By MIKE FITZPATRICK , AP Sports Writer
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.
With the league holding its postseason showcase in Brooklyn for the second consecutive year, a sparse crowd was on hand to see the 12th-seeded Eagles (18-14) advance to play No. 5 seed North Carolina State on Wednesday.
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.
Georgia Tech: Freshman point guard Jose Alvarado was unable to play in his return home to Brooklyn. Alvarado started the team’s first 25 games but his season ended Feb. 11 when he dislocated his elbow in a loss to Duke. … Georgia Tech fell to 1-5 at Barclays Center. … Tech leads the all-time series 14-12. Boston College won the only regular-season meeting this year, 80-72 in overtime at home on Feb. 4.
Boston College: Leading rebounder Steffon Mitchell (7.9 rpg) was back in the starting lineup after sitting out the regular-season finale Saturday at Florida State with a hamstring injury. Mitchell grabbed 11 boards in 37 minutes. … Reserve forward Luka Kraljevic did not play after sustaining a head injury at Florida State.
Georgia Tech: Lammers is gone next season, but the Yellow Jackets look forward to getting a healthy Alvarado back along with fellow freshman Curtis Haywood II (stress reaction in right leg). They can team with Okogie to form a solid backcourt.
Boston College: Looks to avenge an 82-66 loss at N.C. State on Feb. 20.
(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)