Arkansas Defeats Georgia Tech On Last Second Shot

Matthew McGavic

With a layup made by senior center James Banks III in the waning seconds of overtime, Georgia Tech took their first since the 12:29 mark in the first half. Then Arkansas' Mason Jones took that lead back for good in heartbreaking fashion. The junior guard from Desoto, Texas took a step back three from way beyond the arc, and he banked it in to seal the game for the visiting Razorbacks.

"He hit a tough one," Banks said describing the last second shot taken by Jones.

Those two scored the only points in the overtime period, but they made all the difference in the world. The Razorbacks would escape McCamish Pavilion with a 62-61 victory, continuing their undefeated season while handing the Yellow Jackets their second straight loss in the process.

Heading into the matchup, Arkansas was billed as one of the most stout defenses that Tech will face all season, and they lived up to their calling. The Razorbacks forced 23 Georgia Tech turnovers, thanks mostly in part to their ability to close in with quickness and gets hands in passing lanes.

"Unfortunately for us, the turnovers got us," head coach Josh Pastner said. "The was really the main difference in the game there."

They might have been playing with starting point guard Jose Alvarado, but the Yellow Jackets certainly played a role in their own demise as well. Many of the turnovers committed but them were not of the forced variety.

When discussing some of the bad entry passes that resulted in turnovers, Banks said: "That's just reps, that's just guys figuring it out. That's correctable mistakes."

Arkansas' tenacious defense also kept Georgia Tech in check from the perimeter, with point guard Bubba Parham sinking the only 2 three point shots in the entire game. The Jackets found their most success when going down low, scoring 34 points in the paint and Banks leading all scorers with 20 points & 13 boards to boot. 

In a bench role, Evan Cole also found success against the Razorbacks' 4 guard lineup. The junior forward from Cumming, GA came 2 points and 2 boards shy of a double-double. "My mindset's just like every game," Cole said "Just try and make and impact."

Head coach Josh Pastner also had an effect on the game, but not in the way he traditionally is. He was issued a technical foul by head official Ted Valentine after Pastner complained to Valentine following back-to-back possessions where he felt Tech got the wrong end of the whistle.

Tech overcame the resulting 5 point swing, but missed free throw opportunities at the end of regulation saw the game extend into overtime and not into the win column.

The Yellow Jackets are back in action next Sunday against Bethune-Cookman at McCamish Pavilion. Tipoff is set for 6pm on RSN.

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