Georgia Tech hosted Grambling on Friday night, and if things went as they usually do in college basketball, the Yellow Jackets would have gotten a warm-up for ACC play and an easy win while the Tigers would have gotten a nice little paycheck for showing up.
Only one of those things happened.
The Yellow Jackets sleepwalked through the game’s first 30 minutes and found themselves down 47-31 to their unheralded SWAC foe, which was playing its seventh straight road game to open the season and was ranked 338th out of 351 Division I programs by Ken Pomeroy. Georgia Tech was able to shoot its way back to a 63-62 lead and had Tadric Jackson at the line to shoot two free throws with 34.4 seconds, but he missed both, giving Grambling one last possession.
Then this happened:
Georgia Tech’s Curtis Haywood and Ben Lammers both went up to rebound Ivy Smith’s missed layup, with Haywood accidentally tipping the ball into his own basket with 6.5 seconds left. It gave Grambling a 64-63 lead that would hold up after Yellow Jackets guard Jose Alvarado’s last-ditch shot was off the mark.
“It was just a freak play that slipped out of Curt’s hands and went in the rim,” Georgia Tech Coach Josh Pastner said, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Said Grambling Coach Donte’ Jackson: “Man, what a finish; that’s all I can say: what a finish. Somehow, some way we found a way to get lucky and the basketball gods were with us today.”
The Tigers had lost 63 consecutive games to power-conference opponents by an average of 34.7 points, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
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