ATLANTA (AP) — Coach Mark Fox is counting on a win that looked ugly on the court to eventually sparkle on Georgia’s resume.
Yante Maten overcame a slow start to score 16 points and Georgia rolled to a 60-43 win over Georgia Tech on Tuesday night.
Georgia Tech is rebuilding under first-year coach Josh Pastner and is expected to finish close to the bottom of the Atlantic Coast Conference standings. Even so, Fox insisted it was an important game for his Bulldogs, and not just because of the state rivalry.
“For us, an ACC game on the road will look good on our resume,” Fox said. “It was a big game for us.”.
It was the Bulldogs’ first win at Georgia Tech since 2010 and their second straight win in the rivalry following four straight for Georgia Tech.
J.J. Frazier scored 11 of his 15 points in the second half of what he said was “a great team win” for the Bulldogs.
“For me, it’s just a special moment,” Frazier said. “To get our first road win at Tech sure feels good.”.
Georgia (8-3) kept its lead in double figures most of the second half. With less than 3 minutes remaining, Georgia fans in the sellout crowd began barking and chanting “UGA!”.
Maten had 11 second-half points, giving him 26 consecutive games in double figures.
Georgia Tech (6-4) took its only lead at 8-7.
Frazier’s floater started a 9-0 Georgia run and he sank a 3-pointer to open the second half.
Pastner said the Yellow Jackets couldn’t overcome the cold shooting of Quinton Stephens, who was scoreless while missing each of his nine shots from the field, and Tadric Jackson, who was held to five points, about seven below his average.
“It’s hard for us when Tadric and Quentin are a combined 2 for 14,” Pastner said.
Ben Lammers led the Yellow Jackets with 10 points, well below his average of 15.3. Josh Okogie had eight points and eight rebounds.
Georgia: The Bulldogs led 27-18 at halftime despite having only a combined nine points from Maten and Frazier. The first-half struggles revealed the need for the Bulldogs to develop complementary scoring. Derek Ogbeide had 11 points, including 10 in the first half, but he had little scoring help in the opening 20 minutes.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets made only 1 of 10 3-pointers and shot only 34.6 percent (18 of 52) overall. It was Georgia Tech’s second loss to a Southeastern Conference team, following an 81-58 loss at Tennessee on Dec. 3.
SECOND-CHANCE POINTS ARE KEY.
Georgia outscored Georgia Tech 19-2 on second-chance points while holding a 13-5 advantage on offensive rebounds.
“They kicked our butt on the offensive glass, no question about that,” Pastner said.
One of the biggest cheers from the home fans came during a second-half break when highlights of Georgia Tech’s 28-27 football win on Nov. 26 were shown on the video board.
The attendance was 8,600 for Georgia Tech’s first home sellout of the season — possibly contributing to the Yellow Jackets’ poor start.
“I think anytime there’s a sellout crowd for a game like this, you’re going to have a little bit of jitters,” Lammers said. “We just need to settle down quicker.”.
Pastner said the atmosphere is what he hopes will become more common for home games — “minus the Georgia fans.”.
After making a 90-minute drive to Atlanta, Georgia will make an unusual trip to southeast Michigan to play Oakland University on Friday.
Georgia Tech will play its third straight home game when it plays Wofford on Thursday night.
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