Jackson scores at buzzer to lift Jackets over Northwestern
ATLANTA (AP) — Tadric Jackson told Jose Alvarado coming out of a timeout to look for him if Ben Lammers wasn’t open.
Alvarado did just that, and it all worked out for Georgia Tech.
“When I had the ball, I looked up and I saw 2 seconds,” Jackson said. “I took a couple of dribbles and just focused on making the layup.”
Jackson hit a layup at the buzzer, Lammers scored 13 points and Georgia Tech rallied in the closing seconds to beat Northwestern 52-51 on Tuesday night.
Jackson took a pass on the left side from Alvarado and drove through the lane past two defenders to score at the rim. His basket set off a wild celebration for Georgia Tech (4-1) and was a similar ending to last season’s win over Notre Dame when Jackson passed upcourt to Josh Okogie for a buzzer-beating layup.
Jackson, in his second game back since serving a three-game suspension for receiving gifts in violation of NCAA rules, finished with 10 points on 4-for-13 shooting.
“I’m just trying to get going,” Jackson said. “I feel like today I had a couple of mistakes, but I’m back in the groove.”
Bryant McIntosh scored 18 points, Vic Law added 12 and Dererk Pardon had 10 points and 12 rebounds for Northwestern (4-3). Scottie Lindsey began the game averaging a team-high 17.8 points, but he went scoreless, missing five 3-point attempts and three other shots.
It didn’t help that Aaron Falzon went 1 for 8 from the field and missed seven 3s.
“When I look at the stat sheet and see my two best shooters 0 for 12 from 3 and I see us (outscored) 16-4 at the foul line, to lose a game by one at the buzzer, it shows a lot of grit in my guys,” Wildcats coach Chris Collins said. “We hung in there and gave ourselves a chance.”
The Yellow Jackets overcame an 8-minute stretch with no field goals to blow a 10-point lead when Bryant McIntosh’s runner put Northwestern up 49-47 with 2:22 to play. That ended a 12-0 run and gave the Wildcats their first lead since early in the first half.
Northwestern led 51-50 on Pardon’s putback with 7.1 seconds remaining. Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner called timeout and had Lammers, his center, throw an inbound pass to Alvarado, who was told to look first for Lammers on the other end. With Lammers defended well, Alvarado passed to Jackson.
The Jackets took their first double-digit lead at 13:49 on Lammers’ layup.
Northwestern: Collins wasn’t upset with Lindsey, a senior guard picked up who picked up his third foul at 12:58 and turned his ankle after stepping on Jackson’s foot trying to beat a screen with 11:03 remaining. He went to the bench but came back in for Northwestern’s last possession to throw the sideline pass. “He’s been a key guy for us and he’ll continue to be a key guy,” Collins said. “He got in foul trouble early, never could really get in a rhythm. Never saw it go in the basket.”
Georgia Tech: Still playing without their best player, Okogie, the Jackets showed resolve to win after blowing a 10-point lead in the second half, at one point turning the ball over six straight possessions. Pastner said the Jackets “did not handle that well,” getting “out sorts and unorganized.” But he was proud of how well they defended. They kept Northwestern from driving the lane for most of the game and the Wildcats had just five free-throw attempts and missed 23 3s.
GOT YOUR BACK
Football coach Pat Fitzgerald and athletic director Jim Phillips were sitting next to each other two rows behind the Northwestern bench.
Northwestern plays its first Big Ten game Friday when Illinois visits Rosemont. The Wildcats visit Purdue on Sunday.
Georgia Tech hosts Grambling State on Friday and Tennessee on Sunday.