Ky Bowman has shown he can take over games for Boston College this season. But Bowman only needed to take over the overtime as the Eagles took an 80-72 victory over visiting Georgia Tech on Sunday.
Bowman scored 8 of BC’s 11 points and equaled the Yellow Jackets’ rebounding total with three in the extra session as the Eagles (14-9, 4-6 ACC) played their second overtime game in four days.
“He has an innate ability to understand and have the confidence to take the moment,” BC coach Jim Christian said of Bowman. “The plays he made — left-hand reverse layup, pullup on the baseline — makes him special. He’s a winner. There’s nobody in the country I’d rather have shoot the ball in those situations.”
Bowman (17 points, 8 rebounds), playing with four fouls after the 6:12 mark of the second half, took control after BC lost leading scorer Jerome Robinson (19 points) with his fifth foul late in regulation. In overtime, Bowman teamed with Jordan Chatman (19 points), Nik Popovic, and freshmen Luka Kraljevic and Steffon Mitchell as BC compiled its biggest lead of the game.
“After Jerome went out, I felt like I had to just pick up my pace and just try to do whatever would help the team,” Bowman said. “So, if it was scoring I was going to have to do it — but also just make sure all the other players stay connected, and we play good.”
Georgia Tech (11-12, 4-6) led by as many as 13 points in the opening half and squandered a chance for a 5-point lead in the final minute of regulation.
After Robinson fouled out with 3:12 remaining in regulation, BC capitalized on some breaks. Josh Okogie, Georgia Tech’s leading scorer, was disqualified with 1:36 left, then Abdoulaye Gueye missed the first shot of a one-and-one with the Yellow Jackets leading, 69-66, and 49 seconds remaining.
Mitchell’s 3-pointer equalized, 69-69, with 34 seconds to play, then both teams had opportunities to break the tie. Georgia Tech’s Jose Alvarado traveled out of a timeout, leaving BC to set up after a timeout with 7.2 on the clock. Then, Alvarado stripped Bowman on a drive just before the regulation buzzer.
Bowman’s reverse layup gave BC a 71-69 edge with 4:02 to go in overtime. Tech rallied on a free throw by Ben Lammers (14 points, 12 rebounds) and a Gueye move in the lane with :02 on the shot clock to lead, 72-71, with 2:18 left.
Bowman’s lefthanded drive then gave BC a 1-point edge with two minutes to play and his baseline jumper over Gueye out of a timeout made the score 75-71 with 1:09 remaining. Bowman rebounded two misses by Tadric Jackson and sank two foul shots in the final minute.
“They have three guys [Bowman, Chatman, Robinson] that can flat-out fill it up,” Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner said. “Like that last shot — our big kid [Gueye] had a hand in his face. They’re good players, good guards. They made timely shots, when we had maybe a chance to pull away, they made big threes.
“Bottom line, we had 13 turnovers. We’re not in a position where we can win games with more than nine turnovers. We had some chances, didn’t close out, and that’s life in the ACC.”
Robinson led the way early for BC, which fell behind, 28-15, after an Alvarado 3-pointer with 5:04 left in the first half. After two Bowman 3-pointers in a 21-second span, Chatman snapped an 0-for-6 start with the first of his five 3-pointers, and reserve center Johncarlos Reyes slipped inside for two back-door layups against Tech’s extended zone.
BC gained the lead for the first time since the opening minutes as Chatman’s 3-pointer made the score 43-42 with 13:10 left in the second half. A Robinson follow extended BC’s edge to 57-50 with 7:21 remaining, but Robinson committed his fourth foul seven seconds later.
Georgia Tech went on a 12-2 run, and had a 64-61 advantage on a Jackson foul shot after Robinson was disqualified with 3:12 remaining. Okogie fouled out, and Popovic’s free throw pulled BC within 69-66. But the Eagles failed to capitalize on a Kraljevic steal, Bowman missing on a drive and Chatman on a 3-point try before Mitchell’s only 3-pointer of the contest.
BC, which improved to 12-2 at home, had rallied late in an 85-80 overtime loss to Virginia Tech on Wednesday.
“I had four fouls some previous games, but just trying to keep the mind-set, just not fouling anybody, so we could have a good guard on the court,” Bowman said. “I knew I had to step up at the end. That’s the big thing.”