Georgia Tech (5-2) has won back-to-back games in the state rivalry for the first time since three straight wins from 1992-94. The wins have come in the Yellow Jackets’ first two seasons with coach Brian Gregory.
Mfon Udofia added 12 points for Georgia Tech, including a three-point play with about 1 minute remaining after Georgia cut the Yellow Jackets’ lead to 55-50.
Georgia Tech fans chanted “ACC! ACC!” in the final minute, mocking Georgia fans’ “SEC! SEC!” chant in the Bulldogs’ football win over the Yellow Jackets two weeks ago.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led Georgia (2-6) with 16 points. The Bulldogs had no other scorer in double figures and made only 31.6 percent of their shots (18-of-57) from the field.
Caldwell-Pope has been the Bulldogs’ leading scorer in every game, but the sophomore has had too little support in the team’s disappointing start.
The Yellow Jackets kept their lead in double figures for a stretch of almost 15 minutes — from less than 5 minutes remaining in the first half until Marcus Thornton scored on a spinning drive for Georgia with about 10 minutes remaining. Thornton’s basket cut Georgia Tech’s lead to 45-37.
Brandon Morris, who had nine points, scored inside for Georgia to cut Georgia Tech’s lead to 48-42.
Udofia answered with a 3-pointer for the Yellow Jackets. Robert Carter made only one of two free throws, but Daniel Miller rebounded the miss to set up another 3-pointer by Georges-Hunt, pushing the Yellow Jackets’ lead to 55-42.
Georgia made another charge with an 8-0 run to cut the lead to 55-50.
After Udofia missed two free throws, Georgia called a timeout with 1:48 remaining but was denied when Daniel Miller blocked Vincent Williams’ shot.
Udofia’s three-point play pushed the lead back to eight points.
Georgia Tech’s tight man-to-man defense extended beyond the 3-point line, keeping constant pressure on the Bulldogs’ guards. Georgia was only 2-of-17 on 3-pointers and found it difficult to create open shots close to the basket.
Georgia Tech shot much better from long range, going 9-of-21.
Georges-Hunt set the pace for the game when he blew past Thornton on a baseline drive for the Yellow Jackets’ first basket. Thornton, usually one of Georgia’s top rebounders, was called for his second foul about 5 minutes into the game and sat out the remainder of the half.
Georgia Tech was 6-of-10 on its 3-pointers in the first half to overcome its poor shooting (3-of-16) closer to the basket.
Georges-Hunt’s previous scoring high was 14 points in the season-opening win over Tulane.