In what could be its final home game of the season, Georgia Tech gave McCamish Pavilion what would be a fitting finale.
Supported by a boisterous student section granted free entrance by coach Josh Pastner, the Yellow Jackets suppressed one of the nation’s top offenses and pulled away with a 75-63 win over Indiana in a first-round NIT matchup Tuesday night.
Mixing defenses and protecting the rim, Tech induced the Hoosiers into one of their poorest offensive games of the season. The Jackets held the Hoosiers well below their season scoring average (80.2 points per game) and became just the fifth team to hold them under 40 percent shooting from the field.
Tech (18-15) was led by 24 points from ACC all-freshman guard Josh Okogie and 19 from guard Tadric Jackson as the Jackets repeatedly scored in the transition. Forward Quinton Stephens added 16 with 4-for-7 shooting from 3-point range.
Indiana (18-16) finishes its season with eight losses in its final 11 games.
In a game-turning segment in the second half, one steal by Stephens and two by Jackson on four consecutive Hoosiers possessions turned into seven points, pushing Tech from a 51-48 lead to a 58-50 advantage at the 8:33 mark. The Jackets’ lead was never less than five the rest of the way.
Center Ben Lammers, the ACC’s defensive player of the year, was up to form with five blocks and 11 rebounds (eight defensive). Often on the backline of Tech’s 1-3-1 zone, Lammers helped limit Indiana to 43.6 percent shooting on two-point shots, more than 10 percentage points below the Hoosiers’ season average.
Tech will advance to play a second-round matchup against the winner of the Georgia-Belmont first-round matchup on Wednesday in Athens. The date and time have yet to be scheduled. It would be in Athens if the Bulldogs win and at Tech should the Bruins win.