missing on a last-second drive.
“Marcus was the all-league player that I think he’s going to become,” coach Brian Gregory said.
Tech (13-12, 4-8 ACC) won’t play again until its Tuesday home game against Duke. Boston College (6-18, 2-9), which arrived in Atlanta on Tuesday morning to beat the winter storm, has lost three in a row to the Jackets in Alexander Memorial Coliseum, Philips Arena and McCamish Pavilion.
Georges-Hunt scored the game-winner with .7 seconds remaining after Tech killer Olivier Hanlan scored on a jump shot from the baseline with 3.4 seconds remaining to give the Eagles a 71-70 lead. After Boston College coach Steve Donahue called a timeout to set his defense, guard Corey Heyward inbounded to Georges-Hunt, who caught the ball on the run in the backcourt, used a screen from center Daniel Miller and buried his shot from about 25 feet from the right wing over a tough challenge from Lonnie Jackson, who fouled Georges-Hunt on the release. (He made the bonus free throw.)
As the sparse crowd roared its approval, Heyward wrapped Georges-Hunt in a bear hug.
“I told him to make it, and he did it,” Gregory said.
With Tech out of timeouts, Boston College’s timeout gave Gregory time to set up the play. Normally the play is designed for Trae Golden, but he was held out of the game with a groin injury. In practice, Golden and Georges-Hunt take turns running the play.
“Sometimes I miss it, sometimes I make it,” Georges-Hunt said.
Down 35-34 at halftime, Tech engaged Boston College in a furious second half. The Eagles repeatedly outmaneuvered Tech’s zone defense and made 14 of 25 shots from the field. Tech, while turning the ball over seven times, made 14 of 18 from the field and dropped 3 of 4 from 3-point range.
After Boston College took its 69-64 lead with 3:18 left on a Joe Rahon layup, Miller took over the game on defense. Over the Eagles’ next three possessions, Miller stole a bounce pass, forced a miss by Hanlan and then came in help defense to block Rahon. His play gave Tech the space to rally, as the Jackets scored on their final four possessions for a game-closing 10-2 run.
After Georges-Hunt’s basket and free throw, Boston College had one final chance, but a desperation 3-pointer was off the mark.
“Sometimes you need to win one of these games to break through,” Gregory said. “Let’s hope this is it.”