ACC Tournament: Eagles soar past Jackets into second round

NEW YORK (AP) — Ky Bowman had 26 points, 10 rebounds and six assists to lead Boston College over Georgia Tech 87-77 on Tuesday in the opening game of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.

Sophomore forward Nik Popovic scored a career-high 20 points and Jerome Robinson, runner-up for ACC Player of the Year, added 19 on 5-of-17 shooting for Boston College. Despite going 2-for-14 from 3-point range, the Eagles never trailed and were in control throughout against a Georgia Tech team that struggled to score all season.

Tadric Jackson had 23 of his 29 points in the second half for the 13th-seeded Yellow Jackets (13-19), who won their final two regular-season games after losing seven straight and 11 of 12. Ben Lammers added 18 points and leading scorer Josh Okogie had 14 on 5-for-20 shooting.

Jordan Chatman chipped in with 13 points for the Eagles, who had lost four of five.

Boston College’s last three ACC Tournament wins have come against Georgia Tech. The previous two were in 2015 and 2012.

After trailing by 10 at halftime, Georgia Tech missed its first nine field-goal attempts in the second half and the Eagles opened their largest lead, 51-31, on Bowman’s three-point play with 13:37 remaining.

The pressing Yellow Jackets forced a flurry of late turnovers and cut the margin to six with 45 seconds left, but Boston College closed it out at the free-throw line.

BC seized control with an early 9-0 run and went into halftime with a 36-26 cushion. Lammers led all scorers with 11 points in the half.Boston College (18-14) moved on to Wednesday’s 2 p.m. second-round game and will face fifth-seeded NC State (21-10) at Barclays Center. The Eagles dropped an 82-66 road decision to the Wolfpack in the regular-season meeting between the teams on Feb. 20.

Boston College improved to 9-12 all-time in the New York Life ACC Tournament. The Eagles won their first tournament game since edging Georgia Tech 66-65 in the opening round at Greensboro in 2015. Boston College was also seeded No. 12 and the Yellow Jackets No. 13 for that matchup.

The No. 12 seed is now 5-0 versus the No. 13 seed in ACC Tournament play.